Sleep Away Your Holiday (and still get everything done)!
Welcome to the holiday season! A time of joy and laughter as another year winds down, and we all get a chance to celebrate the wonder that is our lives at one year older. The holidays are a time when we traditionally celebrate our friends and loved ones. Whether you’re a single gal or guy deciding how best – or even if – you should get something for that special person who caught your eye in the past year, or you’re picking out the perfect gift for little Johnny, little Jane, and your loving spouse. And maybe your Aunt Tilly, she was good to you this year. Or your next door neighbor. Come to think of it, the mailman – will he secure your packages if you don’t give him a gift? Or your mechanic – he did get you out of a jam when you had that fender bender. And is it too soon to get something for the new couple that moved into the neighborhood? What if they get something for you? How about our kid’s teacher? Your teacher? Are you forgetting anybody? What will happen if you do? And what about the holiday party? This Christmas pageant? And what if you—AAAUUUUGH!
Let’s face it, for all of their magic and good cheer, the holidays can be a huge source of stress if you let them take over. Although it’s a time of celebration, celebrating takes planning, involves a lot of people, and binds you into the social contract of getting or doing something nice for everybody you think matters in your life, because if you don’t, they may not do the same for you. As is the case with any stressful time, this stress can make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep, and that’s not good because along with nutrition, proper rest is an essential ingredient to having a successful holiday season or any season. That’s the way we humans are built. But how does one get their best sleep at a time that demands so much of us?
Luckily, this year we’ve decided to solve that dilemma for our loyal customers and honored guests by creating Lull’s Definitive Guide To Getting a Good Night’s Sleep in the Holiday Season because hey, helping you sleep is what we’re best at. You’ll be more productive, more festive, and it won’t even cost you a cent. Just sit back, relax, keep reading, and we promise we’ll have you sleeping your “holi-daze” away in no time…
How to Deal With Stressors That Keep You Up
Consumer Reports did a survey of what Americans find most stressful about the holiday season and compiled the results into the following list:
68%: Crowds and long lines
37%: Gaining weight
37%: Getting into debt
28%: Gift shopping
24%: Seeing certain relatives
23%: Seasonal music
19%: Disappointing gifts
16%: Having to attend holiday parties or events
15%: Having to be nice
12%: Holiday tipping
Since the key to solving any problem is identifying it first, we begin our guide by listing the top ten stressors that we feel make the holidays so challenging, and then provide resolutions suggested by our own research:
- Money issues – the holidays require us to spend a lot, whether it’s on presents, travel, supplies, decorations, etc. – the National Retail Federation reports that the average consumer will spend $967.13 during the holidays this year – that’s a lot of cheddar, Gretel! If you’re stressing over money this holiday, we advocate planning a strict budget and sticking to it – do not over-spend if you don’t have to! Dollar stores and the like are a good source for discount gifts and stocking stuffers, as well as supplies for simple arts & crafts gifts that you can make to add a personal – and cost-effective – touch. At the end of the day though, always remember it’s the thought that counts, and your truly loved ones just want to know that you’re thinking of them, not that you bought them something outstanding (except your kids. Below a certain age they’re just about loot, so we recommend budgeting the most for them)!
- Excessive obligations – a major reason the holidays seem so stressful is because they’re so demanding. Our friends, families, our jobs – all of our loved ones make demands on our time. Whether it’s because we have to shop for them, join them at holiday events or plan and execute our own holiday events that they’ll be attending, they need us. We’ve found that it’s best to meet these obligations with pacing and planning. If we keep a schedule, break major tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces, and ask for help from reliable people whenever we can, things won’t overwhelm us. Knowing that we only have to do a few small things per day, and that once done we can relax can help us curl up on our best new mattress and sleep today away until tomorrow.
- Travel – If your friends and family aren’t coming to you you’re likely going to them, and depending on how far you have to go, how you plan to get there, and who goes with you, travel can be a major source of stress. As usual, we think planning and preparing are key – if you’re flying, make sure you get to the airport extra early if you can, because everybody else is flying out too. If possible, get the lay of the airport land so you’re not stressing yourself out searching for where to go. Utilize online check-ins whenever possible, and if you’re traveling by vehicle, make sure it’s gassed and tuned up in advance, with safe tires, emergency equipment, and if necessary, distractions for the kiddies (muzzles are legal, right?) We know one thing, you’ll appreciate your high quality mattress that much more when you get back.
- Family – The real people you can’t live with or without at times. Family can always be stressful when they show up unannounced or put demands on your patience and your space, making sleep that much more difficult. Our answer? Use their presence as an opportunity to practice every coping method you know, whether it’s yoga, meditation, stress-relieving techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, or just plain old conflict-avoidance strategies. Always pick your battles, and if you can thus see your family gatherings as a challenge rather than a burden, we think you’ll sleep better too.
- Loneliness – Ironically, the holidays can be an especially lonely time for those who either don’t have anyone to spend them with or are far away from loved ones for whatever reason. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend first using an electronic communications platform like Skype or Facetime to get in touch with those you know, and also look into the many big group events offered during the holiday season, like holiday concerts or movies. Finally, if you really want to show some holiday spirit, remember that soup kitchens, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities are always welcome to volunteers looking to spread holiday cheer to others who are also alone. Who knows? You may find someone to spend your next holiday with too.
- The “Hassle Factor” – Holidays require tons of activity of all kinds, which brings an increase in road and foot traffic, jammed stores, long lines, and less parking. The sheer number of people you run into whenever you go anywhere and want to do anything can be overwhelming if you don’t find a way to cope with it. Because of the miracle of technology, we can now drive and talk on the phone hands free – why not use this time to catch up with those you won’t be seeing? It could save you from having to get and send them a gift, which will save you money and minimize the long lines you’re in. Speaking of those lines, let’s be honest: many a relationship has begun or solidified when two people facing a long wait in line quietly poked fun at everybody else around them. Is it nice? No, but it is a way to make lemons out of lemonade, and can once again make the next holiday that much more interesting.
- Social pressure – During the holidays you will be invited everywhere – to dinner parties, office parties, school plays, and so on. These exhausting situations expect you to be on your best behavior, look great, eat food, greet strangers, and take more time away from the many other obligations you have. We suggest that you utilize the holiday as an opportunity to master quality over quantity, picking and choosing where you go and exercising restraint – you don’t have to eat or drink everything that’s offered to you. Holiday get-togethers are about spending time with those you value, but there’s no rule about how much time you have to spend or that you have to be the life of every gathering you’re invited to. Be strategic about how much you drink, how long you stay, and who you spend your time with – those you’re less close to may be satisfied by a simple call or card.
- Weight gain – The one thing that can bring just about anybody together is good food, so as you attend all of these holiday functions you’ll be expected to eat, and having just gotten through Thanksgiving, it can be a bit much. To avoid the stress of undue weight gain, we’ve found that people don’t really pay attention to how much you eat just so long as you are eating – while refusing altogether may run the risk of offending the host, pacing yourself and controlling your portion size is perfectly acceptable. Letting people know that you’re full also gets you off the hook in terms of keeping the calorie count low. And don’t skimp on your exercise routine! Eating less, continuing to work out, and getting proper sleep have all been proven to maintain a healthy weight.
- Being overly self-critical – We live in a media-saturated society where celebrity chefs and TV families make having the perfect holiday experience look easy, so we sometimes judge ourselves too harshly when our plans aren’t as extravagant as the Joneses’. Moreover, the end of the year represents a time to reflect on where we are in life and compare it to where we wish we were or where we thought we’d be at this time last year. The thing is, the only true arbiter of your success is you, and getting where we want to in life takes a lot more effort than we may initially have estimated. The people on TV are professionals with unlimited resources and time – you have a life to lead with its own unique challenges and a finite amount of resources to achieve your goals with. Even if you feel you’re falling short of the glory, remember that you still have time between now and the end of the year to take steps that set yourself up for victory early next year, and your holiday plans aren’t expected to meet the professional standard. Again, the season is about spending time with those you love, who by definition will accept you no matter what.
- Fatigue – Because of all of the above, the holidays are also a time where you will likely feel tired. What can help that? Why getting enough sleep with a new mattress, of course! Lull’s gel-infused memory foam mattress is a great choice for better sleep, especially with $50 off this holiday season. You’ll have 100 nights to sleep off those holiday cookies and egg nog, and each patented three layer mattress comes with a 10 year warranty. That’s a decade’s worth of perfect holiday sleep to keep you refreshed as you battle your way through lines, critical family members and the challenge of keeping your girlish figure until the next holiday. With a 95% satisfaction rating on Google and free shipping, why wouldn’t you indulge in a high quality premium mattress that’s been described as like “sleeping on a cloud” and providing the “best sleep ever!” Nothing beats holiday fatigue like a great mattress, and with a gel-infused memory foam number from lull.com, how can you go wrong?
So to answer our original question of how to get more time to sleep during the holidays, the simple answer is to reduce stress, manage your time well, and make sure you have the right mattress to sleep on. These points should all help you do that, thus allowing you to maintain your regular sleep schedule, and voila! More time to sleep, even during the busy holiday season. Do the same for your kids, and so much the better. Bottom line, so long as you don’t stop doing the basic things you usually do throughout the year, like waking up at a certain time, exercising on a regular basis, and you use these strategies to adjust for the additional causes of stress, you should be catching z’s in no time, even during the holidays! Enjoy them everybody, and see you next year!