Don’t Let Holiday Stress Disrupt Your Sleep

Dr. Dan JensenOverall Health, Sleep, Tips & Tricks

Don't Let Holiday Stress Disrupt Your Sleep
Dr. Dan Jensen

Holidays are a great time to enjoy catching up with the extended family, or hanging out with friends you haven’t seen in a while, but everyone knows the holidays can be more than a little stressful. The kids are home from school, you’re trying to buy all your gifts in time to get them under the tree, and your schedule is full of Christmas events and holiday parties. Unfortunately, all this holiday cheer could be leaving your stressed and sleep deprived. Don’t let the holidays disrupt your sleep, but follow these tips to get through the season feeling calm and well rested.

Focus on the Most Important People

We know you love you family, but everyone has that one uncle that we don’t see eye to eye with, and it causes a lot of stress. When you’re attending holiday functions, prioritize the people you want to spend time with, and spend more time with the people you enjoy. If you’re visiting family out of town, consider booking a hotel rather than staying with relatives. This will give you a place of your own, where you can take time to destress every night, and have some time to yourself.

Enjoy an Afternoon Nap

Rather than sleeping in after a late night out, enjoy an afternoon nap. It’s best to maintain your normal sleep cycles whenever possible, and continue getting up at a consistent time even if you’re tired. This will help you feel tired in the evening and sleep soundly at night. If you need an extra energy boost, give yourself permission to sleep in the afternoon, since this will help you make to bed time without upsetting your normal sleep schedule. A short 30-minute nap is recommended in the middle of the afternoon.

Learn When to Say No

It can be tempting to say yes to all the social functions you’ve been invited to, but be selective in which ones you agree to, and learn to say no. You’ll be thankful to have a quiet night with your family at home, and enjoy having time to get a good night’s sleep rather than heading to another holiday function. We want to do it all, but everyone has their limits. Try not to overcommit, and say no to that extra gift exchange or bake sale. Not only will the added stress disrupt your sleep, but you won’t get any sleep at all if you have to stay up all night wrapping gifts or baking sugar cookies.

Drink Less Alcohol

We all love a glass of mulled wine or spiked eggnog, and while you might think that alcohol will make you sleepy, drinking too much can have the opposite effect. Alcohol can make you restless in the night, and you may have a harder time falling asleep or sleeping soundly when you do eventually nod off. Skip that last glass of wine, and try a cup of chamomile tea instead.

Another perk of getting your holiday shopping done early is that you’ll be able to avoid all the holiday crowds, and take less time getting through your list of errands.

Head Home Early

We all like to think we can stay out late, but we’re not in our 20s anymore, and don’t have endless energy. Rather than staying out until 3am, decide at the beginning of the evening what time you’ll head home, and give yourself permission to leave the party early. You know your schedule better than anyone else, and if you need an early night to get a good night’s sleep and be ready for the next day, don’t feel bad heading home early and doing the right thing for you.

Start Your To-Do List Ahead of Time

You know that the holidays are going to be a busy time, so start on your to-do list early. Cooking, cleaning, holiday shopping, and of course holiday events, take a lot of time and energy, so do as much as you can ahead of time, and don’t put off all your chores to the last moment since this will lead to a lot more stress, and difficulty sleeping.

Sound Sleep Medical

Worried that you’re too stressed to sleep? Have the holidays exacerbated a preexisting problem with getting a good night’s sleep? Visit us at Sound Sleep Medical for a sleep assessment, and let us help you get the sleep you need.