Sawing the Yule Log: How to Reset Your Holiday Sleep Pattern

The holiday season is upon us, and that means busy schedules, stress, traveling, late nights and festivities, and disrupted sleep patterns.  If you are lucky enough, the holiday season also means vacation time, which presents a fabulous opportunity to reset your internal sleep clock.  Even if you don’t get the time off to catch up on sleep, here are four ways to get back to sawing those logs.

Get Outside

Cooler air means excuses to stay inside, snuggled up and vegging out.  Beat the blues and get outside.  Try a nice brisk walk around the neighborhood to check out the lights. Minimal sunshine in the winter months makes getting that sunlight-generated vitamin D even more important for improving your mood and health.  The bonus? Exercise helps you fall asleep faster at night too.  So get out there!

No-No Naps

Speaking of snuggled up inside: Naps. Ahhhhh.  Comfy cozy are we, right?  Unfortunately for adults, daytime naps compromise your normal nighttime routine. You’ll have difficulty getting to sleep, which causes you to feel tired the next day.  Try going to bed earlier instead.  If you absolutely must have a nap, try to keep it thirty minutes or less. Any longer and you’ll lose the energy boost and wake up drowsy instead.

Get Some R&R

Routine and relaxation! Stick to your regular sleep program as much as possible, and make sure to schedule yourself some mandatory “me time” in all the holiday clamor.  Meditation, quiet reads, and stolen moments to just “be” are essential to help your internal clock slow down and get ready for bedtime.  Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to get away from that intrusive family member you want to avoid.

Avoid the Chow Down

As difficult as it may sound, overeating and overdrinking should be avoided at all costs. Heartburn is not your friend. Likewise, alcohol also sucks away at your slumber.  If you do indulge, try to make it a minimum of three hours before your bedtime to give your stomach a chance to digest.  Drinking plenty of water helps keep you feeling full so you’ll eat less. It also helps chase off that office party hangover!

Whatever your reason for the season, make it merry and bright! And rescue yourself from exhaustion by keeping your sleep schedule on track.

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