Sleeping through the holidays

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Function.  Try not to use your bedroom for work activities, such as balancing the checkbook or studying. Make your bedroom a stress-free zone.
  4. 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.
  5. Temperature.  For most people cool is better than hot.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Cut back on or stop tobacco use. Nicotine, like caffeine, is a stimulant. It may cause problems with falling asleep, waking up, and nightmares.
  11. Avoid watching the clock. Set the alarm and place the clock out of sight. Constant checking can even cause insomnia.
  12. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Read a good book, listen to music, practice relaxation techniques, or take a warm bath.
  13. 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!

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