The Christmas holidays are arguably the time of year many of us look forward to more than any season. It’s a period when most of us can take a step back from the frenetic pace of balancing life’s responsibilities and work duties, reconnect with loved ones, and take a much-needed rest. The Christmas break is usually a time where sleep habits are also easily disrupted. After all the festivities are done, we find ourselves, more often than not, trying to re-establish our sleeping habits. Needless to say, it’s a challenge for many of us at the beginning of the New Year. So, here are four tips to seamlessly get back into the groove of a proper sleep schedule after the holidays.
1. Go Work Out
Exercise has loads of health benefits and one of them is aiding better sleep. Clinical psychologist Kelly Grazer Baron told CNN that sweat sessions improve the quality of sleep. “There is large amount of literature showing that people who exercise have better sleep," Baron stresses. "People who exercise reported an increase in deep sleep and a decrease in the number of awakenings. Plus, people felt less depressed, and their mood was better." Aside from shedding that extra holiday weight you may have put on, you have another great reason to hit the gym.
2. Eat Right to Sleep Better
Before you call it a day, enjoying a healthy snack like almonds can contribute to better sleep and help you reset your sleep pattern. The Telegraph claim almonds have muscle-relaxing capabilities which make you sleep more soundly thanks to their tryptophan and magnesium content. Another bad habit to stop after the holidays is eating right before you sleep. While you may have been used to heavy meals and many drinks at dinnertime during the holiday celebrations, it’s always wise to put several hours between your last meal and bedtime. This will allow your body to digest the food better and can help you avoid any discomfort you would usually get when you sleep shortly after you eat.
3. Plot a Wind-Down Routine
You need to detach yourself from the world before you finally decide to sleep and allotting at least an hour to do so can be very helpful. Leesa suggests you should look to wind down for about 60 minutes before going to bed by turning the lights low, doing some light reading, putting away your devices, or having some soft music on to set the mood. Finding that right combination will help you to sleep much easier.
4. Go Out and Get Some Sunlight
If the holiday break has disrupted your sleeping habits, another way to restore order is by getting a good dose of sunlight first thing when you wake up. Brandon Peters, MD suggests that spending 30 to 45 minutes under the sun can not only remedy insomnia, but also help cure your circadian rhythm disorder (which is a sleep disorder related to timing of sleep). Light exposure is crucial when it comes to body temperature, metabolic function, and other bodily processes important to sleep.