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‘Tis the season of festive cheer, but with it can come a certain amount of stress. From Christmas card writing to family politics, present buying to ‘the big food shop’ - there’s lots involved.
And while there’s plenty to cheer about (family time, a break from work, delicious food, winter walks), there’s no denying that our sleep can be disrupted in December. A combo of over indulgence and never ending to-do lists can leave us tossing and turning, watching the hours tick by.
This mixture of excitement and stress is never a good recipe for a sound night’s sleep.
In fact, 27% of people report to have disturbed sleep in the run up to the big day.
This blog is here to help you get the best gift of all this Christmas - sleep! Let’s unwrap (ahem) the secrets to making sure you enjoy both the festivities and a good night’s kip this season…
The importance of sleep at Christmas time
Everything is better with good sleep - and this rings even more true at Christmas time. With good sleep, you’ll be:
Less irritable - Certain family member rubbing you up the wrong way? You’re much more likely to bite your tongue and let it wash over you when you’ve been sleeping well.
More positive - You’ll have a brighter outlook and a spring in your step when you’re well rested.
Less likely to over indulge - Bad sleep means we’re more likely to gorge - it’s a scientific fact that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain.
Less likely to get ill - Good sleep keeps your immune system in tip-top shape, meaning you’re less likely to pick up whatever bug is ‘going around’ at Christmas time.
The build up to Christmas Day
The pre-Christmas rush can be a rollercoaster of emotions. From the excitement of your work’s do to worrying about how to cook the perfect roast potato, it's no wonder our sleep can be affected. So, how do you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night?
Start by giving sleep the credit it deserves. Amongst the chaos of Christmas planning, remember that sleep is the cornerstone of your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Those late-night worries won't solve themselves, but a well-rested mind is better equipped to tackle them.
Here’s 8 ways to sleep better in the run-up to Christmas:
Lists are your sleep’s best friend. When everything is written down in bite-sized chunks, it’s so much more manageable. Make lists and make sub-category lists, then tick everything off as you go. Keep a pen and paper by your bed, use the Reminders app on your phone or download a list tool like Asana and assign other people tasks by due-date. Remember to delegate!
Don’t forget to wind down. Give yourself a solid 45 minutes to wind down, putting aside the Christmas worries. Read a book, indulge in a warm bath, or listen to your favourite podcast, book or soothing tunes on our Luxury Bluetooth Sleep Mask Headphones. It's all about creating the right atmosphere for a blissful night's sleep.
Take a breather before bedtime. Incorporating mindful breathing techniques for sleep into your bedtime routine is a powerful tool - and it’s free and accessible to all! Take a look at our blog for an indepth look at breathing exercises for sleep.
Middle-of-the-night mundane tasks. 3am and can’t sleep? We’ve all been there. Instead of stimulating yourself by watching TV or reaching for your phone, wrap a few presents until your eyes feel heavy, then head back into bed.
Stick to your bedtime/waketime schedule. Us humans are creatures of habit, so try to go to bed at roughly the same time each night, and wake up at the same time, too. Avoid those late afternoon naps if you can!
Don’t eat or drink too close to bedtime. There’s temptation wherever we look in December, but try to refrain from the Quality Street, mince pies or Bailey’s just before bed. Instead, make 7 or 8pm your cut-off point. Your sleep will thank you for it.
Keep your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. When there’s wrapping paper and bows all over your bedroom floor, it won’t bode well for a good night’s sleep. A cluttered room = a cluttered mind!
Boost your body’s melatonin. Don’t forget to take your Sleepee supplements 30 minutes before bed. Sleepee has a cumulative effect on the body’s melatonin levels so you should start to see notable improvement after 14 days.
Take on a challenge. If you’re up for a challenge in the lead up to Christmas, join us on our Two Weeks to Better Sleep challenge - think Couch to 5k, for your sleep! We’ll send you tips and challenges each day to help you feel well rested in the build up to the big day.
How to sleep on Christmas Eve
It’s not just kids who can’t sleep on Christmas Eve. Us big kids need a helping hand too. This magical night deserves a sleep strategy of its own. As well as the points above, remember:
Exercise your way to sleep. Physical activity is not just good for your body but also a stress-buster and sleep enhancer. Incorporate some form of exercise into Christmas Eve; it’ll clear your mind and help you feel tired when your head hits the pillow. Just steer clear of vigorous exercise too close to bedtime.
Relax on Christmas Eve. Just because it’s the night before Chritsmas, doesn’t mean you can’t run a bath, dive into a book or have a bit of me-time once the kids are asleep.
Screen time curfew. Banish screens in the lead-up to bedtime. Not only can the blue light emitted by devices mess with your melatonin production (the hormone responsible for signalling your body to sleep), but scrolling Instagram is going to stimulate your mind and get your heart rate going - something you want to avoid just before bed.
Take your supplements. If you’re staying away from home with friends or family over Christmas, don’t forget to take your Sleepee supplements and keep taking them over the festive period.
Surviving Christmas Day
Whoop - you've made it to Christmas Day! Time to dive into the festivities. Family time, delectable feasts and perhaps a tipple or two – but let's not forget about the importance of sleep.
Set your alarm. Regardless of how late the yuletide celebrations go on, aim to rise at the same time each morning. Irregular wake-up times can leave you feeling groggy and fatigued.
Beware of the post-feast siesta. While an afternoon nap might seem tempting after indulging in festive delights, keep it short. A 20-minute power nap can boost your mental alertness without stealing away your nighttime sleep.
Mindful munching. The timing of your Christmas feast matters. A heavy meal too close to bedtime can lead to discomfort, as your body burns calories, raising your temperature. Bring out the cheeseboard early in the evening rather than just before bed!
Get some fresh air. Cabin fever can creep in on Christmas Day, so making time for a brisk walk can blow away the cobwebs and help us sleep better come nighttime. It’ll also burn off a few calories at the same time!
How to sleep well beyond Christmas
Good sleep is for life, not just for Christmas!
Sleep soundly into the New Year and beyond by checking out our Wellness Hub for tips and tricks, embarking on our free Two Weeks to Better Sleep Challenge (we’ll send you our free Ultimate Guide to Better Sleep ebook when you sign up!), and - of course - taking our 11-ingredient powerhouse sleep supplement, Sleepee. Designed for long-term use, you’ll be setting yourself up for the best possible chance of sleep success.
In a nutshell:
- Stick to a consistent sleep routine for a peaceful Christmas break.
- Add some exercise to your Christmas Eve activities for a restful night.
- Time your feasting wisely to avoid disrupting your sleep.
- If sleep issues linger, Extracted has the tools to help you reclaim control.
Remember, a well-rested you is the best gift you can give yourself this festive season!