How to get the sleep you need in the holidays

The holidays are stressful – you have shopping to do, you might have a house full of guests, and your social life is hectic. Before you know it, you’re getting to bed later and later, and your sleep goes for a ball of chalk.

Here are five ways you can get more sleep these holidays:

  1. Prioritise sleep – we do tend to forget how important it is. In fact, the busier you are, the more sleep you need, as sleep will noticeably improve your work performances, relationships, and general health.
  2. Leave your stress at the bedroom door – if you go to bed anxious, you’re not going to sleep very well. Create a bedtime ritual of calming activities – a bath, a book, some candlelight, saying a gratitude prayer, or writing in a gratitude journal..
  3. Watch your alcohol consumption – alcohol can wreak havoc on your sleep, despite the initial sleepiness you feel when you imbibe. Have a drink or two, and leave a good hour before you go to bed, after drinking.
  4. Don’t stop exercising – routine exercise is one of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep. It’s tempting to let your fitness routine slide, but it won’t be worth it in the long term.
  5. Don’t overdo the snacking, especially at night – despite the fact that the fridge is groaning from the weight of delicious leftovers. Certain types of foods can keep you from sleeping well: foods and drinks high in sugar and caffeine can keep you awake longer at night, and foods high in processed carbs can leave you feeling sluggish during the day. In addition, eating right before bed means your body has to focus on digestion instead of repairing and refreshing itself during sleep.