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Between travel, family gathering, and extra responsibilities, it can be tough to get the sleep you need during the holiday season. Here's some tips to get back on track for healthy sleep after the holidays so that you can start your year strong and at your best:
1. Keep a regular go to bed and wake up time. The Mayo Clinic recommends going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle.
2. Sleep in a dark, cool room. Many sleep experts say that a cool room, somewhere around 65 degrees, makes for the best sleep, and research backs this notion, according to the National Sleep Foundation.Your body temperature dips when you are sleeping and then climbs slowly towards your normal wake time. Warmer air in the room can interfere with this normal dip in temperature, causing your sleep to be less restful. In fact, some forms of insomnia are related to poor body temperature regulation.
3. Establish a bedtime routine, including stopping screen use at least 1 hour before bedtime. The American Heart Association lists several possibilities to help you relax: Making the next day’s to-do list, meditation, journaling, reading, and avoiding bright screens. Others recommend a warm bath or listening to music. Put together a routine that works for you.
4. Cut caffeine. It’s no secret that caffeine impacts sleep, and while this is different for different people, caffeine close to bedtime can make it difficult to get the good quality sleep that you need.
5. Tweak your technology with these tips from the American Heart Association:
- Charge your device somewhere other than your bedroom
- Use an app like flux or a red filter app to reduce blue light
- Set an alarm to remind you to go to bed.
- Or lock your apps at a certain time to remind you to go to bed
- Use the “do not disturb” function to mute notifications
Implementing even one of these tips can improve your sleep, and in turn, your overall health for more productive, positive days!