Healthy Sleeping Tips for the Holiday Season

Dr. Dan JensenSleep, Tips & Tricks

Healthy Sleeping Tips for the Holiday Season
Dr. Dan Jensen

Have you been having trouble sleeping? With holiday visitors, your large Christmas dinner, and the kids running around all day, it can be difficult to maintain healthy sleeping habits during the holiday season. If you want to enjoy a good night’s rest, here are some healthy sleeping tips for the holiday season.

Maintain Your Sleep Routine

From attending holiday parties to buying everything on your long list of Christmas gifts, you might feel like you’ve been running off your feet, don’t have time to eat healthy, and never seem to find enough hours to sleep. Even when you do close your eyes at night, you have too many things running on your mind to drop off to sleep easily. It’s likely that at this time of year your sleep routines are out of sync, and you don’t feel well rested.

One of the best ways to maintain health sleeping habits is to maintain your normal sleep schedule. It’s tempting to let the kids stay up late watching a holiday movie, or enjoy one more drink with friends than you normally would, but if you want to sleep well and wake up refreshed, it’s important that you don’t stray too far from your normal sleep schedule.

The occasional late night won’t be too much of a problem, but try to go to bed at the same time five nights of the week, and wake up consistently. This makes your sleep habitual, and you’ll have an easier time falling asleep and sleeping deeply through the night. Even if you do stay out late one night, try to wake up around the normal time the following day so that you don’t break the routine.

Take Advantage of an Afternoon Nap

If you’re struggling with fatigue, it’s better to have a short afternoon nap than to sleep in during the morning. You may have a hard time getting up, and really need your morning cup of coffee, but getting up around the same time every day will help you maintain your sleep-wake cycle, and you’ll be ready to sleep by the evening. Otherwise, you may slowly shift your sleep cycle later and later, and struggle to fall asleep at night. A short nap in the middle of the afternoon can give you a boost of energy without disrupting your ability to sleep soundly at night.

Avoid Large Dinners Before Bed

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, try to avoid eating large meals right before bed. Eat your biggest meal at noon, and keep dinner light. Don’t eat within two hours of sleeping, since going to bed with a stomach full of heavy food will keep you awake at night as your body works hard to digest all that food. With a full stomach you’re more likely to wake up throughout the night, or lay awake tossing and turning.

Eat light foods for dinner, and avoid red meat. Enjoy a glass of milk or a piece of fruit if you feel like you have to eat just before bed.

Take the Time to Exercise

If you’re struggling to sleep at night, try exercising in the afternoon. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, promote heart health, increase healthy appetite, and promote drowsiness in the evening. Exercising in the afternoon could help you fall asleep in the evening, since exercise will raise your body temperature. Once you’ve cooled down and eaten a light supper, you’ll feel tired and ready to sleep.

Sleeping When You’re Anxious or Excited

The holidays are an exciting time, and your children’s enthusiasm may be rubbing off on you. Add to that your busy evenings, family gatherings, and staff holiday parties, and it’s not surprising that you go to bed a bit anxious or excited. Start to wind down an hour before bed, and begin to relax. Turn off your phone, put away your endless to do list, and practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or even something as simple as taking a warm bath.

Sound Sleep Medical

Still struggling to get a good night’s rest? Visit us at Sound Sleep Medical to discuss your sleeping patterns, and explore other reasons you might not be sleeping. We’re committed to helping you sleep well, and wake up feeling healthy and refreshed.