The holidays can be both an exciting and stressful time of the year. While you are looking forward to spending quality time with friends and family, you are also stressing out about all that has to get done before the holidays arrive. Whether it’s prepping your home for guests, buying presents for your loved ones, or dealing with the extra traffic or long lines at stores, sleep often gets forgotten. Without adequate rest, you may feel lethargic and moody. As a result, you may find yourself being unproductive and slow to complete all that is on the busy agenda for the day. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, here are five remedies to help you get more rest and relaxation during this busy time of year.
- Quit Binging and Start Reading
Does it seem like you’re checking your phone 24/7? Technology plays such a significant role in our lives these days. You might think it’s a good idea to unwind with your favorite TV show or movie before you go to bed. However, flashing images can stimulate your brain and make it tough to fall asleep when you turn the lights off. The blue light that electronic devices emit slows down the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep cycle. Using technology close to bedtime can trick your brain into thinking that it needs to stay awake. Try picking up your favorite book an hour or thirty minutes before you go to bed instead. While checking an e-mail or text right before bed may be unavoidable at times, do your best to limit usage. Eliminating use of electronics at least a half an hour before bed on a consistent basis is the key.
- Take a Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower or a bath before bed is a great way to prepare your body and your mind for quality sleep. It gives you the opportunity to relax after a long day. Furthermore, a rise in body temperature may induce sleepiness, so you will be ready to hop in bed post shower.
- Keep Work Activities Away From the Bedroom
If you work from home, or you find yourself putting in extra hours from home this holiday season, it’s a good idea to do so away from the bedroom. Associating your bedroom or, more specifically, your bed with anything other than sleep will make it hard to turn off your brain at night. Even if you have a desk in your bedroom, your mind may still equate the bedroom with work activities. Doing work in another room, such as a home office or living room, creates a separation between work activities and sleep, so you’ll be able to fall asleep faster and easier.
- Wear a Sleep Mask
If you find yourself waking up after the sun rises, wearing a sleep mask is a good idea. A sleep mask prevents you from seeing the natural light that brightens your room in the morning. It also prevents you from seeing the digital glare of electronic devices, like your alarm clock. When your brain senses darkness, it produces melatonin which helps you fall asleep. Sleep masks are typically quite affordable, which makes this remedy one of the simplest solutions to sleep-related problems.
- Limit Your Caffeine Intake in the Evening
Especially during the holidays, a good cup of coffee or tea gets you going in the morning and even after lunch, you may be tempted to reach for another pick-me-up. Try to prevent a second dose of caffeine in the late afternoon or the evening, as the extra energy makes it harder to fall asleep. The effects of caffeine are varied per person based on tolerance, weight, and even genetics, but the energy boost can last up to several hours. However, not all tea and coffee is caffeinated so you still have the option to enjoy these beverages in the evening. The warmth of decaf coffee or tea may provide a calming effect that relaxes you before bed.
While feeling overly stressed during the holidays is not uncommon, difficulty sleeping could be a more serious issue. If you are a snorer, you may wake up tired or unsatisfied. It is also possible that you are suffering from sleep apnea. Following best practices, like establishing a bedtime routine, dieting, and exercising regularly year round, promotes healthy sleep habits. If you are inefficient during the day, fall asleep easily, or you are constantly tired, make an appointment with us today.