Sleep deprivation is a growing problem and the upcoming holidays make getting a good night’s sleep even more challenging for many people. With all the shopping, baking, decorating (not mention all of our regular duties) it’s no wonder we’re stretched thin and sacrificing sleep to get it all done. But at what cost?
The effects of lack of sleep deprivation are more dangerous than most of us realize.
People who are sleep deprived are more prone to traffic accidents but during the holidays, sleep deprivation can lead to depression and the inability to handle stressful situations. In short, lack of sleep can leave you barely surviving the holidays instead of thriving through them. Instead of being wrapped in glitter your Christmas celebrations are wrapped up in stress, which is no fun for anyone.
Despite the busyness of the season, there’s no better time to honor your sleep AND stress needs. It might mean excusing yourself from some activities early to ensure you get the rest you need but the key here is that you’ll be healthier and happier – which will make your family happier too. If you’re ready to give yourself the gift of sleep this Christmas, feel free to steal any (or all) of our sleep solutions.
Holiday parties can wreak havoc on an already stressed sleep schedule. Add in alcohol, rich foods and loud music and you’ve got a recipe for a restless night. If you can’t leave the party early, stop drinking alcohol 2 hours before you expect to sleep and find quieter areas to chat with friends. And for evenings that you’re not attending parties, tuck into bed early to pay back some of your sleep debt.
Your bedroom should be an electronic-free zone year round but during the holidays, force yourself to respect the boundaries religiously. Falling asleep is a process and your muscles need time to relax so your mind can release itself. Reading is a good way to relax but if you’re not a “booky” person, listen to gentle music or chat with your kids or bed partner quietly before turning out the light.
Studies show that people who nap regularly enjoy a boost in productivity and handle stress better. Your nap can be as short as 20 minutes, just long enough to recharge the batteries. Try a coffee-nap: Quickly drink a small cup of cool coffee. Enjoy a 20 minute nap. Caffeine takes approximately 20 minutes to hit your bloodstream, which means you enjoy the healing effects of sleep and wake up refreshed. Taken at the right time (no caffeine after 2 p.m.!), it won’t keep you awake at night.
Enjoy some sunlight, fresh air and exercise. Your mom told you to get outside and play when you were a kid because she knew it would perk up your appetite and ensure a good night’s sleep – for both of you. Take her advice to heart during the holidays and spend at least 20 minutes a day outside. Park further from the office or shopping mall or sneak in a short stroll before dinner.
Countless studies prove that when we spend time with friends and family, a biochemical in our bodies (oxytocin) gets a naturally healthy boost. That little chemical is solely responsible for blocking stress chemicals. So relaxing can actually lead to more relaxing. Sweet, right?
There’s a lot of truth to that old cliché, laughter’s the best medicine. Tune into Elf, Home Alone or Christmas Vacation while you’re wrapping gifts and you’re almost guaranteed a fast pass to a good night’s sleep afterward. Think a new mattress will help you sleep better this Christmas. We can help! Visit our Find a Retailer page and we’ll locate a store close by where you can lie on our mattresses and talk to a trained sales professional.
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