How to Get Better Sleep during the Holidays

Sleep during the holidays

It’s the time for family, food, and fun! You just woke up early so you could jet set across the country for those festive family gatherings, but all of that disruption to your routine can throw off the sleep schedule that you’ve been working so hard to foster. Try these tried and true tips for getting the rest you need this holiday season while still being able to enjoy all the togetherness that the season is known for.

Tip 1: Schedule Later Flights
It’s very tempting to take the Red-Eye and make it to your destination ahead of schedule but it may be better for your internal clock to keep your sleep schedule the same.[1] Try an early morning flight that allows you to get to the airport, have breakfast and settle in peacefully without having the added pressure of the early morning hours. If you absolutely must travel early (or late), make sure to hit the bed at a proper time the night before. [2]

Tip 2: Cook Ahead of Time
There’s nothing harder than recovering from Thanksgiving or Holiday cooking. If you don’t do it right, you can be up for days trying to prepare a meal that only lasts a few hours. Instead, check out recipes for meal preparation that starts ahead of time. Incorporate some casseroles or host a potluck Thanksgiving instead. The added hours you’ll gain from being prepared will keep your sleep hygiene at a maximum level.

Tip 3: Shop Online
Oh Black Friday and your ravenous deals! Heading to the store can be a real drain on your sleep, especially if you have to wake up or stay up to get the deal you seek. Try instead to sleep in and check out Cyber Monday instead. That way, you won’t have to deal with the crowds and you can still get in plenty of Zzzzs.

Tip 4: Choose Wisely
The holiday season can bring a slew of dinner party invites and nights out on the town. And each time you go, you know you might eat and drink too much and stay up way past your bedtime. Instead make a plan to attend only the nights that are the most important and agree ahead of time to drink plenty of water, choose healthy items on the buffet and head out in enough time not to cause a sleep deficit. Try to avoid drinking alcohol and eating right before bedtime as well, as these disrupt your nightly sleep cycle. [3]

Tip 5: Take a Nap
One great thing about the holidays is having a few days off to just rest around the house. Use this time to your advantage and try to take a daily nap.[4] As long as the nap doesn’t interfere with your nightly sleep cycle, it can be a great way to reclaim some lost sleep hours and battle the fatigue that comes with the holiday season. Plus, all those carbs in those large meals will work as a sleep aid to help you nod off.[5]

After all, you don’t want to be a total Grinch! The holiday season only rolls around once and you want to make the most of it. But just remember to plan ahead and take steps to reduce sleep loss during this very busy season. Happy Holidays!

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