Holidays Keeping You Up?

Does the holiday season have visions of sugar plums dancing through your head? Or maybe instead, it’s your unfinished Christmas list, your overwhelmed schedule or stressful visits from family. Regardless of what has your mind racing, if you find yourself adding “sleep” to your list for Santa, you aren’t alone.

Don’t allow the excitement and stress of the holiday season to rob you of precious ZZZZ’s.

  • Incorporate massage.
Massage releases the chemical serotonin, which causes the body to relax. It can also decrease depression, stress and pain, leading to higher quality sleep.
  • Increase your exposure to daylight.
Bright, natural light helps encourage a healthy circadian rhythm. It not only helps increase sleep quality and duration, but also supports daytime energy.
  • Keep wake and sleep times consistent.
Inconsistent sleep can alter your circadian rhythm and may reduce melatonin levels. Keep sleep patterns consistent, even over the weekend. Avoid napping, especially long and intermittent naps.
  • Consider a supplement.
Melatonin, Ginkgo biloba, Valerian root, Magnesium or Lavender can aid in obtaining quality sleep and relaxation. Always check with a doctor before adding a supplement to your diet.
  • Avoid or decrease alcohol consumption.
Several studies have shown that alcohol can alter melatonin levels, increase symptoms of sleep apnea and disrupt sleep patterns. If you choose to have a drink, stick to earlier in the day for better sleep.
  • Set a comfortable bedroom temperature.
Optimal temperatures for sleep will vary by person. However, many people report that their most comfortable sleep occurs between 60-68 degrees.
  • Exercise during the day.
Daytime exercise can increase the amount of time spent in nighttime deep sleep, which supports immune and cardiac health and reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise should be done at lease 3-4 hours before bedtime.
  • Turn your clock.
Watching the clock throughout the night disrupts sleep and increases anxiety and stress. Situate the clock, so that the time is not visible.