Top 10 Holiday Sleep Tips from The Bedtime Network
We all know that getting a healthy amount of sleep can be a struggle. The holiday season makes this even tougher for some of us as we might be traveling to see loved ones, heading on a vacation, or hosting family and friends at your place. To help us get our zzz's this holiday season, our Camp Reveille sleep experts Lisa Mercurio & Cindy Bressler from The Bedtime Network gave us some tips on how we can get a good nights sleep this holiday season!
The Bedtime Network's Top 10 Holiday Sleep Tips
10 – Traveling this holiday season? Planes trains and automobiles throw off tons of inadvertent light. Pack a good book but even more importantly, don’t forget your sleep mask. If traveling through multiple time zones and jet lag is a factor, check with your doctor and consider a bit of melatonin.
9 – Having guests? Why not make their bed first and sleep in it. If you’re really worried about your guests and their comfort zone, give the sleeping accommodations a whirl yourself. It’s the best way to discover whether or not the mattress is satisfactory, the room temperature is comfortable, and/or if you’ve forgotten something. We like to leave a choice of pillows for our visitors as well as a variety or choice of blankets. It’s hard to know what people like in advance, but just in case, a few extra throw blankets or an extra pillow can make the spirit bright. A bit of luscious foot cream (we like Sabon’s) on the nightstand along with a bottle of water will make it feel just like home (though at that point, they might not want to leave!)
8 – Wine, women and song: the party doesn’t have to end, even when you stop drinking. A woman’s body doesn’t process alcohol as efficiently as a man’s. Therefore, remember that a good night’s sleep is easily disrupted by alcohol if your consumption doesn’t stop at least two and preferably three hours prior to bedtime. Try to wrap it up earlier and you literally will be able to “sleep it off.” Insist on playing the party line to the end? Well, the old rules of hydrating with extra water will still help.
7 – Overeating: It’s hard for the body to multi-task, that is, to sleep while digesting an exceptionally heavy meal. Rich foods and desserts so commonplace at holiday time will not only wreak havoc with your waistline, but they’ll also disturb your sleep. Bedtime Network’s nutritionist Gayle Reichler recommends that you go light on protein and sugar and even consider having, “breakfast for dinner.” Check out her Holiday Recipes that won't make you sleepy.
6 – Exercise can go by the wayside during this busy holiday season, but it’s the best way to combat the extra calories as well as the added stress. If time is really tight and you find that you simply cannot get yourself to the gym, go out for a walk. The fresh air and added benefits of Vitamin D from sunlight will help regulate your sleep schedule.
5 – Keeping lists is always at the top of our list, but during the holidays, it can be virtually impossible to track your tasks, your gift giving and even your day-to-day responsibilities. Don’t let the “worry train” visit you at night when you start to re-trace your steps. Instead, keep a pad by your bedside to jot down those last minute ideas that cross your mind when there should be nothing but thoughts of sugar plum fairies.
4 – A warm bath before bedtime is not only a relaxing practice, but it also helps to establish communication between your brain and body. The warm water will raise your body temperature. Once you’re safely tucked under the covers, your body temperature drops and the brain will receive a natural signal to fall asleep. We love this as a ritual. During holiday time, add a few drops of essential lavender oil. Soak. Breathe. Release. Zzzzz.
3 – Turn off. We’re not talking about the road, but rather, the lights. The addition of computer screens, smart phones and all manner of devices are exposing us all to blue light which informs our brain that it is not time to sleep, even if it is. Try to limit your use of electronics 60 to 90 minutes before bedtime. This is a good practice even when the holidays are not in full swing.
2 – Night Moves. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. Chances are good that the tension between your shoulders is permeating your mood and your sleep. Tune into Elisabeth Halfpapp’s gentle nightly system for mind and body, Night Moves, and you’ll be sleeping better than your cat and dog.
1 – Do something kind for yourself that influences your sleep in a positive way each and every night. 15 minutes of meditation, breathing, and/or listening to music can make all the difference. We recommend BedtimeBeats – The Secret to Sleep as the ultimate music before bedtime. We also like the “Deep Sleep” app for iPhone by Dr. Andrew Johnson. Portable. Inexpensive. Non-addictive.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Love, The First Ladies of Sleep
Lisa and Cindy