Protect Sleep, Conquer the Holidays 

Protect Sleep, Conquer the Holidays 

Usually the holidays are a time to reflect on the good in our lives, take a break and spend time, even if only virtually, with our loved ones. However, for many of us, this time of year means extra stress, which negatively impacts our sleep. 

With COVID-19 ever present, the stress and lack of sleep has been exacerbated. It is more critical than ever to partake in sleep care

According to a 2016 stress study by the American Psychological Association, the most common stressors among Americans were family and money. These stressors are never more present than during the holidays. If you are a Black American, Hispanic American or Asian American, family and money are even more significant sources of stress due to higher unemployment rates and chronic discrimination. 

Why is it important to manage sleep properly during the holidays with COVID-19?

Sleep is the foundation of health. When we receive proper sleep, we are better equipped to deal with the hustle and common stressors of the holidays.

When you receive proper sleep, you have less mood swings and have an increase in patience, concentration and creativity. Proper sleep nourishes  a strong immune system, which is absolutely necessary as temperatures drop and flu and COVID-19 ramp up. 

When we sleep well, we eat well. We are less likely to overeat when we are well rested, which is crucial for those large family holiday meals.  

You might not exercise as much during the holidays or eat as healthy as you should, but sleep should not waver. Keep it simple. 

It is imperative we invest in sleep care and manage our sleep properly during the holiday season. Here are some sleep care tips:  

  • Bedtime and wake up time should be as consistent as possible. This is the most effective way to improve sleep quality. Your body learns a schedule, allowing it to fall asleep faster and remain in deep sleep.
  • Maintain your nightly ritual (even if you are traveling). Consistent, daily sleep rituals reduce anxiety and stress because there is grounding to repeating practices day in and day out. Our routine provides an outline, a plan for our night, a plan for quality sleep. 
  • Beware of late-in-the-day naps or naps longer than 20-30 minutes. Naps are tempting during the holiday vacation or day-long family gatherings. But, avoid naps late in the day or long naps as they disrupt sleep at night. Best time for a nap? Right after lunch, around 1pm. 

Keep sleep your number one priority this holiday season so you can start the new year off strong!

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