10 Sleep Tips To Help Improve Your Sleep

Written by Kate Butchino

You’ve managed to shop, bake, and hum your way through all of the holiday preparations. Your house may still be decorated with lights, filled with the aroma of delicious treats, and hopefully, some laughter echoed in the halls (we all need more of that these days). The holidays are both a blissful time for tradition and the most stressful time of the year for most of us — and what adds to that stress? Poor sleep.

Thankfully, you can enjoy the celebrations for this time of year while still catching those precious Zzz’s. Here are 10 tips to help you improve your sleep during (and after) the holiday season:

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1). Put your holiday lights on a timer.

Those beautiful lights both inside and outside your home can be disrupting your sleep! Sure, it’s getting darker out earlier but don’t let the twinkling of the lights disrupt your sleep! Instead, consider putting your holiday lights on a timer or make it a point to turn them all off an hour before heading to bed.

2). Limit your screen time.

Relaxing at the end of the day with your phone or a movie may seem like the best form of self-care. But the blue light glowing from your screen is reducing your production of melatonin (the wonderful sleep hormone). Try utilizing the blue light filter or wind down options for your screens or even putting your phone to bed and picking up the habit of reading a book or journal.

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3). Trouble falling asleep? Try out this technique.

Progressive relaxation is a great way to fall asleep fast! Here’s how to do it: once you have made yourself comfortable in bed, focus on your breath and relaxing each individual part of your body. Starting with the feet, moving up to the shins, thighs, hips, all the way up to the top of your head. Breathing out the tension, inviting in the relaxation. You’ll be asleep in no time!

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4). Avoid late afternoon treats that have sugar, alcohol, and/or caffeine.

Easier said than done, right? It is the holidays after all — a time for celebration and that celebration typically involves food and beverages. If you decide to indulge, limit the portion size, or enjoy your treats earlier on in the day! Balance out caffeine and/or alcoholic beverages by grabbing some extra water to rehydrate and dilute the effects of both.

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5). Warm feet for a deep night’s sleep.

Research has shown that putting on a pair of socks before bed helps the whole body relax and regulate body temperature to ease into some blissful slumber. If you’re not a fan of the extra layer, you can also opt to put an extra throw or blanket down on top of your feet for the same benefit.

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6). Stick to your bedtime routine.

Remember how when you were a kid, your parents were focused on getting you into the bedtime routine? That still rings true for you today. Having a routine that helps you wind down, whether it be stretching, pampering, reading, or meditating will help your body transition from the hustle and bustle of the day into rest mode.

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7). Do a brain dump.

With so much going on around the holidays, it can be overwhelming trying to orchestrate it all. By keeping a bedside journal or even just a few pieces of paper and a pen, unload the mental clutter of the day by taking a mental dump. Write out anything and everything that comes to mind — reflections of your day, things you still have left to do, how you are feeling. By writing it all out, it gets it off your mind without the worry of forgetting something.

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8). Have a cup of tea.

Tea has a therapeutic effect on most of us. With its warm, inviting hug, tea can also provide benefits when it comes to sleep. Go for a cup of chamomile, lavender, valerian root, or lemon balm based tea to relax from the inside out. Just be mindful if there is any caffeine — staying away from most black and green teas as they typically have caffeine in them.

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9). Keep your daytime naps short.

Getting less than 7 hours of sleep can make anyone feel like a zombie. If you find yourself getting less than 7 hours of sleep, sneaking in a nap is a great option! Be careful though — limit your naps to 30 minutes at most to get a boost of energy without impacting your sleep for the following night.

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10). Listen to some delta waves.

A quick search for sleep music will bring you thousands of interesting, relaxing pieces of music to fall asleep to. Look for ones that have delta waves incorporated in. Delta waves activate the deep sleep phase within your brain leading you to deeper, more restful sleep.

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