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How to Get Better Sleep During the Holidays

Each year we travel during the holidays to see family and friends, and although it is a time filled with lots of fun events and laughs, it is also accompanied by sleep deprivation for my entire family. This year I am determined to put our sleep needs first when it comes to travel, preparations, and outings. I have finally decided that the benefits of getting enough sleep outweighs my desire to be a part of everything. A few reasons to keep sleep a priority include:

  • Sleep helps keep the viruses away and keeps your family healthier so that you don’t have to miss out on too many events or time with family.
  • Adequate sleep keeps tantrums and meltdowns to a minimum
  • Keeping sleep routines and schedules consistent helps little ones cope better while traveling.
  • Getting enough sleep keeps everyone is a better mood.
  • Sleep keeps everyone from getting overstimulated, exhausted, and burnt out while traveling for the holidays

On the flip side, not getting enough sleep can have many consequences including:

  • Lack of energy
  • Dampened immunity
  • Increased cravings
  • Low mood and heightened stress
  • Poor cognition

So How Do We Get Better Sleep During the Holidays?

Learn how to say no: You are ultimately the one that has the last word on what your child’s sleep schedule looks like. If there are plans with family or friends that don’t line up with what would work best for your family’s sleep schedule, then you might need to skip out on a few activities to keep your sanity and your child’s sleep from derailing. Many times if we push our little ones to their sleep limits, we pay the price with more tantrums and meltdowns, which doesn’t make for the best company. More than likely the time spent with your visitors will be much more enjoyable if you keep your kiddos well rested by keeping their sleep a priority.

Lower expectations of perfection: The pressure to do every Christmas craft, host the holiday party, wrap the perfect gift, make the perfect Christmas dinner, etc. can be a little overwhelming. We need to lower our expectations of ourselves and those around us. It is OK if the house is messy, or a gingerbread house doesn’t get done. So many memories will still be made and living in the moment might be a little easier.

Delegate holiday preparations to family members or friends: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your friends and family love you and want to help you! Don’t try to do everything yourself, and don’t be afraid to take people up when they offer a helping hand.

Make sure everyone has their own sleep space while traveling: Having our own space to sleep when traveling is so important to get quality sleep. It minimizes distractions and gives everyone a space where they can relax. So if you are traveling, try to make accommodations that include a sleep space for each family member.

Happy holiday everyone, and we hope these tips will help you and your family navigate sleep during the holiday season!

About the author

Amanda Medley

Why didn’t we try this sooner?! As we speak he is sound asleep in his crib – and has been since 7:15 pm.

Karianne Wanggaard

Sleep Well Sleep Specialists

Don't go through another night of bad sleep.

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Working with Shannon, I went from 2-3 wake ups every night to 1 or 0. She aligned the plan with my preferred sleep cycle. She was always coaching, never judging. Shannon was great, I have referred MANY people to her! That's the best testament to her work that I can give.

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