The holiday season is full of hustle, bustle, fun, and festivity. With so much going on, you might find yourself without enough time for sleep, or struggling to fall asleep when you do have the time. Don’t worry, this is common. One survey found that the majority of respondents (57%) slept poorly during the holiday season. Whether because of stress or excitement, it’s normal to lose some sleep around this time of year. But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy – or unavoidable. Make sure you’re resting enough to keep the holidays merry and bright by following these seasonal sleep tips:
Stick To Your Normal Schedule
With all that goes on around the holiday season, you may find yourself wanting to stay up later than normal or needed to get up earlier than usual. An occasional break from your sleep schedule is ok, but consistently sleeping at different times around the holidays will not get you the rest you need. Make sure you’re trying to fall asleep when you normally do and waking up with your regular alarm – even if that means you get a little less sleep than you like. In this case, consistency is more important than getting 8 full hours of sleep on any given night.
Avoid the Temptation of Snacking
Around the holidays it feels like everywhere you turn there’s a plate of cookies or a tub of popcorn to munch on. Tempting as these treats may be, try not to snack for at least 2 hours before you plan to sleep. Eating a lot before bed can actually make it harder to sleep, and when most of what you’re eating is sugary treats you’re not doing yourself any favors. If you must eat something, try some fresh fruit or drink a glass of milk. Both can satisfy your hunger without keeping you up.
Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep Sanctuary
When you have guests in from out of town, kids off from school, and friends and family over all the time, your home can feel like a madhouse around the holidays. You probably can’t avoid it, just make sure the chaos doesn’t spill over into your bedroom, which should be your sleep sanctuary. If conditions in your home make your bedroom feel less relaxing than usual, try getting a pair of ear plus, a sleep mask, a white noise machine, or blackout curtains to keep out the glow of Christmas lights. You should also resist the temptation to let your kids into the bed.
Watch What You Drink
Drinking the wrong thing before bed is even worse than eating the wrong thing. Adding to the problem, the kinds of drinks you want to avoid seem to be everywhere around the holidays. Even if someone offers you a peppermint mocha, avoid drinking any caffeine for several hours before bed. Be conscious about consuming spiked eggnog or other holiday cocktails too because alcohol can cause you to sleep poorly. You know your own limits, and most things are fine in moderation. That being said, overindulging in “holiday cheer” can keep you awake and leave you feeling drained the next day.
Accentuate the Positives
Let’s be honest, the holidays can be really stressful. And when you’re worried about getting everything done and keeping everyone happy, it’s hard to drift off into a deep, restful sleep. It’s never easy to get your mind off negative thoughts, but it really does help to try and consciously avoid them an hour before bed. Try to focus on rest and relaxation, making your priority sleep instead of stress. It may not work immediately, but with some mindful effort, you can avoid tossing and turning all night long.
Stick to Your Exercise Routine
There is a close link between getting enough exercise and getting enough sleep. The two are even more correlated around the holidays because you’re often feeling stressed, eating poorly, and looking for a little time on your own. Hitting the gym or getting 30 minutes of activity is the perfect solution when you’re feeling burned out by the holidays. Exercise is also a great way to burn off some energy so that you’re not feeling restless at midnight.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
If you have never tried a relaxation technique before, the holiday season is the perfect time to start. Meditation is probably the best-known technique, but there are dozens more including focusing on your breathing, flexing individual muscle groups, and even counting backward. Try a few out until you find one that works for you, then bust this technique out as much or as little as you need. Some people have an everyday routine while others only go through the motions when they’re trying to get the best sleep possible.
Better Sleep Leads to Happier Holidays
With so many places to go, people to see, and things to do around the holidays, you don’t want to sleep through the season. But you don’t want to shuffle through it either, and that’s exactly what will happen if you’re not getting adequate sleep on a consistent basis. If the tips and tricks outlined above don’t work, the problem might be a mattress that’s old, worn out, or wrong for your sleep needs. In that case, focus on getting a new mattress sooner rather than later. There are 38 Sit n Sleep superstores throughout Southern California, each with an extensive mattress inventory and friendly staff to help you find the perfect option. Browse our website in advance of your visit to learn more about what we offer, and call us at 800-908-0354 if you have any questions.