We are in the thick of the holiday season, with all the gatherings that include delicious foods and fun beverages. Some of the little bites can seem so harmless, after all, they are so small. And who’s counting the drinks?
In addition to alcohol diminishing the quality of our sleep, we are busy shopping, preparing, wrapping, decorating, etc. in between all the celebrations. The events and many times the shopping keep us out and up past our bedtime. Our sleep suffers in many ways at this time of year.
We still have work to do, so how do we avoid that sluggish feeling, the “holiday hangover”, and still manage to get our jobs done? There are many things we can do, including:
1. Drink lots of water. It is important to stay hydrated, and drinking water can also help you to feel full and cut down on how much you eat. Drink a couple of extra glasses of water a day to help combat the extra sodium that is in many holiday foods.
2. To help stay hydrated, work out in the morning instead of the evening. If you work out, and then go out, you will have a hard time getting or staying hydrated.
3. When deciding which beverage to have, keep in mind that dark liquor contains more toxins than clear liquor. If you choose the dark liquor it will take longer for the alcohol to be removed from your body, which can lead to a worse hangover. Several studies show that drinks such as brandy and whiskey cause more severe hangovers than vodka and gin.
4. Be thoughtful when pairing your food and beverages. Alcohol combined with carbs makes your system work extra hard. Your liver will have to do double duty by trying to clear the alcohol from your system and trying to regulate your blood glucose levels. Have you ever experienced a particularly rough carb coma after a plate of pasta and a glass of red wine? That is your body trying to work overtime.
5. This one can be particularly difficult, but watch your sugar intake. When your co-worker has left a tray of cookies in the kitchen at work it is easy to grab one or more when filling up your coffee cup. Instead, keep some fruit on hand, or try chewing gum. Chewing gum can actually help curb cravings.
6. Another challenge is to try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Getting up the morning after a party, especially one that has run into the morning hours, can be a chore. However, sleeping in too late, or taking a late day nap, will make it more difficult to go to sleep at night.
7. Avoid talking politics. We all have at least one family member or co-worker who loves to start those conversations. These days that can be a difficult road to navigate, and people seem to be less forgiving of anyone with a different point of view than ever before. If you are hosting the event, don’t be shy about requesting no political talk. If avoiding politics is too much for some guests, designate a “Politics Zone.” Find a space where those so inclined can engage in political conversations without dragging others into the fray.
We all have to deal with end of the year challenges at work and family at home. While some of the causes of holiday hangover are unavoidable, making conscious choices can curb some of the effects and help to recover more quickly.
Sources: foodcoachnyc.com, webmd.com, nbcnews.co