You know you should get more sleep, but that seems especially difficult around the holidays. Shopping, baking, decorating, parties, and visits with family and friends can cut into your rest time. And when you finally make it to bed, any stress you’re feeling can make it hard to fall asleep.
During the holiday season, it’s especially important to get quality sleep so you can enjoy your time with friends and family. If you don’t get enough rest, you’ll feel grumpy and out of sorts. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
Research shows how important sleep is to your health and well-being. A lack of sleep interferes with your productivity, mood, and concentration. Chronic sleeplessness can also lead to a variety of health problems.
Poor sleep generally is a result of bad habits and a lack of a routine. The good news is those habits can be corrected. We are sharing some great sleep hacks so you can get a good night’s sleep, even during the holiday season.
Stick to a schedule.
We know that this can be easier said than done during the busy holidays, but it’s not impossible. Wake and go to bed on a consistent schedule, even on weekends. Going to bed later and/or sleeping in on the weekends can leave you feeling jet lagged on Monday morning. Stick with your routine as much as possible.
Set a bedtime alarm.
Alarms are usually used for waking up in the morning, but try setting alarm to remind you to get ready for bed. Hearing the alarm will allow you to wrap up whatever you are doing and begin winding down for sleep.
Not only is a warm bath relaxing, it also mimics what happens naturally to our bodies when we get drowsy. Add relaxing bubbles to your bath; grab your Deluxe Bamboo Bath Caddy, and a book to help you wind down. The Bamboo Bath Caddy is expandable to fit most tubs and places your accessories within easy reach. There is a place for your phone, soap, a book support and a glass holder for stemware.
Studies show that regular exercise helps us sleep better and be more alert during the day. Get your workout in but make it earlier in the day. A vigorous workout within 2 hours of bedtime can leave you feeling too wired to sleep. Keep exercises before bed light, such as yoga or Tai Chi.
Cold feet make it hard to fall asleep. Slip on a cotton pair to keep your feet warm.
Eat dinner earlier.
Refrain from eating a heavy meal at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. Your body will be digesting dinner to prepare for sleep. Spicy and heavy meals could also cause reflux, which would also keep you awake.
Alcohol may help you drift off initially, but after your body metabolizes it, you are more likely to wake up throughout the night. Keep your toasts and nightcaps to one or two and try not to drink within three hours of bedtime to prevent disrupting your REM sleep. Be sure to sip sparkling or still water in between drinks to prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
Keep the bedroom dark.
Darkness is nature’s natural sleep cue, telling your body to start secreting the hormone melatonin. Light can mess up your body’s cues, leaving you feeling alert and wide awake.
Make a sleep sanctuary.
Your bedroom should be used for sleep and not TV or extraneous activities. Clutter can make you tense, keep your room organized to feel peaceful. Our Bamboo Freestanding Organizing Shelves are an easy way to clear up clutter and make your room a calm oasis. The Bamboo Organizing Shelves come in 3, 4, and 5 tiers and are a stylish yet practical solution to ending clutter.
Power down electronics.
The blue light emitted from our devices messes with sleep by telling the brain to stop producing melatonin. Even a few minutes of exposure can keep you awake so take the time to shut them down an hour prior to bedtime.
Keep a pad and pen by the bed so you can write down your worries, to-do’s, or other thoughts from the day. Knowing you’ll see them in the morning can help relax you.
Eat a light snack.
If it has been a while since your last meal, and you need a snack, make it count. A light carb snack, such as a banana, will tide you over without making you overly full. The carbohydrates will also promote sleepiness.
Block out noise.
Background noise can raise stress levels making it difficult to get restful sleep. Blocking out background noise with a sleep machine, or a fan on low, can mask the noise so you can get a good night’s rest.
Having trouble drifting off to dreamland? Try diffusing your favorite relaxing essential oil in your Essential Oil Diffuser. Ultrasonic vibrations turn water and essential oils into an ultrafine scented mist to help calm your mind. The Essential Oil Diffuser also has LED lights that illuminate the water with soothing red, green, and blue colors. Scents such as lavender, vetiver, chamomile, ylang-ylang, and cedar can help you relax and promote a restful sleep.
Practice gentle yoga.
Yoga can help you release tension and calm your mind. Try some easy poses to help you drift off quickly.
Keep it cool.
Heat can delay sleep or make it less restful. The optimal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees so set your thermostat accordingly.
A hot shower will produce the same effect as a warm bath. Our Bamboo Shower Bench can provide a comfortable place to sit for a relaxing experience. The compact size makes it ideal for shower stalls. The Bamboo Bench can be used in or out of the shower.
Try progressive relaxation.
Ease stress and tension by trying progressive relaxation technique. Focus on your breath for a few minutes and then start relaxing your body. Start with your toes, tense them for a few seconds then relax them. Slowly work your way up, focusing on relaxing each muscle until you end with your forehead.
Soothing music can put you in a calm meditative state. Soft, calm music lowers your blood pressure, helps you fall asleep and promotes longer, deeper sleep. Add restful music to your STORMp3 and enjoy your dreams.
Create a bedtime ritual.
A bedtime ritual will give you time to relax your body and mind so you are prepared for sleep. Take an hour or so to create a routine and you will get the restorative sleep you crave.
Don’t lie there.
If sleep eludes you, get up and do something – well, anything that doesn’t involve bright lights or screens. Gentle yoga, breathing exercises, reading, math puzzles, or other light activity can help you feel sleepy.
If you have poor sleep habits, it may take a couple of weeks to get on a set schedule and benefit from the results of your new rituals. Be sure to pick a time to wake each morning and stick with it. Go to sleep when you are tired and don’t force yourself to stay awake at night. By making a few changes in your physical space, your routines you should soon be enjoying uninterrupted rest each night.
Don’t let the holidays run you ragged and leave you feeling like a Grinch. With some planning and understanding, you can still get the quality sleep you need to thoroughly enjoy the holiday season.