It’s that time of the year again: December is here, bringing with it the many joys—and stresses—of the holidays. And as with any holiday season, it’s easy to let good habits lapse amidst all the excitement. After all, you’re trying to fit in holiday shopping, travel, and multiple parties, all while racing to accomplish anything you didn’t finish earlier in the year! December really is the perfect storm of activities, and more often than not, your sleep is what suffers.
Why You Don’t Want To Miss Out On Sleep In December
Think about it: Impending end-of-year deadlines, expensive shopping lists and travel, busy road conditions and hazardous weather, must-do family traditions—plus, masses of other stressed-out people walking the mall and driving the roads with you. You’ll want to be your best-rested self to successfully (and safely) navigate the holidays!
Ideally, you should prioritize a healthy sleep schedule all year, but December is an especially important time to be well-rested because stress levels are so much higher. Sleep will help manage these stress levels, as well as prevent daytime drowsiness, impaired cognitive function, and irritability, so you can actually enjoy the holiday season. The flip side is managing your stress will help you sleep better, too.
Managing Your Stress To Improve Your Sleep
For stress, try your best to minimize situations that might cause you to lose sleep. For example, don’t leave holiday shopping for Christmas Eve! Start early. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals starting as early as November 1st these days, you can chip away at your shopping list earlier and earlier (and from the comfort of your own home!) to spread out the expense and the task of shopping for and wrapping gifts. Order online to skip the lines, and get gifts delivered to your door. Many retailers even offer gift wrapping, so you can skip that step, too. Just be sure to order early and expect delays—after all, it’s the busiest month of the year for shipping companies, too!
For seasonal gatherings, try to manage expectations—especially with family. Be sure to share the responsibilities of hosting (potluck, anyone?), so you don’t burn out. Also, be aware of your time and energy limitations: Don’t agree to situations or activities that you know you won’t have the time or energy to enjoy. After all, you’ll want to be rested when January comes around, not exhausted.
Exercise Regularly To Keep The Good Sleep Coming
You’re also going to want to manage your exercise routine. It’s far too easy to let our healthy habits slide at the end of the year with a promise to start again in January. Exercise is one of the key ingredients to healthy sleep; maintaining a regular exercise regimen through December is a great way to manage caloric intake (especially with any gingerbread and eggnog you’ve added to your diet) and ensure that you’re getting enough rest.
By engaging in a regular exercise routine, you’ll burn calories, increase energy levels, improve your mood, and keep your brain healthy. And, of course, exercise is also going to help you sleep. With longer, more restful nights, you’ll feel more energized during the day—hopefully enough to help you power through your busy schedule!
Obviously, with company or bad weather, you may not have the chance to go for your usual run or gym workout. If you find yourself shorter on time than usual, just do what you can, whether it’s a walk around the neighbourhood to look at Christmas lights or a quick home workout with soup cans for weights! All movement is beneficial, so don’t make it all or nothing.
Having trouble sleeping this holiday season? We’re here to help. Book a complimentary consultation today so you can start the New Year well-rested and energized.
We wrote this post in reference to an article on Healthline. You can read the full article here.