The holidays can be an extremely busy time of your year.
Between traveling and finishing your shopping, you still need to make sure that you are getting all of your everyday responsibilities taken care of.
It is important to remember to take care of yourself, especially with the added stress this time of the year.
One of the biggest aspects of your life that may suffer throughout the holidays is your sleep.
When you are losing precious time sleeping it can have a big impact on everything else that you do.
Lack of sleep has been attributed to a decrease in function of your immune system, digestive system, and your central nervous system.
Below are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of sleep so that you can handle the holidays and enjoy every second
1. Pay Attention to Your Circadian Rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is the natural cycle of alertness and sleepiness that your body experiences during a 24 hour time period.
It is governed by your body’s internal clock.
Getting in sync with the natural wakefulness and tiredness of your body and keeping a consistent sleep-wake routine should help you to get more quality sleep.
This can also increase your mental readiness throughout the day.
It should increase your feelings of being refreshed, alert, and energized when you are awake.
2. Turn Out the Lights
Your body produces a hormone called melatonin.
This hormone is secreted in your brain and is responsible for making you feel sleepy.
It is controlled by your exposure to light and dark.
So, when it is light out your brain produces less when it is light, and more when it is dark.
If you have electronics in your room which produce blue lights, such as tv’s, phones, and tablets, and you are regularly using them before and during sleep, it can trick your body into producing less melatonin.
This can result in a harder time falling and staying asleep which can even throw off your circadian rhythm.
Simply turning these devices off at night about 30 minutes before your bedtime can have a significant impact on your body’s production of melatonin.
It can ensure that you when you get to sleep, you stay asleep and get a full night of rest.
3. Optimize Your Bed
You should take the time to make sure that you have a comfortable bed that assists with getting you the best sleep throughout the night.
After all, you will spend approximately one-third of your life sleeping.
That’s a lot of time to spend in a bed that isn’t doing its best to help you sleep.
You may want to try to get fabrics that are moisture-wicking such as cotton, linen, silk, and bamboo.
This property allows these fabrics keep you comfortable through the night by absorbing excess moisture.
If you have allergies then it can be helpful to use pillow and mattress covers.
This should reduce your exposure to and protect you from allergens such as dust mites which make their home in your bed.
You can also use bed risers to help you with medical conditions or bring your bed up to a more comfortable height.
The benefits of bed risers include increasing your comfort level and relieving symptoms that can disrupt sleep.
They can be especially helpful when used to assist with medical conditions.
If you are dealing with acid reflux or even chronic snoring you can raise the head of the bed to decrease the severity of these problems.
If you have a lower-body injury calling for use of RICE protocols, then you can raise the foot of the bed to assist with your healing.
4. Watch What You Eat
With the holidays here, you can expect that the treats will arrive as well.
Be aware of when you indulge in refined carbs, sugary foods, big meals, and even alcohol as it relates to your bedtime.
This should help you avoid any of the side effects that eating right before bed can cause throughout the night.
You should try to eat earlier in the evening so that you have the appropriate time to digest and burn off an energy that could keep you awake instead of fostering sleep.
5. Wind Down Before Bed
Calming your body approximately 30 minutes before bed can have a significant impact on your ability to get to, and stay asleep.
It helps to reduce stress, anxiety and worrying which can keep your brain in a state of stimulation causing you to have a harder time falling asleep.
You can try including relaxing activities in your bedtime preparation such as reading under soft lights, light stretching, listening to an audiobook, or even taking a warm bath.
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