Holidays mean time for family, food, and fun, but sometimes they also mean putting sleep on the back burner. Between getting jet lagged from family travels to putting your body through longer days of work and festivities, sleep deprivation is something many of us suffer from during the holidays. Not to mention, many people already have trouble sleeping in winter. We’ve got a few tried and true tips for getting all the rest you need this holiday season, so you can still enjoy all the parties, family outings, and delicious meals this time of year is known for.
Tip 1: Schedule Later Flights
It’s very tempting to take those red-eye flights and make it to your destination ahead of schedule, but it may be better for your internal clock to keep your sleep schedule consistent. Try a morning flight that allows you to get to the airport, have breakfast and settle in peacefully. If you absolutely must travel early (or late), consider bringing a travel neck pillow and make sure to hit the bed at a proper time the night before.
Tip 2: Cook Ahead of Time
Cooking for the holidays can be stressful and time-consuming, and can even infringe on your beauty rest. If you don’t do it right, you can be up for days trying to prepare a meal that only lasts a few hours. Instead, check out recipes for meal preparation that starts ahead of time. Incorporate some casseroles or host a potluck Thanksgiving instead. The added hours you’ll gain from being prepared will keep your sleep schedule and quality of rest in check.
Tip 3: Shop Online
Who doesn’t love a good deal on Black Friday! Heading to the store can be incredibly draining on your sleep, especially if you have to wake up or stay up to get the best deals. Try instead to sleep in and check out the online deals during Cyber Monday instead. That way, you won’t have to deal with the crowds, and you can still get in plenty of zzzs.
Tip 4: Choose Wisely
The holiday season can bring a slew of dinner party invites and nights out on the town. And each time you go, you know you might eat and drink too much and stay up way past your bedtime. Instead, make a plan to attend only the nights that are the most important and agree ahead of time to drink plenty of water, choose healthy items on the buffet and leave the party at a reasonable time. Try to avoid drinking alcohol and eating right before bedtime as well, as these disrupt your nightly sleep cycle.
Tip 5: Take a Nap
One great thing about the holidays is having a few days off to just rest around the house. Use this time to your advantage and try to take a daily nap. As long as the nap doesn’t interfere with your nightly sleep cycle, it can be a great way to reclaim some lost sleep hours and battle the fatigue that comes with the holiday season. Plus, all those carbs in those large meals will work as a sleep aid to help you nod off.
After all, you don’t want to be a total Grinch! The holiday season only rolls around once a year, and you want to make the most of it. Just remember to plan ahead and take steps to reduce sleep loss during this very busy season. Happy Holidays!