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Alaska Sleep Education Center

Fill the Holidays with Peaceful Nights, not Sleepless Ones

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Nov 30, 2019 9:34:00 AM

It might be the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays can also be filled with stress, busy schedules, and not enough sleep. Whether it’s shopping and wrapping, late-night parties, or a pile-up of stress that’s got you feeling fried, these are some key ways to improve your shuteye during the hap-happiest season of all.

1. Prioritize The People You Love.

Having fun with friends and family members can be a great stress reliever, because it boosts levels of the so-called cuddle hormone oxytocin. So go ahead and make time to exchange gifts, reminisce, and catch up on everybody’s lives. 

But beware: All friends and family members aren’t created equal, and for some people, family obligations can be one of the biggest sources of family stress. If that’s true for you, try to avoid or minimize negative interactions, whether that means avoiding that uncle who always fights with you over politics or staying at a hotel (rather than crashing at your parents' or sibling's place) in order to give yourself an escape from drama.

2. Don’t Procrastinate.

Shopping, cooking, cleaning, and all of the prep work that goes into holiday celebrations takes time and energy. Put it off until the last second, and it can take a big toll on your stress level—and your sleep. So make a list, check it twice, and start chipping away at your to-dos now instead of waiting. Besides, you’ll avoid the most frenzied crowds and traffic and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor that much more if you aren’t exhausted when the big day arrives.

3. Say No Sometimes.

Bake sales, gift exchanges, dinner parties—any one seasonal activity can be fun on its own. But agree to too many and you can wind up feeling super tense. Be realistic about how much time and energy you have, and just say no before you end up pulling an all-nighter baking or wrapping presents.

4. Have a Good Laugh.

When it all feels like too much to handle, skip the glass of wine and grab a good comedy flick instead. While alcohol may seem like it helps you relax, it can actually disrupt your sleep during the night, making your zzz’s less restorative. Laughing out loud, on the other hand, can actually slash your levels of stress hormone, helping you to unwind before bed.

5. Give Yourself a Curfew.

No one wants to feel like a party pooper. But the truth is that too much late-night fun can—and will—wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. Your car might not turn into a pumpkin, Cinderella-style, but you’ll either pay the price in bleary eyes the next day or, if you catch up by sleeping in, you’ll run the risk of tossing and turning the following night. So decide in advance what time you’ll depart each holiday gathering, and then stick to your guns when the clock strikes—no FOMO allowed.

6. Take an Afternoon Nap.

Do late nights still have you feeling exhausted? There’s no replacement for a regular sleep/wake schedule, but a nap can help you bridge the gap when it doesn’t happen. Schedule it in the afternoon to take advantage of your body’s natural sleep rhythms. Twenty to 30 minutes is all you need for a quick pick-me-up, but a 90-minute nap can be even more restorative if you have the time.

Shopping, cooking, cleaning, and all of the prep work that goes into holiday celebrations takes time and energy. Put it off until the last second, and it can take a big toll on your stress level—and your sleep. So make a list, check it twice, and start chipping away at your to-dos now instead of waiting. Besides, you’ll avoid the most frenzied crowds and traffic and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor that much more if you aren’t exhausted when the big day arrives.

3. Say No Sometimes.

Bake sales, gift exchanges, dinner parties—any one seasonal activity can be fun on its own. But agree to too many and you can wind up feeling super tense. Be realistic about how much time and energy you have, and just say no before you end up pulling an all-nighter baking or wrapping presents.

4. Have a Good Laugh.

When it all feels like too much to handle, skip the glass of wine and grab a good comedy flick instead. While alcohol may seem like it helps you relax, it can actually disrupt your sleep during the night, making your zzz’s less restorative. Laughing out loud, on the other hand, can actually slash your levels of stress hormone, helping you to unwind before bed.

5. Give Yourself a Curfew.

No one wants to feel like a party pooper. But the truth is that too much late-night fun can—and will—wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. Your car might not turn into a pumpkin, Cinderella-style, but you’ll either pay the price in bleary eyes the next day or, if you catch up by sleeping in, you’ll run the risk of tossing and turning the following night. So decide in advance what time you’ll depart each holiday gathering, and then stick to your guns when the clock strikes—no FOMO allowed.

6. Take an Afternoon Nap.

Do late nights still have you feeling exhausted? There’s no replacement for a regular sleep/wake schedule, but a nap can help you bridge the gap when it doesn’t happen. Schedule it in the afternoon to take advantage of your body’s natural sleep rhythms. Twenty to 30 minutes is all you need for a quick pick-me-up, but a 90-minute nap can be even more restorative if you have the time.

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Topics: stress, holidays, getting better sleep, managing stress

Black Friday Is a Great Day to Sleep!

Posted by Kristen Havens on Nov 29, 2019 3:30:00 AM

The day after Thanksgiving isn't a day of rest for everybody. Some people need to go back to work on Friday. Some sign up to run turkey trot 10Ks or marathons. Others dedicate their day off to volunteering by helping the less fortunate at soup kitchens. But for many Americans, that jump on the long weekend means shopping: waking up early and getting out of the house for Black Friday sales. 

Some shoppers, famously, get in line on Thursday night and camp outside stores so they can get a jump on the competition when the doors open. Some stores open as early as midnight to accommodate eager customers fueled by the excitement of getting good deals before inventory runs out. 

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Topics: stress, holiday, beauty sleep

Enjoy the 2019 Holidays with These Steps to LESS STRESS.

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Nov 27, 2019 6:23:00 AM

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Topics: stress, holidays, healthy sleep

Holiday Stress: Don't Just Manage; Find a Way to Enjoy

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Nov 25, 2019 7:25:00 AM

 

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Topics: Family, stress, holiday, losing sleep

Remedies for Sleepless Nights Caused by Grief and Anxiety

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Oct 16, 2019 8:17:00 AM

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America those who suffer from depression or anxiety claim an increase in their anxiety due to lack of sleep with 52 percent of men and 42 percent of women stating it directly affected their ability to remain focused the following day.

Your social life can also suffer which can lead to depression or increased depression signs. Without quality sleep, the body cannot repair and becomes a state of sleep deprivation that stacks nightly. This leads to a rapid decline of behavioral response including moodiness and irritability.

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Topics: stress, anxiety, healthy sleep

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