12 Holiday Sleep Tips #5: Take a Deep Breath

According to the yearly tally, the gifts from the 12 Days of Christmas song would cost more than $101,000 this year.  Here at SleepBetter we’re giving you a gift that’s significantly less expensive, but in the long run will help you much, much more.  This is the fifth in our series of 12 Holiday Sleep Tips.  Find all of the tips published thus far by clicking here.

Tip #5: Take a Deep Breath

A lot of the tips thus far in our 12 Holiday Sleep Tips have been about stress, and rightfully so.  Stress over decorating, gift giving, visiting relatives, and many other problems steals a lot of our sleep this time of year.  We’ve given advice on not waiting until the last minute, delegating some tasks to other family members, and not waiting until the last minute.  But, how can you keep from laying awake at night even when you’ve tried all of that and are STILL stressed out?

There are a number of relaxation techniques that can help you get a better night’s rest in times of great stress, and even in times when you’re not stressed at all.  Before trying anything else, establish a calming bedtime routine.  Leading up to bedtime, keep the lights low and turn off the TV and other electronic distractions.  Try a bit of light reading or listening to calming music.  You may even consider a warm bath.

Once you’re in bed, a deep breathing exercise can be a fantastic way to relax.  Start by closing your eyes, then take a series of deep slow breaths … each deeper than the last.  You can also do a visualization exercise by picturing the most serene and calming activity you can imagine — perhaps a particularly enjoyable day at the beach.

The trick is to relax and calm your brain from all of the things that are stressing you.  The easier you can do that, the easier you’ll fall asleep.