The holidays are packed with sacred moments, but also preparation. Between shopping, late-night parties, exposure to lights in later hours, and traveling or hosting plans, the recipe for a good night’s sleep can be as elusive as reindeer hooves. The National Sleep Foundation advocates for careful examination of an overpacked schedule.
Be intentional about your holiday commitments. Ask yourself: Is what are you saying yes to over the holidays going against your own desires and intuition? Be ok with saying no. It can be an empowering form of radical self-love and compassion to stay home or let go of commitments.
All this holiday energy may also detract from our immune system’s resilience to stress and sickness. In one study where adults slept consistently less than 7 hours per night over the course of a week, increased susceptibility to the common cold was found. Prioritizing your peace by practicing a good sleep hygiene routine is a powerful mindset shift. Give yourself permission to slip into slumber to unwind from unwanted holiday tension. Remember: self-care is health care.
Try these tips over the holiday to spice up your sleep hygiene routine:
- Take a hot bath before bed to relax the tension built up from the hectic holiday activities.
- Put down your screens and don’t take them to bed with you.
- Practice meditating to a relaxing background of your favorite holiday tunes.
- Sip on peppermint tea or non-caffeinated drinks
- Light a favorite holiday-scented candle or pair an essential oil with reading and journaling
- Keep your sleep space sacred and free from extra lighting
- Maintain regular exposure to sunlight honoring your body’s natural circadian rhythm and melatonin by utilizing movement as medicine. Try walking to look at holiday decorations or yoga.
Anik Cockroft, DO is a board-certified pediatrician and sports medicine physician, and creator of the Mama Mindset®. Visit mamamindset.com for more information.