For some, the holiday season is known for bringing families together. For others, the holidays are more closely associated with heavy planning, high stress levels, and even sleepless nights at times. Although we can’t exactly follow you to your bedroom at night and sing you lullabies (talk about creepy!), we can offer you some suggestions to help you sleep better during these upcoming stressful nights.
3 Simple Ways to Get Better Sleep During the Holiday Season
Make your bedroom a device-free zone
Explanation: Tablets, cell phones, tvs, laptops, and other electronic devices all emit blue light—a sleep inhibitor due to its interference with natural melatonin levels. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that two hours of exposure to a bright screen at night reduced melatonin levels by up to 22%, making sleep harder to come by (Source: theatlantic.com). Adaption to sleep patterns revolving around the sun and light in general literally took billions of years to adapt to and human beings are hurting themselves by exposing themselves at night to melatonin-robbing blue light. Need more incentive to stay away from your devices at night? The American Medical Association also found a “potential correlation between light pollution and potential carcinogenic effects related to melatonin suppression, especially breast cancer (Source: American Medical Association).
Suggestion:For those of you who absolutely can’t sleep without your phone in your room, compromise with yourself and put your phone at the opposite end of your bedroom (with the ringer on) so that you’re less likely to check on it throughout the night. If you’re still arguing that you need your device for its alarm clock feature, stop with the excuses and buy an actual alarm clock (they’re pretty cheap). Your nights are for relaxing and sleeping; not for texting and checking your Facebook status.
Create your own “bedtime ritual” and stick to it
Explanation: A lot of the times, the anticipation of the events of our day-to-day lives keep us up late at night. To get over this, it’s important to first come to the realization that life is a work in progress. There is literally no amount of planning which you could ever do to finish all of your life’s tasks in a single day.
Suggestion: Instead of laying in your bed at night tossing and turning worrying about all of the tasks that you have to do in the near future, take a few minutes every evening to create a checklist of all of your tasks for the next day or two. Once your list is complete, complete a relaxation ritual which helps you relax and get into that blissfully tired mentality before bed. Your relaxation ritual can be anything as long as it is slow-paced and caffeine-free.
Use “White Noise” to drown out the ruckus of the world
Explanation: White noise is noise that contains many frequencies with equal intensities (i.e. steady rain fall, sounds made by an a/c, etcetera). Despite often being loud, listening to a steady frequency of predictable noise helps block out other more surprising sounds (doors closing, pets playing) which can make getting a sound night’s sleep hard to come by.
Suggestion: Invest in a white noise generator. You can buy an actual noise machine or download an app on your smartphone—either works!
What are you doing this holiday season to get better sleep? Let us know in the comments section below!Photos courtesy of 123RF
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