6 Holiday Sleep Tips to Help You Stay Merry and Bright

It’s the happiest time of the year once again! We all love the presents and family visits that go hand-in-hand with the holiday season. Not to mention the beautiful lights and the delicious food.

But the holidays also mean longer to-do lists. You’ve got tons of shopping to do, a house to get ready for guests, and plenty of meals to plan. If you don’t watch yourself, you could start losing out on sleep and become more like the Grinch each day.

We’re here to help you stay merry and bright with our 6 top holiday sleep tips! Keep reading to unlock the secret to sleeping soundly during this joyous (but chaotic) season.

1. Plan Ahead for Less Stress

During the holidays, it can seem as if you have more things to get done than hours in the day. There’s a seemingly never-ending list of chores to tackle and gifts to buy. And that’s on top of your regular work and home responsibilities.

It’s no wonder your stress levels tend to skyrocket this time of year. Feeling tense and anxious can easily lead to the scary effects of sleep loss, including lethargy and depression.

You can avoid sleep deprivation and higher stress levels by taking a tip from Santa himself. Make a list and check it twice! Writing down everything you need to get done in one place prevents chaos. And when you cross things off your list, you’ll feel content and ready for a good night’s rest.

2. Don’t Try to Be a Holiday Hero

Super-moms tend to feel as if everything falls on their shoulders, but everyone can use a helping hand sometimes. There’s no shame in enlisting help from your family members to make sure your holiday season isn’t full of madness.

Put the kids in charge of cleaning the house or packing for road trips. Get your husband to do the holiday dinner shopping. You just might be surprised by how much a bit of delegation can help you sleep better and energize your mornings during the holidays.

3. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

It can be easy to stray from your regular schedule during the turmoil of the holiday season. Before you know it, one or two late nights have become a full week of them, and you’re feeling like a zombie.

That’s why it’s crucial to set a sleep schedule and stick with it. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will help you fall asleep easier. And you’ll wake up feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

4. Get Outside and Get Active

Your holiday to-do list might have you feeling as if you’re too busy to hit the gym or build a snowman with the kids. But physical activity and exposure to natural light are both a key part of being able to get (and stay) asleep.

Studies have shown that exercise improves sleep and the functioning of your internal body clock. Getting some sunlight during the day will increase the production of melatonin (the “sleep hormone”) at night. That means you’ll spend less time tossing and turning, and more time catching some Zs.

5. Steer Clear of Late-Night Snacking

There are few times of year when it’s harder to avoid the temptation of snacking than the holiday season. Those leftovers seem to call out to you as you’re trying to sleep, don’t they?

But if your goal is to get truly restorative sleep, your best bet is to leave that last piece of pie alone before bedtime. Eating heavy food before turning in for the night can cause you to toss and turn as your body works to digest it.

On the occasions where you can’t talk yourself out of nighttime nibbling, you should go with a sleep-friendly midnight snack option. Think Greek yogurt, sliced fruit, or some unsalted nuts.

6. Power Down in the Evening

To encourage restful sleep, you want to promote relaxation during your evenings. You can do that by ditching Netflix for reading a book or playing a board game. Electronic devices are notorious for causing restless sleep by emitting blue light.

You should also turn off the Christmas lights and dim the overhead fixtures at least an hour before turning in for the night. Overexposure to artificial light can confuse your body’s natural clock and stunt the production of melatonin.

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