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Simple Tips to Sleep Soundly During the Holiday Stress

by Olly Mason

bright strings of holiday lights

‘Twas the night before holiday shopping, baking with the kids, putting up the house lights, preparing the home for family and guests, gift wrapping, and so much more.

The list of things to do during the holiday season goes on and on, and with every new to-do, it’s easy to feel the stress. Avoid making the naughty list with these tips that give your body, mind, and holiday spirit what they need the most during the holiday chaos: some quality sleep!

Let There Be Lights Out

Since they emit blue light that tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime, it’s recommended to turn off electronic devices such as your TV or smart phone be one hour before bedtime. But did you know the bright holiday lights from your neighbor’s elaborate Christmas display can also be the reason you’re finding it hard to get to sleep at night? In addition to an hour less of daylight from fall-time daylight saving, illumination from holiday lights can confuse your mind into thinking it’s daytime, triggering your body to become active.

Keep the peace at home (and between neighbors) by guarding your bedroom windows against light exposure during this holiday season. Opt for light-blocking curtains that you can draw during the day for extra sunlight and close at night to keep out the flashing of holiday displays.

For even more protection, go to bed equipped with a sleep mask. Studies have shown sleep masks are part of a healthy sleep routine, and since they’re relatively inexpensive, eye masks make a perfect stocking-stuffer for yourself without breaking the bank.

Woman sitting on her bed who’s just woken up from deep sleep with a sleep mask

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Planning

Stress is a major contributor to insomnia, and while there’s no shame in skipping a to-do in exchange for a little me-time, going to bed restless over what’s left undone for tomorrow creates unhealthy sleep habits.

As they say, the early bird gets the worm, and errands are no exception. In this case, the proverbial worm is all the extra time you’ll get in the evening by completing your to-dos before it’s time to call it a night.

Get into the habit of doing smaller errands more frequently at the start of your week when you’re naturally at high-energy. Instead of giving your kitchen a deep clean at the beginning of the week, use that time to bake holiday treats, get ahead on holiday cooking, or to set up an activity center where the kids can get messy throughout the week. This ensures you only need to do one thorough cleaning the day before guests and family arrive rather than a deep-clean every day, especially while kids are home during vacation or distance-learning.

Naps are Necessary—Even During the Holidays

With so much going on between gift shopping and going to events, it seems nabbing a few minutes to yourself during the holidays takes a miracle.

However, a good nap—which is anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes—is a healthy way to slow down and recharge before you’re off to the next thing to do. Combined with healthy sleeping habits (such as sleeping on the correct mattress type), naps are part of a good sleep routine.

Try napping:

  • Before 3 p.m.
  • In a dark room set to a comfortable temperature
  • With earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones
  • Using the nappuccino method

Dad naps at Christmas and is pestered by young family member

Plan Your Time Zones

Travel may be different this year, but jet lag is still the same. Even if you choose to travel by car this year, entering a different time zone can have a major effect on your sleep. Luckily, with a little preparation, you can arrive to your destination feeling festive. 

  • Make your destination’s time zone part of your at-home bedtime routine a week before traveling
  • For every time zone you travel across, anticipate one day for recovery
  • Don’t force yourself; allow your body to fall asleep naturally
  • Start your morning with 15 minutes of sunlight

Sleep is a Gift No Matter What Time of Year

Of course, even with all these tips, a quality mattress is essential for getting the restorative sleep you need to survive the holiday chaos. Whether a better sleep routine is part of your wish list or your New Year resolution, there’s no time like this season to experience the miracle of a new mattress. It’s not too late to start your holiday wish list—browse our catalog of trusted mattress brands online or at a store near you!