The holiday season is a time of indulgence. We feast on delicious meals, sip on festive drinks, and stay up way past our bedtime. But these changes to our sleep schedule can have a negative impact on our well-being, making the entire holiday season feel less enjoyable. That's why it's important to follow these four health sleep tips to prioritize your health during this festive time.
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1. Stick to Your Sleep Schedule
During the rest of the year, our jobs and responsibilities tend to keep our schedules on track. That includes the hours that we sleep. During the holiday months, though, when we are more prone to work different hours or take time off work, we may find it more challenging to stick to a sleep schedule.
Evidence is clear that maintaining a sleep schedule is the best way to guard your rest.
Sacrificing quality sleep for a few more hours of fun isn't worth it. You'll likely be crankier and unable to fully enjoy the festivities. Whether you're less tired or more tired, train your brain to stick to its normal sleep/wake cycle. That way, you won't miss out on quality sleep and quality time with your loved ones.
2. Maintain, Don't Gain
One of our favorite aspects of the holiday season is the meals, treats, and snacks that we enjoy this time of year. If you want to sleep well, however, you'll want to avoid piling up your plates too high over the holidays. Maintaining your current weight will go a long way toward helping you guard your rest.
This has little to do with an ideal body size and more to do with giving your body the consistency it needs to ensure a good night's sleep.
Overeating can also lead to gas and bloating, which can make for an uncomfortable night. The same goes for indigestion and heartburn. So take care as you feast over the holidays.
3. Slip In "Sleep" Foods
Do you find sleep less than satisfactory over the holidays? It could be due to the nature of the food you're eating.
When you alter your diet, you may find your sleep suffers as a result.
The good news is that certain foods are known to help foster a good night's sleep:
- Warm milk
Adding these to your meals can help increase the sleep hormones melatonin and serotonin and help you sleep this holiday season.
4. Find Warm Ways to Exercise
Though the temperatures are dropping, you can still find ways to move your body and stay warm.
Here are some fun, warm alternatives to exercising outdoors if it’s too cold:
- Stay inside and dance to your favorite song.
- Try a workout DVD.
- Walk or run on a treadmill.
- Join a local gym with fitness classes.
- Lift a few hand weights.
Exercise and activity during the day help move you toward a healthy mind and a restful night.
Getting your workout in at least an hour before bedtime can give you ample time to cool down and relax before it's time to slip between the sheets.
Prioritizing your sleep during the holiday season is essential for maintaining your well-being and enjoying the festivities to the fullest. By sticking to your sleep schedule, maintaining your weight, incorporating sleep-friendly foods into your meals, and finding ways to exercise, you can ensure a restful and rejuvenating holiday season. But remember to strike a balance between indulging in holiday treats and taking care of your body's needs.