Most people find it harder to fall asleep when they’re emotionally “wound up” from the day, either from workplace stress, relationship drama, seeing the bills pile up, or simply doing too much. The relationship between your anxiety or stress and quality sleep is one you should know about, and know how to handle. No time is this more true than during the Holiday Season! We don’t need to tell you that with the joy of the Holidays comes a lot of busyness, event planning, and financial worries as well.
Poor sleep and too-much stress is a vicious cycle. Let’s say you stay up late online shopping, because it’s the only time you can fit it in. If you don’t sleep enough at night, your body boosts its levels of stress hormones. The brain chemicals being secreted in deep sleep are the same ones that tell the body to stop the production of stress hormones. As a result, when you don’t sleep well, your body keeps pumping out those hormones. The next day, you feel more stressed than before you got your shopping done, and so the following night you find it harder to fall asleep again, and so on. On top of that, the more exhausted you feel, the less you’re able to focus on what you need to in order to calm down, leading to even more stress. You still have so much to do! You’re also more likely to snap at your friends and family, causing a whole other reason for Holiday-related stress.
There seems to be simply too much to do and not enough time left before Christmas to do it in, right? That’s why it’s so important to make getting plenty of sleep a high priority. Skipping sleep to fit in all the parties, shopping, wrapping, and cooking is the worst way to deal with it! If you find yourself really getting overwhelmed, try these three tricks:
#1 Set your bedtime and stick to it! Bedtimes are not just for kids! Scientific Reports points to adults not only needing to get enough sleep every night, but also needing to maintain consistent sleep routines. You need around eight hours of sleep a night to function well and stay healthy. If you wake up at 6 am, that means you should be asleep by 10 pm at the latest.
#2 Spend some time "winding down." Those with extra Holiday stress need a "buffer zone," which is a period of time to allow the activating processes in the brain to wind down. You need to decrease your physical and mental activity so that the sleep systems can take over. Experts suggest that you start winding down two hours before bedtime. Stop all work, shopping, cooking, party planning, and everything else that causes you to get worked up. Spend the time reading or listening to music.
#3 Take a hot bath or shower. As part of your two hours of winding down time, fit in taking a relaxing bath. Don’t bring any screens or stress with you, simply close your eyes and relax. If an anxiety-filled Holiday thought enters your mind, simply move on and think of something else. As an added bonus, going from warm water into a cooler bedroom will cause your body temperature to drop, naturally making you feel sleepy.
It’s no wonder people use the phrase “I’m losing sleep over it.” Those who suffer from chronic stress day in and day out sleep less, have poorer sleep quality, and find it harder to function well during the day. This Holiday Season, don’t do this to yourself! Be sure to set a consistent bedtime and spend a few hours before the time relaxing. If nothing else is working, your bad or old mattress may be exacerbating the issue.
Come into your nearest City Mattress and give yourself the gift of a good night’s sleep by finding the perfect mattress and creating the ideal sleep system you need. We carry over 80 sleep surfaces to choose from, everything from pillow top to extra firm, with many different manufacturers, multiple size options, and more. You can then choose an adjustable bed base, pillow, mattress pad, and anything else you need to sleep great. Enjoy the Holiday Season! This is only possible when you’re rested, festive, and in good spirits!