How to Get Better Sleep During the Holidays

By: Matilda Davies Entertaining, Featured, Holiday, Sleep

Holidays bring plenty of joy and celebration, but also plenty of stress, lots of travel, and many long nights. By the time January rolls around, it’s not uncommon to be more sleep deprived than you were before Thanksgiving. But we believe that with a little planning, it can often be possible to get a good night’s sleep, so we’ve put together a list of ways you can stay well rested throughout the holidays.

Prioritize sleep

OK, easier said than done, right? But if you go into the holiday season telling yourself that you will make sleep a priority, you just might be able to make it happen. Keep a close eye on the calendar to ensure that it’s not filling up with late nights and early mornings, and if it begins to look like you’ll be spread too thin, remember that it’s OK to say no to invitations and engagements. If you feel like you’re running between social events, they just won’t be enjoyable anymore. 

If you have a partner or a spouse or a family, have an honest conversation about how much you’re willing to take on during the holidays. Make sure everyone understands that rest and relaxation will be a priority—and our guess is that you won’t hear many complaints with this.

Make sure your mattress isn’t the problem

Prioritizing sleep won’t do you much good if your mattress is getting in the way. You can find great mattresses at reasonable prices online, and many can be delivered within a week.

Here are some signs you need a new mattress:

  • Your mattress is visibly worn, has rips or stains
  • Your mattress is sagging in the middle or on the sides
  • You often find yourself sneezing or coughing at bedtime (which cold mean your mattress is holding onto allergens)
  • You wake up with lower back or joint pain
  • You wake up not feeling rested despite getting enough sleep
  • You toss and turn, finding it difficult to get comfortable or sleep through the night

Not sure where to start with a new mattress? We can help with that.

Use grocery delivery

If you’re typically the cook or the host, use the magic that is grocery delivery. Amazon Prime Now and Postmates offer same-day grocery delivery and most local grocery stores now offer curbside pickup. Use that time you got back to squeeze in a delicious holiday nap.

Try a sound machine

If you’ve never tried snoozing with a sound machine, now is the time. We like the ‘LectroFan EVO by Sound of Sleep, which plays white, pink, and brown noise and ocean sounds as well. It’s small, compact, and easy to use. This is one of our favorite ways to really get some good, deep sleep.

Be mindful of caffeine intake

The more caffeine you consume, the harder it will be for you to fall asleep at night. If you find yourself wanting another cup of coffee late in the day, try instead energy-rich snacks like trail mix, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, oranges, and dark chocolate.

If you love the ritual of a warm drink in the afternoon or evening, try caffeine-free coffee or hot tea, apple cider, or green tea (which does have caffeine, but still less than coffee).

And be mindful of your food habits

Though the holidays are the best time of year for great food, some of that holiday indulgence can get in the way of great sleep. Diets low in fiber and high in saturated fats and sugar can prevent healthy sleep, so please don’t skip the pie, just remember that moderation is the key.

Use your iPhone, but not too much

A poll by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that the use of interactive tech devices, like phones and tablets, in the hour before bed is most strongly associated with sleep complaints. It’s the blue and white light emitted by our phones, tablets, and laptops that prevent our brains from releasing melatonin, the hormone that tells your body that it’s time to sleep. So putting your phone away an hour before you go to bed can prevent your screen’s stimulating effects from disrupting your rest.

But, there are tools on your iPhone that can help facilitate better sleep. The Night Shift feature will switch your screen’s colors from cool to warm at sunset, and Bedtime can help you track your sleep patterns and help you make sure you’re getting enough.

Learn more: How to use your iPhone to get better sleep

Monitor alcohol consumption

Even though some of us like to reach for that nightcap to help us get to sleep faster, it can be harmful when it comes to deep sleep. Alcohol acts as a sedative, so it can help you fall asleep faster, but alcohol also interrupts your REM cycle, that deep, yummy sleep you get in the second half the night that helps you feel rested and restored in the morning.

The answer is certainly not to abstain from a few spirits during the holidays, but to limit your consumption to one or two drinks so that your sleep cycles are not affected.

Try CBD oil

CBD oil, or cannabidoil, is a compound found in hemp. It’s a non-psychoactive substance that is growing in its use for treating anxiety and depression. Medical uses like these are still being explored by the pros, but there is evidence that CBD can aid in the treatment of insomnia, but it should be noted that some experience alertness when taking CBD, so it’s best to test it in small amounts before you use it as a sleep aid.

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