18 Dec 5 sleep tips to help you survive the Christmas period
As the 25th December draws nearer, your calendar is no doubt full of party plans, shopping trips and cosy family nights. But, with so much going on, it’s easy to let your sleep health take a backseat, which can make you feel tired and groggy and make it harder to feel that much-loved Christmas cheer.
Although it might be the last thing on your mind, you should be making sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep over the holiday period, and there are a few small changes you can make to your sleep schedule to help you feel fresh and awake without missing out on all of the festive fun. Below, we’ll be going through our expert sleep tips to help you stay well-rested over Christmas.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule
All the festivities can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule at this time of year. Your body relies on a regular routine to help keep you awake during the day and sleepy on an evening, which means a change in your routine can throw your sleep cycle out of whack.
The odd late night here and there usually doesn’t impact your sleep cycle too much but, over the festive season when you’re likely having more than one late night each week, it can cause a big disruption to your sleep pattern.
Going to bed 1–2 hours later wasn’t make too much of a difference, but any longer than this and it can cause severe disruption to your sleep cycle. So, try to aim for similar bedtimes each night. If this isn’t possible, try to sleep for the same amount of time each night, as this can help to keep you feeling rested, even if you’re going to bed and waking up at different times each day.
Try a relaxing routine
The excitement of the festive season can make it hard to fall asleep in the run up to Christmas day, especially with enthusiastic children wanting to wait up for Santa on Christmas Eve! So, you might want to try a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down and clear your mind.
Try having a warm bath and putting your cosy Christmas PJs on to help you prepare for bedtime. A warming drink like a herbal tea or a hot chocolate can also help everyone wind down, but go easy on the cream and marshmallows, as too much sugar could wake you up more. A bedtime story can make the perfect end-of day activity for the whole family, and it’ll get everyone feeling cosy and sleepy, so the children are more likely to fall asleep quicker.
Go out and get active
Over Christmas, the last thing on your mind will probably be exercise, but it can actually do wonders for your sleep health — and help you work off some of that Christmas pudding and turkey! So, try to get active where you can. A brisk walk around the neighbourhood can keep you feeling awake and happy during the day but sleepy by bedtime, so a Christmas Eve stroll will work wonders for wearing the kids out and getting them to sleep.
Create a relaxing environment
Your quality of sleep can be affected by external factors like temperature, light and noise, so you’ll need to make sure your bedroom is free of noise, light and at a cool 16–18°C to help you get the best night’s sleep.
You should also make sure your bed is comfortable enough. Your mattress should be providing you with enough support, without putting extra stress on pressure points, like your hips or shoulders. If you feel like your mattress isn’t giving you the right amount of support, it might be time to invest in a new one with a different firmness rating. Just take a look at our mattress buying guide to work out what would be the best option for you.
If you’ve got family staying over ready for Christmas day, you’ll also need to think about your guest bed. There’s nothing worse than having a bad night’s sleep from an uncomfortable mattress, but it can be difficult to find a mattress or mattress topper that will be perfect for every guest. However, a medium firmness is best for a wide range of sleeping positions so is the best bet for your guest room to help everyone feel fresh and festive the next morning.
Go easy on the mince pies
Over the Christmas season, it’s easy to overindulge a little on food and alcohol. But, while this might have you feeling merry in the moment, it can have a negative impact on your sleep. This is because eating a big meal just before you head to bed means your body is focussing on digesting your food rather than helping you go to sleep. So, try to avoid any big meals at least three hours before bedtime to avoid a restless night. Why not take a look at our previous blog post to find out more about how overindulging can affect your sleep?
With Christmas day drawing nearer, it’s easy to neglect your sleep a little. But, by following these five festive tips, you and your family can get a better night’s sleep this holiday season. For more expert guidance, check out the rest of our sleep blog, as well as our advice centre.