5 Sleep Tips for the Last Minute Holiday Rush

While Hanukkah has already come to a close, Christmas is next Tuesday.  What this means is that if you’re buying Christmas gifts or planning for visiting family, these next few days are likely to be chaotic and rushed.  One of the worst things you can do leading up to a big event (Christmas, exams, weddings, etc.) is make it harder by not getting enough sleep.  Here are five sleep tips to help you make the most of the holidays:

  1. Keep your schedule: Stick to your normal sleep schedule.  Throwing your body off kilter right now will only make you less productive.
  2. Use alcohol in moderation: A drink or two is one thing, but having more than that late in the evening will lead to sleep problems.
  3. Sleep cool: Winter doesn’t officially start until the 21st, but many places around the U.S. started early.  While it’s tempting to crank up the heat, be sure to turn it down to between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you go to bed.  For more information, check out our recent article on how cooler skin leads to better sleep.
  4. Be comfortable and rest while traveling: If you’re traveling to visit friends and family this year, dress in loose clothes and in layers so you’ll be comfortable. This is a good time to break out those sweat pants, for example.  If you’re flying or riding in a bus, or if you’re traveling by car and you’re not the driver, bring a travel pillow and use the time to try to catch up on some much-needed sleep. It’s a great way to make the trip go more quickly.
  5. Avoid rushing around before bedtime: During those few hours between the kids’ bedtime and yours, it’s tempting to rush around and try to get everything done.  Obviously this can be very productive time, but stop rushing a half hour to an hour before it’s time for you to go to bed. Have some wind down time by reading a book, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath. Rushing around frantically and then diving into bed isn’t a great way to get a good night’s sleep.

Most importantly, set your priorities right and enjoy this holiday season. It only comes once a year!