1. Spend time with your friends and children
Despite all the madness that surrounds Christmas and New Years, some holiday traditions actually help you sleep: Celebrating and connecting with your friends and family is an effective way to de-stress, preparing you for a better night’s rest. Women who have healthy friendships and positive relationships with their children sleep better. Exchanging gifts and catching up at holiday parties can boost your levels of oxytocin, a biochemical that blocks the body’s chief stress chemical, and will let you rest easier at night.
- Fit in a seasonal siesta
Studies show that one nap between 1:00 and 4:00 P.M. will reduce your sleep debt, invigorate your day, boost your productivity, and not affect your sleep at night. The nap can take up to 90 minutes. If you’re not naturally geared for napping, make sure to lie down for 20 minutes at the same time every day. Doing this will get your body used to the idea that you can relax in the middle of the day. Eventually, you’ll sleep. A quick nap in the afternoon will help you get some much-needed rest before you head out to celebrate more.
- Take a walk in the snow
Exercise improves sleep as effectively as benzodiazepines (drugs used to treat insomnia) in some studies. Studies from the University of Arizona show that women who even walked short distances, just six blocks, at a normal pace during the day found their sleep significantly improved.
- Relax before bed
The hour before bed is crucial to winding down so you can relax and finally snooze. According to the 2007 National Sleep Foundation poll, during the hour before bed, around 60 per cent of women do household chores, 37 percent take care of children, 36 percent do activities with other family members, 36 percent are on the Internet, and 21 percent do work related to their jobs. Add cooking, shopping and entertaining to that and the holiday season can set you up for some late nights. Travelling, having out-of-town visitors and an all-around busy agenda make it hard to predict your day-to-day schedule, but make sure to set that one hour aside so when the day is over, you’re ready for bed.
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