Let these famous lines from your favourite Christmas songs heal those health woes...
O Holy Night!
Sleepless nights are all too common during December, with parties, family dos and an endless list of festive tasks to be ticked off. As well as feeling tired and not getting quality sleep, if you have insomnia, you may also feel irritable, unable to concentrate, spaced out and you may find yourself making mistakes you never would ordinarily.
"The key with insomnia is to try to identify what is causing it," says Oxford Online Pharmacy's Dr Helen Webberley. "Often by indentifying the triggers, you can take positive steps to address them.
"When you suffer from anxiety or stress due to problems at work or at home, this will often manifest itself when you are alone with your thoughts in bed. This can be made worse by stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. It can help to talk about these worries with someone. Try to steer clear of sleeping tablets which only mask the issues rather than helping you get to the root of the problem."
Rocking Around The Christmas Tree
While many of us have a wobble from time to time with no cause for concern, feeling unsteady on your feet can be a symptom of a wider condition.
"Muscle tremors can occur for many reasons from the simple to the serious," explains Dr Helen. "You may have an overactive thyroid, or a neurological condition such as Parkinson's. Chronic lung disease (COPD) can also cause you to feel unsteady on your feet.
"But there can also be much more benign explanations such as a common cold or anxiety, as well as too many stimulants, including alcohol, smoking and caffeine."
Help yourself by making sure your bannisters and railings are sturdy, putting soft paddings on any sharp corners on your furniture, avoiding loose rugs, which you could slip on, and taking extra care with hot fluids and drinks. Book in to see your GP to rule out any serious complaints.
Sleigh Bells Ring!
Unable to focus because of a non-stop ringing in your ear? It might be tinnitus that's driving you to distraction.
"Tinnitus is a persistent ringing, whistling or buzzing in the ear," says Dr Helen. "This is usually one-sided but can affect both ears. Sufferers report being unable to hear in noisy backgrounds, such as in pubs, and they have difficulty sleeping. Often people with tinnitus feel the need to raise their voice in order to be heard. If you are concerned, contact the British Tinnitus Association for help."
'Tis the season to be jolly...
The parties are in full swing, the presents are piling up and the big day is looming and yet, happy as everyone else seems, your spirits are low. You may feel more irritable than usual, cry for no reason, lack motivation, feel unable to enjoy yourself and have trouble sleeping. Although you might not feel it, you're not alone.
"Christmas is for many the most stressful time of the year," says Dr Helen. "It's a boiling pot in which we combine the key triggers of money worries, like paying for everything, and not quite meeting peoples expectations, and relationship issues, like whether you're having problems with your partner or you just can't stand your in-laws."
It can be helpful to open up. "Don't keep it to yourself," says Dr Helen. "Talk to somebody about how you are feeling. There are plenty of helplines available to support you and you can always turn to a GP. You can also look into counselling, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy - all of which can be very effective. If you just want someone to listen, try calling the Samaritans."
This article originally featured in Chat magazine.