The holiday season is around the corner and though it’s filled with festivities and joyous moments it can also be a period of poor sleep. Make sure that you keep your spirits up and your stress levels down by prioritizing a good night’s sleep. Read our top tips for how to sleep better and you and make sure that you have holly, jolly Christmas!
1. CHRISTMAS STRESS
- The sleep challenge: Time pressure to finish up all work before the Christmas holiday, money worries about expensive gifts and stressing about finding a social schedule that fits everyone can lead to stressful times around the holiday season. In particular women are impacted by this and almost 1/3 of women report that they sleep poorly due to Christmas stress.
- The sleep solution: keep your stress at bay by making a to-do list before going to bed so that you can put your worries aside. Keep it by your bed so that you can add any new to-dos if you happen to wake up during the night. You can also try progressive muscle relaxation to try to calm down. Work through your body from your toes to the tip of your head, tensing each of your muscles as tightly as you can and then relaxing them completely.
2. DRINK AND BE MERRY
- The sleep challenge: During the holiday season there are more parties and social events than during almost any other time of the year. More parties often mean more alcohol. Drinking alcohol makes us sleepy at first but lowers our quality of sleep meaning that we often wake up tired and lacking in energy
- The sleep solution: keep track of your intake of alcohol during the holiday season and try to alternate with non-alcoholic drinks to make sure you are hydrated. If you want to have a glass/ beer it’s best to have it a few hours before going to bed.
3. EAT YOUR WAY TO A JOLLY CHRISTMAS
- The sleep challenge: During the festive season we tend to eat more and also have heavier meals and more sweets. If we eat big meals that are difficult to digest before going to bed our sleep quality suffers. For the best sleep possible we should give our metabolism a break during the night
- The sleep solution: try to have bigger meals in the middle of the day rather than just before going to bed. On the Christmas menu there are also some snooze food, for example nuts and turkey, that naturally contain tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that acts as a natural mood regulator, as well as a precursor to melatonin, and has been shown to boost sleep.
4. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
- The sleep challenge: the lack of light at the end of the year can result in our sleep-wake cycle being out of rhythm. As a result we might not naturally feel tired at night.
- The sleep solution: try to be outside in the middle of the day to get whatever exposure to light there is. Take a long walk and benefit positively from exercising as well. When we are exposed to sunlight our bodies start to produce vitamin D, which supports our immune system helping us to stave off those winter illnesses as well.
5. KEEP WARM BUT DON’T OVERHEAT
- The sleep challenge: central heating and improved insulation has resulted in our homes being 5°C/ 40 °F warmer than 40 years ago. This is comfortable during the day but can lead to a lower sleep quality.
- The sleep solution: For the ideal sleeping temperature we should keep the temperature in our bedrooms below 18°C/ 64 °F. Even if it’s cold outside it’s good to keep the window somewhat open to get some fresh, cold air. Use warm but breathable winter pyjamas to ensure that you neither get too cold nor overheat.
DAGSMEJAN’S WINTER PYJAMAS
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