Do the holidays give the gift of better sleep? Or do the lights and stresses keep you awake at night?
Happy holidays! The season is in FULL swing – the days are full of friends, family, gifts, plans, lights, good food, and maaaaaybe a little magic, if we’re lucky enough to see it.
The end of the year is a popular time to take vacations from work to spend time with the people who mean the most to us in the world for a number of reasons. As such, we hope to find time to relax and recoup from the stresses of the year.
However, despite not working, many people sleep less than normal during the holidays. SleepFoundation’s survey of over 1,000 adults in October of this year found that, despite reporting that Thanksgiving is the holiday during which they get the most sleep, they still sleep less than a normal day. So you can only imagine how little sleep people might get during the December holidays. Sleepopolis’s survey found something similar – that despite the obvious effects on their sleep schedule, they reported sleeping better over the holidays.
The Alaska Sleep Clinic found some popular reasons for people lose sleep during the holidays:
- Food & alcohol consumption – From cookies to eggnog to large holiday feasts, there are ample ways that food and alcohol can disrupt our schedules. Large meals eaten later than usual can inhibit your ability to sleep – or induce an unintended carb-coma.
- Stress, especially financial – stress and sleep go hand-in-hand – take a look at our April article to learn exactly how. Suffice to say, too much stress disrupts sleep, too little sleep causes stress… cue vicious cycle. And during the holidays, stress takes the form of expensive EVERYTHING, family drama, preparations, late nights, and more.
- Travel & disrupted routines – A survey conducted by Sleepopolis found that traveling and disrupted routines was the second-greatest source of pressure during the holidays (behind financial stress). Sleeping in hotels, with friends and family, and staying up later – or getting up earlier to travel long distances – combine with packed-solid days to destroy even the most solid routine.
But what can be done to keep your sleep schedule intact and your sleep quality high? Here’s how to safeguard your sleep during the holiday season:
- Limit overindulging on food and alcohol – no, you don’t necessarily have to do away with EVERY indulgence. But being careful with sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol in particular, and NOT eating them right before sleeping, will help you sleep more easily.
- Budget appropriately AND don’t discuss money before bed – this seems self-explanatory, but budgeting for gifts, travel, and food can be overwhelming. Be careful about purchasing decisions and stick to any plans you make. In addition, don’t talk about money before you go to bed. That’s a recipe for ruminating about dollars when you lay down.
- Keep as much of your routine in place as possible – from staying out late to waking up early to do special things, sleep schedules can get scattered around now. Do your best to keep as much of your routine in place as possible. Try to get up and go to bed around the same time, even if you’re not in your bed at home. Try to maintain your same wind-down routine, even if you’re not with your family or spouse. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to activities that overload your schedule.
- Check your mattress – the holidays are a time when lots of mattress retailers are putting on sales, so consider upgrading your mattress if it’s contributing to your tossing and turning!
This holiday, the best gift you can give to your loved ones – or yourselves! – is better sleep. So get a quality mattress at an affordable price from Wolf!