The holidays have a way of throwing your body into whack. From throwing off your diet, to derailing your fitness routine, to leaving your finances in a bit of a tizzy, the holiday season can be tough to bounce back from. But as you prioritize getting your physical and financial health back in order in the new year, here’s a resolution that ought to be bumped up to the top of your list too: better sleep.
Here’s the deal: the holidays are stressful, and pretty hectic. Between a packed social calendar, a weeks-long runaround to find gifts for everyone on your list, and maybe some holiday travel (read: crowded airports and flights) to top it all off, it’s no wonder that sleep can take a serious hit during the season. Follow these tips to get your sleep schedule back on track in the new year.
Cut back on the caffeine
During the holidays, chances are that coffee and caffeinated beverages were pretty much your lifeline and your secret to getting through the day. Now that things are calming down in the new year, reset your relationship with (read: dependence on) coffee and limit your caffeine intake as much as possible. If you can ditch the habit entirely, go for it. If not, at least try to confine caffeine intake to the earlier parts of the day.
Get your diet on track
A lot of the not-so-healthy eating habits that you might have picked up during the holidays could be contributing to your poor sleep. Things like over-consumption of sugar, for example, can be linked to lower quality sleep and feelings of grogginess during the day as a result. To help improve your sleep, try cleaning up your eating habits and eliminating added sugars from your diet.
Turn in earlier
Chances are that you spend the last few weeks staying up late for one reason or other, whether it’s because you were out at your office holiday party (which just happened to turn into post-party karaoke that went into the early a.m.) or because you were up late trying to wrap up that project for work before the end of the year. To help get your sleep back on track, make it a priority to get to bed earlier each night so that you can clock a full eight hours every night without having to push back your wakeup time.
Stick to a consistent wakeup time
On the topic of wakeup time, you should aim for consistency. One of the biggest things that throws off your sleep routine during the holidays is the total lack of routine. That is, you don’t really have consistent sleep hours that you stick to during the holidays, so your circadian rhythm can get a little scattered. Pair that with any timezone changes that you might have dealt with if you traveled for the holidays, and your sleep inconsistency hits an even higher level. Get your body back into a regular rhythm by aiming to wake up at the same time every morning – even on the weekends. Over time, you’re body will get used to its schedule and you’ll find yourself waking up without a hitch.