Do you ever have trouble falling asleep? Did you know that 50 to 70 million Americans have some type of sleep disorder?
During the holidays, sleep problems often increase. For those who have more time off work, they may indulge in binging activities. This can include food, sleep, alcohol, and even Netflix.
Continue reading this article to learn about tips for getting a good night's sleep during the holidays.
Holiday Sleep Tips
There are several steps you can take to decrease sleep problems during the holiday season. Consider trying some of these suggestions to increase your holiday spirit.
1. Stick to Your Bedtime
During the holiday season, we often begin staying up later and sleeping in. While this seems like heaven at first, it can become a problem. Altering your sleep schedule increases difficulty in getting to sleep and feeling rested.
To remain rested during the holidays, commit to setting that alarm and avoiding the snooze button. Try to go to bed close to your regular bedtime. You will be glad when you can easily drop off to sleep and wake up with energy for the day.
2. Unwind Before Bed
Holidays are great but can also be a source of increased stress. Having house guests, planning meals and activities, and keeping the house tidy is exhausting. Add buying gifts and managing your budget to the list and the stress often builds.
Holidays may also increase socializing, which is exciting but often alters your day-to-day routines. When bedtime arrives, it may be hard for your body to get ready for sleep.
About an hour before bedtime, focus on activities that relax your mind and body. Take a warm bath lit only by your favorite scented candles. Gentle stretching, breathing exercises, and meditation can help you unwind.
Read a fun book and listen to soothing music. Make these activities a priority and a gift to yourself.
3. Eat Lighter Evening Meals
Avoiding heavy foods and drinking within two hours before bedtime improves sleep. An overly full stomach can cause discomfort as your body tries to digest everything. While alcohol often makes you feel sleepy at first, it can actually disrupt your sleep.
If you feel hungry before bed, consider a light snack. Good choices including a glass of milk, granola, or a piece of fruit.
4. Exercise Late in the Afternoon
Exercise is great for decreasing stress. When you exercise in the late afternoon, your body temperature rises. A few hours later, as you cool down and your temperature falls, you become sleepy.
Strenuous workouts within 4 hours before you go to bed may make it difficult to fall asleep. It’s important to give your body time to relax and cool down before trying to sleep.
5. Avoid Caffeine
When you think of caffeine, do you only think of coffee or maybe tea and sodas? Remember that chocolate can be a significant caffeine source. For many of us, this represents a difficult hurdle.
As we celebrate and socialize, snacks and drinks are part of the tradition. What’s better than a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night? You’re only nibbling on those little chocolate treats.
Suddenly the caffeine level reaches the stimulant level. When this happens within 4 hours of bedtime, your chances of falling gently to sleep decrease.
6. Your Bedroom Must Be Your Sanctuary
Many times, when you are trying to stick to your bedtime, others in the house are continuing to party. The noise of conversation, movies, or video games may make falling asleep difficult. Create a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom
Earplugs can help to decrease noise intrusion. If there is a lot of ambient light outside your window, consider curtains or blinds to make the room darker.
If you have children who are excited and have difficulty sleeping, they may ask to sleep with you. Just say no. This will actually help everyone get a better night’s sleep.
7. Get Morning Sunlight
When you wake up in the morning, go outside without a hat or sunglasses for about 15 minutes. This exposure to morning light stimulates the hypothalamus in the brain which helps control sleep, appetite, and other functions.
If you live in a colder climate, find a window with good sun exposure. If sunrise is later in the day, take advantage of the opportunity when it presents. Sunlight has long been a part of the normal circadian rhythm and impacts sleep cycles.
8. Pace Yourself
Most people’s lives are busy outside of the holiday season. As the holidays draw near, the task lists and calendars fill to the brim. Today’s society promotes a high standard of spending, hosting, and celebrating.
Take a step back. Decide what is important and meaningful for you and your family. Set a budget within your means and avoid over-committing your time.
All these measures can help decrease your stress level. This helps you feel more relaxed at bedtime. A mind at ease can gently fall asleep.
Do You Have Trouble Sleeping During the Holidays?
Many people experience trouble sleeping when the holidays arrive. They find themselves feeling tired and sluggish. Sleep disturbances can increase the feeling of depression.
This article described several holiday sleep tips to help reduce these problems. Try some of these ideas to increase your energy for joining in the festivities.
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We want our customers to love their sleep for the rest of their lives.
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