July 10

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Tips for getting a good night’s sleep on Christmas Eve and throughout the holiday season

How to sleep well on Christmas Eve – and over the festive period

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it can also be a source of stress and sleepless nights. Between shopping for gifts, preparing festive meals, and hosting gatherings, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose out on valuable rest. However, with some simple strategies, you can ensure a good night’s sleep during the holidays and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy the festivities.

One of the keys to better sleep during the holiday season is sticking to a sleep schedule. While it may be tempting to stay up late watching holiday movies or curling up with a good book, it’s important to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and ensures that you get enough sleep each night.

Another important factor for better sleep is creating a sleep-friendly environment. This means keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. You can use blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out any light, and earplugs or white noise machines to drown out any noise. A comfortable mattress and pillows, along with clean sheets, can also make a big difference in how well you sleep.

In terms of sleep hygiene, it’s best to avoid eating heavy meals or drinking caffeine in the evening. These can interfere with your sleep and make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Instead, opt for lighter meals and herbal teas that promote relaxation, such as chamomile or lavender.

Napping during the day can also help improve your sleep, particularly if you’re feeling tired. However, it’s important to keep your naps short (around 20-30 minutes) and not too close to bedtime, as this can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night.

Finally, practicing relaxation techniques before bed can help calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep. This could include taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, or practicing deep breathing exercises. The key is to find a routine that works for you and helps you unwind.

Overall, by following these simple tips, you can ensure a restful night’s sleep during the festive season and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy the holidays. So turn off your screens, create a sleep-friendly environment, and give yourself the gift of a good night’s sleep this Christmas.

1 Try to manage kids’ excitement

Christmas is an exciting time for children, and their anticipation can make it challenging for them to settle down and get a good night’s rest. As a parent, it’s essential to manage their excitement and help them get the sleep they need.

One way to do this is by creating a routine. Having a consistent schedule can help children wind down and prepare their bodies for sleep. Set a specific bedtime and stick to it every night, even during the festive season. This will regulate their internal body clock and make it easier for them to fall asleep.

Another idea is to limit stimulating activities before bed. Avoid allowing your children to play video games or watch television right before bedtime, as these activities can make it harder for them to relax. Instead, encourage quiet and calming activities such as reading or listening to soft music.

Theresa Reisenhus, an expert in child sleep, suggests establishing a “no gadget” policy in the evening. This means no screen time at least two hours before bed. Blue light emitted by electronic devices can suppress the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it more difficult for kids (and adults!) to fall asleep.

You can also create a calming bedtime routine, such as taking a bath or shower before bed. This can help relax their bodies and signal that it’s time to sleep. Additionally, having a comfortable sleep environment, with a suitable mattress and pillow, can contribute to a restful night’s sleep.

  1. Stick to a consistent bedtime schedule.
  2. Avoid stimulating activities before bed.
  3. Establish a “no gadget” policy.
  4. Create a calming bedtime routine.
  5. Ensure a comfortable sleep environment.

By implementing these ideas, you can help manage your children’s excitement during the festive season and ensure they get the sleep they need to wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy the holiday season.

2 Keep your own excitement/anxiety under control too

While it’s natural to feel excited or anxious during the holidays, managing these emotions can help you sleep better. Theresa Schnorbach, a sleep specialist at Tempur, suggests several ways to keep your excitement and anxiety in check:

Stick to a schedule

  • Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even during the holidays. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help regulate your body’s internal clock and promote better sleep.
  • Avoid taking naps too late in the day, as this can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night.

Relax before bed

Engage in relaxing activities before bedtime to help calm your mind and prepare for sleep:

  • Take a warm bath or shower to help ease any tension in your body and promote relaxation.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises or meditation to help quiet your mind.

Away from technology

It’s hard to resist checking your inbox or scrolling through social media, particularly during the holidays. However, experts warn that the blue light emitted by electronic screens can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Try to limit your exposure to screens, particularly in the hour or two before bed, to improve your sleep quality.

Take time for yourself

Take time for yourself

The holidays can be a busy time, but it’s important to prioritize self-care and carve out time for relaxation. Whether it’s curling up with a good book, going for a walk, or practicing a hobby, find activities that help you relax and destress.

Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine

While it may be tempting to indulge in festive treats and drinks, too much alcohol and caffeine can interfere with your sleep. Both substances can disrupt your sleep patterns and result in restlessness or waking up frequently during the night. Try to moderate your consumption and avoid consuming them close to bedtime.

Seek support if needed

If you’re experiencing excessive stress or anxiety during the holidays, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Whether it’s talking to a trusted friend or family member, or seeking help from a mental health professional, addressing your emotions can contribute to better sleep.

By implementing these strategies, you can keep your own excitement and anxiety in check during the holidays, leading to better sleep and a more enjoyable festive period.

3 Set alarms to keep a consistent sleep schedule

Having a consistent sleep schedule helps you rest better and avoid restlessness during the festive season. According to sleep specialist Theresa Reisenhus from Høegh Reisenhus Gardens, setting alarms can be a useful tool to maintain a regular sleep routine.

When you are caught up in the festive spirit, it’s easy to lose track of time and stay up late into the night. However, experts suggest that sticking to a regular sleep schedule is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s rest.

Theresa Reisenhus recommends setting an alarm for both your morning wake-up time and your bedtime. This will help train your body to wake up and fall asleep at the same times each day, even during the holidays.

If you find it hard to wake up in the morning, Reisenhus suggests placing your alarm across the room from your bed. This way, you will need to physically get out of bed to turn it off, making it more difficult to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.

Experts also advise avoiding naps during the day, especially in the late afternoon or evening. Even a short nap can make it harder to fall asleep at night and disrupt your sleep schedule. If you do need to take a nap, limit it to 20-30 minutes and try to do it earlier in the day.

To ensure a relaxing end-of-year sleep routine, Reisenhus suggests taking a warm bath or shower before bed. This can help relax your body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep. Additionally, dimming the lights and turning off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime can also help prepare your mind for sleep.

In terms of creating a sleep-friendly environment, sleep therapist Theresa Schnorbach recommends keeping your bedroom cool and dark. Using black-out curtains or an eye mask can help block out any unwanted light, while a white noise machine or earplugs can be useful for drowning out any distractions.

Finally, if you’re having trouble falling asleep, experts suggest trying melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, and taking a melatonin supplement can help you feel ready to sleep when it’s bedtime.

By setting alarms and following these tips, you can ensure a better sleep schedule during the festive season, allowing you to enjoy the holidays while still getting enough rest.

4 Keep an eye on how much you’re eating

Eating too much during the festive season can lead to discomfort and disrupt your sleep. Avoid overindulging in heavy, rich foods, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. It may be tempting to indulge in all the delicious holiday treats, but be mindful of your portion sizes and try not to eat late in the evening.

Theresa Reisenhus, a sleep expert and coach, suggests planning your meals and snacks ahead of time to help you stick to a schedule. By having a clear plan, it becomes easier to make healthier choices and avoid overeating.

If you find yourself feeling tired or restless after a big meal, consider taking a short walk in the fresh air. The cool breeze and gentle exercise can help aid digestion and promote a more restful sleep later on.

It’s important to note that alcohol can also disrupt your sleep. Although a glass of wine or two may seem like a good idea to relax after a busy day, alcohol can actually interfere with your sleep hormone production and quality of sleep. If you do choose to have a drink, try to limit your intake and allow enough time before bedtime for the effects to wear off.

Another idea is to have a cup of herbal tea or warm milk before bed, which can promote relaxation and help you unwind. Avoid caffeine and stimulants in the evening, as they can keep you awake and alert.

Remember to listen to your body’s cues and be mindful of how much you’re eating. It’s okay to indulge a little during the festive season, but being mindful of your food choices and portion sizes can help ensure you get a good night’s rest.

5 Consume alcohol responsibly to prevent disrupting REM sleep

During the festive season, it’s common to indulge in a glass of wine or two to celebrate. However, consuming alcohol too close to bedtime can interfere with your sleep, especially REM sleep, which is important for restorative rest.

Alcohol may make you feel drowsy initially, but it can disrupt your sleep patterns and lead to restlessness during the night. It can also cause frequent awakenings, making it difficult to get enough uninterrupted sleep.

According to sleep experts, alcohol affects the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. When melatonin is disrupted, it can affect the quality and duration of your sleep. This can result in feeling groggy and tired the next day, despite having spent enough hours in bed.

To prevent alcohol from interfering with your sleep, here are some ideas:

  1. Limit your alcohol consumption: Instead of having multiple drinks, be mindful of your intake and consume alcohol in moderation.
  2. Avoid late-night drinking: Try to have your last alcoholic drink at least two to three hours before your intended bedtime. This allows your body enough time to metabolize the alcohol before you go to sleep.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water between alcoholic beverages to prevent dehydration, which can worsen the effects of alcohol on sleep.
  4. Consider alternatives: If you’re craving a festive drink but want to prioritize your sleep, opt for non-alcoholic alternatives such as mocktails or alcohol-free wine.
  5. Create a bedtime routine: Establish a wind-down routine that helps signal to your body that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. This can include activities such as taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques.

Remember, enjoying the festive season doesn’t mean sacrificing your sleep. By consuming alcohol responsibly and making some adjustments to your routine, you can ensure a good night’s sleep and wake up ready to fully enjoy the holidays.

6 Add essential oils to your bedtime routine to aid sleep

Adding essential oils to your bedtime routine can be a high effective way to improve your sleep during the festive period. Whether you’re feeling tired from a busy day of napping or just need a little help winding down, essential oils can provide a natural solution for a better night’s rest.

Thomas Schnorbach, a sleep coach and expert in the science of sleep, explains that essential oils can help create a more relaxing environment and promote feelings of calmness. “Essential oils have been used for centuries to help people relax and unwind,” says Schnorbach. “They can have a direct impact on our mood and help to balance hormone levels, particularly melatonin, which is key for a good night’s sleep.”

So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your sleep during the festive season, consider adding essential oils to your bedtime routine. Here’s what you need to know:

Choose the right essential oils

Choose the right essential oils

When selecting essential oils to aid sleep, it’s important to choose scents that are known for their calming and relaxing properties. Lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang are popular choices that can help promote a sense of tranquility and peace.

Incorporate essential oils into your routine

There are multiple ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils before bed. You can try diffusing them in your bedroom using an oil diffuser, adding a few drops to a warm bath, or using a rollerball to apply the oils directly to your skin. Experiment with different methods to find what works best for you.

Create a relaxing environment

In addition to using essential oils, creating a relaxing environment can further enhance your sleep. Try dimming the lights, playing calming music, or incorporating other soothing elements, such as a cozy blanket or a weighted blanket, into your bedtime routine.

Avoid stimulating activities before bed

It’s important to avoid stimulating activities, such as using electronic devices or engaging in intense exercise, in the hours leading up to bedtime. These activities can increase alertness and make it hard to wind down. Instead, opt for relaxing activities, such as reading a book or practicing gentle stretching.

Stick to a consistent sleep schedule

Experts suggest sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, even during the festive season. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, including weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and can make it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Limit daytime napping

If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, you might want to limit daytime naps. While a short nap can be beneficial for some people, napping for too long or too close to bedtime can interfere with your ability to sleep at night. If you do need to nap, aim for a maximum of 30 minutes in the early afternoon.

Incorporating essential oils into your bedtime routine can help create a more serene and relaxing environment, promoting better sleep during the festive season. Experiment with different oils and methods to find the combination that works best for you. With a little help from nature’s scents, you’ll be ready to curl up in your stocking and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

7 Get out of bed during the day and go outside for exercise

During the festive season, it’s common for many people to experience restlessness and have difficulty sleeping. The excitement, pressure, and busy schedule of the holidays can often leave individuals feeling wired and finding it hard to wind down at night.

One of the best ways to combat this restlessness and promote better sleep is to get out of bed during the day and go outside for exercise. According to sleep experts, physical activity during the day can help regulate your body’s melatonin levels, which is the hormone responsible for regulating sleep.

Going for a walk, jog, or engaging in any other form of exercise not only helps tire your body out, but it also helps improve your mood and reduce stress levels. This can be particularly important during the festive season when there may be added pressure and high expectations.

Even a little physical activity during the day can go a long way in improving your sleep. It doesn’t have to be a full-on workout; a brisk walk around the neighborhood or some light stretching can make a difference.

In fact, research conducted by Tempur shows that those who engage in physical activity during the day are more likely to have a better night’s sleep. In a study conducted by Tempur, it was found that individuals who exercised in the afternoon or evening slept significantly better than those who didn’t exercise at all.

So, make it a priority to get moving during the day, especially if you’ve been feeling restless or having trouble sleeping. The fresh air and natural sunlight can do wonders for your mood and overall well-being.

Additionally, if you find yourself feeling a little sluggish in the afternoon or evening, taking a short power nap can help rejuvenate your energy levels. However, experts recommend keeping the nap short and avoiding napping too close to bedtime, as this can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night.

All in all, getting out of bed during the day and going outside for exercise can significantly improve your sleep during the festive season. So, lace up your sneakers, head out into the gardens or parks, and enjoy the benefits of physical activity on your sleep.

8 Stay away from blue light before bed

One of the key factors that can affect your sleep quality during the festive season is exposure to blue light in the evening. Blue light is emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, as well as energy-efficient light bulbs.

Blue light can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. This can make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s especially important to avoid blue light in the evening, as it can interfere with your body’s natural circadian rhythm.

So, if you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during the holidays, it’s a good idea to limit your exposure to blue light in the evening.

Here are some simple ways to do that:

  1. Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bed. Instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV, try reading a book or listening to relaxing music.
  2. Use blue light-blocking glasses. These glasses filter out blue light and can help reduce the negative effects of blue light on sleep.
  3. Adjust the settings on your electronic devices. Many smartphones and tablets have a “night mode” or “night shift” setting that reduces the amount of blue light emitted.
  4. Replace energy-efficient light bulbs with warm, dim lights in your bedroom. These lights emit less blue light and create a more relaxing environment.
  5. Create a bedtime routine that doesn’t involve electronic devices. This could include activities such as taking a warm bath, practicing relaxation techniques, or journaling.
  6. Keep electronic devices out of your bedroom. If possible, charge your phone and other devices in another room to avoid the temptation to use them before bed.
  7. Consider using a blue light-filtering app or software on your electronic devices. These apps and software can automatically adjust the display settings to reduce blue light.
  8. Use thick curtains or blinds to block out external light sources, such as streetlights or Christmas lights outside your window.

By taking steps to reduce your exposure to blue light in the evening, you can improve your sleep quality and feel more rested during the festive season.

9 Avoid after dinner naps or keep them under 20 minutes

9 Avoid after dinner naps or keep them under 20 minutes

After enjoying a big dinner during the festive season, it can be tempting to curl up on the couch for a nap. However, taking a long nap after dinner can disrupt your sleeping schedule and make it harder to fall asleep at night. It’s best to avoid napping altogether or keep them short, under 20 minutes, to prevent any sleep disturbances.

Theresa Høegh, a sleep specialist from Tempur, explains that napping for too long in the afternoon can interfere with your body’s natural sleep drive and make it less likely for you to fall asleep at your desired bedtime. If you do need a nap, keep it short to avoid interfering with your sleep later in the night.

While napping can help make up for lost sleep, it’s important to be cautious about the timing and duration. Napping for longer periods can lead to a feeling of grogginess upon waking up, known as sleep inertia. This sluggish feeling can persist even after you’ve woken up, making it difficult to fully wake up and feel refreshed.

Making sure you don’t oversleep during an afternoon nap is crucial for maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and ensuring a good night’s rest. In addition, napping for too long can disrupt the optimal release of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wakefulness.

Dr. Guy Leschziner, a sleep medicine consultant at the London Bridge Hospital, explains that excessive napping can interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythm, causing confusion in the sleep-wake cycle. It’s important to maintain a consistent sleep schedule to promote healthy sleep patterns, especially during the festive season when routines can be disrupted.

So, if you find yourself feeling drowsy or tired after dinner, instead of taking a long nap, try some other activities that can help you relax and wind down before bed. Taking a warm bath, sipping a cup of herbal tea, or practicing some light stretching or breathing exercises can all help to calm your mind and body for a better night’s sleep.

To sum up, while it may be tempting to take a long nap after a big dinner, it’s best to avoid them or keep them under 20 minutes. Napping for too long can interfere with your sleep schedule and make it harder to fall asleep at night. Instead, try engaging in relaxing activities to wind down and prepare your body for a good night’s rest.

Why can’t I sleep during holidays

During the holidays, many people find it difficult to sleep well. This can be due to a variety of factors, including being away from home, having an irregular schedule, and being in a different environment. While it’s natural to want to enjoy the festive period and stay up late, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough rest to maintain your wellbeing.

One of the main reasons why people struggle to sleep during the holidays is because they are away from their usual sleeping conditions. This can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, the excitement and festivities of the holiday season can lead to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which can make it difficult to relax and unwind before bed.

Another thing to consider is the timing of holiday celebrations. Many holiday events and gatherings take place in the evening, which can disrupt your regular bedtime routine. Staying out late or eating heavy meals close to bedtime can also interfere with your sleep quality.

Experts recommend establishing a consistent sleep schedule, even during holidays. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even if you have a few late nights. It’s also important to create a sleep-friendly environment, such as keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and ensuring you have a comfortable mattress and pillows, such as those from Tempur. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can also help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.

If you’re having trouble sleeping during the holidays, there are several ways you can try to improve your sleep. Taking a warm bath or shower before bed can help relax your body and prepare you for sleep. Avoiding caffeine and heavy meals in the late afternoon and evening can also help. Additionally, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help calm your mind and promote better sleep.

Although it can be tempting to stay up late and enjoy the holiday festivities, prioritizing your sleep is important for your overall health and wellbeing. If you find that you’re consistently having trouble sleeping during the holidays, it may be helpful to consult a sleep specialist or coach for personalized advice.

In conclusion, while it’s natural to experience some restlessness during the holidays, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep. By maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensuring a sleep-friendly environment, you can increase your chances of getting a good night’s rest. So, make sleep a priority, even during the holiday season, and enjoy the festivities with a well-rested body and mind.

Why do I feel lazy during holidays

The holidays are often a time when people experience a sense of laziness and lack of motivation. This can make it hard to get anything done and may leave you feeling guilty or frustrated. So, why does this happen?

According to Theresa Schnorbach, a sleep specialist, the end-of-year holidays can disrupt our normal routines and sleep patterns. This can lead to feelings of fatigue and restlessness, making it difficult to stay on top of things.

During the festive period, many of us stay up late to enjoy the celebrations with friends and family. This can result in a lack of sleep and tiredness the next day. Additionally, the high levels of stress and excitement during this time can also affect our sleep quality.

One of the main factors that contribute to our laziness during the holidays is the disruption of our body’s natural circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When our sleep schedule is thrown off, our body may not produce enough melatonin, a hormone that helps us fall asleep. As a result, we may have trouble falling asleep at night and feel tired during the day.

Ways to combat holiday laziness

There are several strategies you can try to help you feel more energized and motivated during the holidays:

  1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: This can include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music.
  3. Make your sleep environment more comfortable: Invest in a good mattress, such as Tempur, and ensure your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark.
  4. Avoid late-night eating and drinking: Eating a heavy meal or consuming alcohol close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep.
  5. Limit daytime napping: If you feel tired during the day, take short power naps instead of longer ones.
  6. Get some exercise: Regular physical activity can help improve your sleep quality and boost your energy levels.
  7. Avoid screens before bed: The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with your sleep.

In addition to these sleep-related strategies, it’s also important to take breaks and give yourself some time to rest and recharge. This could include going for a walk in nature, spending time in your garden, or simply curling up with a good book.

Remember, it’s okay to take it easy during the holidays. Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy the festivities without feeling guilty about being lazy. By taking steps to prioritize your sleep and overall well-being, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the demands of the holiday season.

So, if you’re feeling tired and sluggish during the holidays, know that you’re not alone. By understanding the science behind these feelings and implementing some of the tips and ideas mentioned above, you can make the most of your holiday season and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.


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