Sleep Hygiene for the Holidays
Watch out for the Egg Nog Nightcap
If you’re drinking eggnog with alcohol, spiced rum, or any other fun alcoholic holiday beverage, it may make you fall asleep quickly, but it also prevents you from reaching deep sleep. To help, drink one glass of water for every glass of holiday cheer. Drinking water will slow down your drinking and prevent you from getting dehydrated. Dehydration is the reason you get a hangover!
Extra Tip: Drink coconut water before bed to replace minerals that alcohol flushes out of your system.
Wean the Holiday Bean
While there are some great holiday coffees to try (think pumpkin spice latte and gingerbread mocha), the sleep you get after drinking caffeine is poor quality sleep. To prevent this I recommend caffeine fading. Drink higher caffeine beverages in the morning and choose lower caffeine drinks in the midafternoon. Ideally, switch completely to water by 2:00 or 3:00 pm. While many of my patients tell me they can drink an espresso and go to bed, they find they sleep much better when they follow these recommendations.
Avoid the Double Whammy.
If you’re going out with friends and then to a holiday party (see tip #1) try to get to bed by your own personally calculated time. Most people stay out late, and they drink too much. It’s no wonder they feel horrible in the morning.
Extra Tip: If you don’t know what your personalized bedtime should be, check out my bedtime calculator
Cardio not Cappuccino
Exercise (specifically 30 minutes of aerobic exercise) is one of the single best ways to improve the quality of your sleep. Research shows that those who have a regular exercise program get deeper sleep.
Extra Tip: Avoid exercising within four hours of bedtime, otherwise you may be too revved up to fall asleep!
Rudolph’s Bright Nose
Light is the single biggest factor that tells your body it’s morning. In the evenings use a book light for reading, change your bulb wattage to 45 at the bedside table, and use a night light in the bathroom (just enough light to get you there and back to sleep). Remember to turn off your tree lights at night!
Extra Tip: Try using Blue Light Blocking glasses (use code sleepdr5 for a 50% discount) if you need to block light from a screen at least 90 minutes before going to bed. They really work.
Bothersome bed partners
Kids, pets and snoring bedmates can all disrupt sleep, so if you are affected by their noise or presence. consider earplugs (Noise Level Rated at 32 or below so you can still hear the fire alarm) or a sound machine. Both are great gifts.
Extra Tip: If you sleep near a snorer, look into the MUTE internal Nasal Dilator.
Your pillow should be replaced every year. Choose a pillow based on what side you sleep on if you have back pain or if you have allergies!
Extra Tip: If you wake up with neck or shoulder stiffness: it time for a new pillow.
Staying up late for those holiday specials
Many of my patients sheepishly tell me that they sleep with the TV on, watching all the great holiday specials from their childhood! While I too love Frosty, be sure to put on a TV timer so it does not keep anyone up the rest of the night.
Extra Tip: Here is another time when Blue Light Blocking Glasses (use code sleepdr5 for a 50% discount) will work well!
Time Zone Terror
When traveling across time zones it may affect your sleep. Give your body a full day for each time zone to recover. If you have guests coming from another time zone, their sleep schedule may affect yours!
Extra Tip: Download my newest app TimeShifter and get one free jetlag plan as my gift to you!