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Safeguard Snooze Time During Holidays

Experts offer tips on how to get sound slumber during hectic season

SUNDAY, Dec. 21, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- The holiday season brings shopping, traveling, school exams, end-of-the-year business and parties, parties, parties.

Not surprisingly, the winter holiday season also means less sleep for most people.

At the very least, getting by on less than your regular eight hours will make you grumpy at the office holiday party. At its worst, sleeplessness could lead to tragedy on the road.

To make your holiday a safe one, follow this advice from the National Sleep Foundation and the American Automobile Association:

  • Don't drink and drive, especially when you haven't had enough shut-eye. Lack of sleep can make one drink feel like four or five.
  • Keep your regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day of the week.
  • Limit eating and drinking before bedtime. A small snack is okay but caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are not.
  • Continue to exercise regularly.
  • If you're traveling, get a good night's sleep before your trip. This means at least 8 hours for adults and 8.5 to 9.25 hours for teens.
  • Don't drive early in the morning or late at night, times when you're normally asleep.
  • Schedule regular stops, every 100 miles or two hours.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications (such as antihistamines) that may impair performance or make your drowsy.
  • Make sure you have a companion to help keep you awake.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has some tips on getting a good night's sleep.

SOURCES: National Sleep Foundation; American Automobile Association
Consumer News