When it comes to Christmas, how to sleep well is probably the last thing most of us think of - because for the most part, Christmas is all about the fun. But, alongside the late nights, rich party food (read: chocolate for breakfast and canapés for dinner) and flowing alcohol, come sleepless nights and exhausted mornings. If you find your sleep pattern is in disarray this festive season and you struggle to get a good night's sleep, you're not alone.
Speaking in broad terms, we're an under-slept society that tries to push sleep into the background; so we should take advantage of periods where we can get more sleep. Are you wondering how you can sleep well this holiday season? Read on to find out!
Stick To Your Regular Sleep Ritual
It's easy to feel like it's worth it to stay up late during the holidays to catch up with old friends and family from out of town, but those late nights can still wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. That's why, as hard as it may seem to do, you should keep your regular sleep ritual.
You want to spend every moment of the holidays bright eyed and bushy tailed, but that won't be possible if you're not getting your regular sleep. Sure, it's okay to stay up a little late during the holidays, but try to limit it to no more than an hour off of your regular schedule.
Drink In Moderation
Your annual Christmas party is probably the highlight of your year - making it all the easier to loosen up with a few too many proseccos!
While it's true that alcohol makes you drowsy and can help you fall asleep faster, it also disturbs your rest and diminishes the quality of your sleep. Alcohol also decreases the amount REM sleep where dreaming occurs, memories are stored, and learning occurs.
Take A Strategic Nap After Your Food Coma
Leon Lack, a professor at Flinders University's School of Psychology says that a 10-20 minute nap is all you need after a big Christmas lunch to feel refreshed, and recommended setting an alarm for 20 minutes and no more. If you sleep for half an hour or longer, then that's much more likely to interfere a bit with your sleep at night-time.
Keep Up Your Exercise
Routine exercise is one of the greatest promoters of good, quality sleep. While it may be tempting to take a few days (or weeks) off your fitness routines, and put exercise off until it's time to make your New Year's resolution, don't do it. Exercise is not only great for the body, but the mind as well, and it can go a long way towards helping you keep your head clear of all your holiday stresses.
Go To Bed Before Santa
Everyone knows Santa doesn't visit those who stay up and wait. So make sure you're in bed and counting sheep well before Santa is on his way, or else you'll be up all night!
Depending on where you live, the holidays may mean a change into a warmer or cooler season. Remember that it's important to change your Sleep Rituals with the weather. Not sure where to start? Follow our guides to building your Summer and Winter Sleep Rituals.