The end of Daylight Savings Time in early November is only the start of the schedule shake-up most of us experience during the Holiday Season. Shopping, parties, time off work, traveling, eating and drinking more than usual, cooking, cleaning for guests, and wrapping gifts are only the beginning of the extra items added to your everyday life. Clearly, all of this has a big effect on how you feel.
How the Holiday Season Affects Your Sleep
Chances are pretty good that your daily life in December is nothing like it was in August. Whenever your daily routine is off, your sleep schedule probably is too. You may be stressed about gift-giving and getting all of your cooking done. You may have guests coming into town, parties to plan, and Holiday cards to send out. Not to mention, a busy day often means little exercise. Plus, there are plenty of sugary snacks within reach. All of this affects your slumber! Maybe you’re staying up too late to get it all done or celebrating the festivities. Perhaps you’re more anxious than usual, so it’s taking longer to fall asleep. No doubt, your kids are too excited to let you sleep in. In a time like this, knowing how to fix your sleep schedule is more important than ever. We have the tips and healthy living advice you need, so the deep, restorative sleep your body craves is no longer elusive.
Understanding How Your Sleep Clock Works
Before we go into a few helpful tips, let’s first discuss why it matters. A healthy adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep a night. It isn’t just how much you sleep, but also when. Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energized and drowsy around the same times every day? This is your circadian rhythm at work. Different people have different sleep schedules, and this is perfectly fine. The key is to find the best sleep schedule for you.
It helps to stick to a bedtime and wake up routine as much as possible, even if your daily schedule isn’t as strict during the Holiday Season as it typically is. When things get in the way, like staying up late wrapping gifts or watching your favorite Hallmark Channel movie, this can disrupt your circadian rhythm. It will make you feel out of sorts and make it harder to pay attention, feel rested, and be in a good mood- even if you technically got the full eight hours.
If you stayed up until 3 am and then slept until nearly noon, how would you feel? Most people would say they’d expect to feel tired, grumpy, and sick. That’s because this isn’t the best sleep schedule for you. A party here and there isn’t going to ruin your health, but making a habit of ignoring how your body feels for three months at a time is a surefire way to feel lousy. With this in mind, let’s get to the good part: how to feel healthy, happy, and cheery all Holiday Season long!
Tip #1 Keep Your Bedroom Cool, Dark, and Quiet
If your bedroom isn’t right, you’ll have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. It all starts with your mattress, but it doesn’t end there. You want your bedroom to be cool, dark, and quiet. That is the perfect sleep environment. Beyond this, everything from your light fixtures to your wall color to the smells in the room will affect how much sleep you get and how restful it is. It is important to experiment with what works best for you to create your own slumber oasis.
Tip #2 Take Gradual Steps
There’s no magic trick that will immediately fix a sleep schedule in one night. Like any other health adjustment, it will be more successful if you take it slowly and make it a lifestyle change. For instance, you may need help falling asleep earlier, so you decide to read a book instead of scrolling social media in bed. You may not fall asleep instantly the first time, but soon it will be easier to feel sleepy as soon as you crawl into bed.
In fact, your poor Holiday Season sleep habits probably started just the same way! Maybe one night you thought, “I have the day off tomorrow, so I can stay up an hour later tonight and get some online shopping done.” As the days went on, you added on one more hour. A few weeks later, you’re staying up far too late each night and grumpy every morning.
It’s important to get back into a healthy bedtime routine or begin one for the first time. For starters, turn off the TV and any other screens two hours before bedtime. If you find yourself wide awake, try writing in a journal. Stop or cut back on smoking, alcohol, and late-in-the-day caffeine. You don’t need to do all of these on day one; slowly try out healthier habits and see what feels right to you.
Tip #3 Practice Healthy Living
Sorry to say it, but diet and exercise are just as important during the Holiday Season! Be sure to get into a daily exercise routine, as this will help you feel more tired. Studies show that regular exercise promotes a healthy sleep schedule and helps regulate your circadian rhythm. Research also shows that poor sleep can contribute to lower physical activity levels, creating an unhealthy cycle. Now is the time to break free from this cycle and ensure that you have plenty of activity in your day.
As well, studies show that eating spicy or heavy food too late in the evening correlates with negative impacts on sleep quality. This is tough to avoid during the Holiday Season, we know! Just the same as staying up late, don’t beat yourself up for missing the mark one or two nights during this time of the year. It’s very important for your mental health that you’re able to enjoy yourself. That being said, as often as you can, eat a healthy dinner early enough in the evening that your body is finished digesting it when you’re ready to fall asleep.
Are You on the Right Mattress for Your Needs?
Your sleep routine is only going to be as good as your mattress! It is important to realize that learning how to adjust a sleep schedule won’t work if the reason you can’t fall asleep is due to an uncomfortable, old, or unsupportive mattress. No amount of bubble baths or journaling will fix what a bad mattress is doing to your night!
You know you’re going to be getting up early, especially if you have little ones in your life. They’re so excited! You can’t sleep in, so this makes going to sleep on time crucial. Are you on the right mattress for your needs? What you’re looking for is a premium, hand-made mattress. That is PranaSleep! The right luxury mattress for you will be both comfortable and supportive. We encourage you to shop our entire collection of premium mattresses and find the one that’s right for you.
This Holiday Season, you deserve and need good sleep. The right PranaSleep mattress will make getting into a healthy sleep routine possible. You’ll be refreshed and revitalized each morning. This will be the best Holiday Season yet!