I don’t consider myself a procrastinator. Yet, I have barely made a dent in my holiday shopping. I have no time or energy to make any handmade gifts (although I love all things handmade). The stress of my growing to-do list would give most people sleepless nights. So, here I am researching and writing about how to survive the holiday season with these simple tips:
1. Keep your same sleep schedule
Maybe it’s denial, but the one thing I didn’t compromise is my sleep. Because of my sleep tracking history, I know I need seven hours of sleep to function during the day. Knowing how much sleep you need is crucial to being productive and healthy. Sleep apps track your sleep and help you create a healthy sleep schedule.
2. Create a sleep haven
Artificial light after dark can send wake-up messages to the brain, suppressing the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. (http://sleepfoundation.org/bedroom/see.php)
Keeping your bedroom clean, quiet, cool, and dark will help to create an ideal sleep haven. The ideal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees, but everyone has their own optimal sleep temperature. I don’t have air-conditioning, so I leave my windows open to welcome cool, fresh air. And although I love Christmas lights, I don’t have any upstairs so my bedroom can remain dark for optimal sleep.
Alcohol might make you drowsy and help you fall asleep, but it can actually make it harder to sleep deeply and continuously throughout the night and should be avoided in the hours before bed. As you know, caffeine is a stimulant and it’s effect on the body lasts many hours, so it is best not to consume it after the mid-afternoon. (http://sleepfoundation.org/bedroom/taste.php)
This may prove to be very difficult if you are frequenting many holiday parties. So if you can’t avoid it completely, limit yourself.
4. Keep your mind calm
For those who have insomnia because of holiday stress, keep a notepad or cellphone near your bed so you can jot your “to-do’s.” Studies say that writing things down will free your mind and help you relax.
Can’t stop your mind from racing at night? Pick up a pencil and paper and write down all of your concerns and anxieties on a physical list in the evening.(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/27/stress-less-challenge-sleep_n_3157927.html)
5. Get exercise
Proper exercise aids to better sleep so don’t let the holidays derail your exercise routine. Instead, walk from store to store, instead of driving.
Are you letting the holidays rob you of your sleep? What steps can you take today to get proper sleep and enjoy the holiday season?
For more information on improving your sleep, talk to a Bedding Specialist at SlumberWorld.
Written by Terri Dux, copywriter/graphic artist for C. S. Wo & Sons, parent company of SlumberWorld.