I’m not trying to suggest that you actually sleep through the holidays but rather that you learn ways which may help you to get a great night’s rest during the holidays. As we all know, this time of year brings plenty of cheer, social interaction and let’s face it, stress, and getting a good night’s rest may be difficult to achieve. Here are a few simple steps you can follow that will have you sleeping like a baby!
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends, helps to develop a sleep-wake rhythm that encourages better sleep.
- Create a comfortable sleep environment. You can try to control a number of the elements in your bedroom that will promote good sleep such as:Light – Keep your bedroom as dark as possible. You might even consider wearing an eye mask.Comfort – A good mattress can improve the quality of sleep.
- Function. Try not to use your bedroom for work activities, such as balancing the checkbook or studying. Make your bedroom a stress-free zone.
- Reduce noise. Less noise means more sleep. You can reduce noise levels with rugs and drapes, earplugs, background “white” noise (such as a fan), or soothing music.
- Temperature. For most people cool is better than hot.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol may help you get to sleep, but it will make your sleep restless and uneasy. Caffeine – contained in tea, cola and chocolate, as well as coffee – is a stimulant and can cause problems for people trying to fall asleep.
- Watch your diet. A heavy meal or spicy foods before bedtime can lead to nighttime discomfort and fluids can require disruptive trips to the bathroom. A light snack, however, can prevent hunger pangs and help you sleep better.
- Get out of bed if you’re not sleeping. If you don’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, get up. Get back into bed only when you feel sleepy.
- Exercise regularly. Exercising in the afternoon – at least three hours before bedtime, so you won’t be too “revved up” – will help you get a deeper, more restful sleep.
- Cut back on or stop tobacco use. Nicotine, like caffeine, is a stimulant. It may cause problems with falling asleep, waking up, and nightmares.
- Avoid watching the clock. Set the alarm and place the clock out of sight. Constant checking can even cause insomnia.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Read a good book, listen to music, practice relaxation techniques, or take a warm bath.
- Talk to your doctor. Discuss your sleep problems with your doctor and discover if prescription of a sleep aid is appropriate for you.
If you think about it, these tips can help all year long. No one needs a special occasion or holiday to get a good night’s rest…. why not start now? Sweet dreams!