Between family get-togethers, work parties, and all the other seasonal obligations, the holidays can leave you stretched for time and low on sleep.
But it’s important to keep your sleep routine as consistent as possible so that you can truly enjoy all the moments of the holiday season. See our tips below for ideas on how to get started.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine 6 hours prior to bedtime
Avoiding caffeine may seem like a no-brainer, but watch out for sneaky sources of caffeine such as soda, tea, and chocolate. Consuming caffeine
less than 6 hours prior to bedtime has been shown to reduce the amount of sleep you get.
Alcohol is another sneaky one. Although it may make you feel sleepy, it will actually take away from both the amount and quality of sleep
that you will get. Alcohol interferes with your ability to enter into and stay in the deep phase of sleep (Rapid Eye Movement).
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
It’s easy to get caught up chatting with friends and family until the wee hours of the morning, but this can wreak havoc on your sleep routine.
Don’t fall for the trap thinking that if you stay up later, you can just sleep in later. Between anxious kids and pets and your body’s own
internal clock, chances are you will wake up around the same time you usually do. Try to stick to your normal bedtime (within an hour).
Keep stress and anxiety levels low
Stress is a huge cause of sleep deprivation. Thinking about what may or may not happen or snowballing events can lead to elevated stress
levels…all from something that hasn’t even happened yet. Instead of concentrating on past experiences or what you’re afraid might happen this year,
try to focus and stay in the moment. One great way to de-stress during the holidays is to practice mindfulness once in the morning and once before
bed. This should help you to ease your mind before catching some zzz’s. If you don’t know where to start, try downloading a mindfulness app, such
Stop, Breathe and Think
Although you may feel too tired to exercise, try to fit it in because exercise will actually help energize you. It can also help to reduce
stress levels and improve sleep too. When you exercise outside and get exposure to natural sunlight, this helps regulate your body’s natural
circadian rhythm. Even if you’re really busy, remember, something is better than nothing. Take a walk after dinner or start a flag football
game with the family. Make it fun!
Put down the electronics
This may be the hardest part for some people to do. Many of us are connected to our phones, tablets, laptops, or other digital device 24-7.
The problem is that blue light generated from our electronic devices can interfere with the body’s natural sleep cycle. The good news is that the
holidays are the perfect time to unplug and spend time family and friends. Turn off the TV and put the cell phone. Play a board game, make a
gingerbread house, or simply enjoy some quality time with your loved ones.