The Cure to the Holiday Sleep Hangover
As we begin the new year, most of us put focus on making small improvements with our lifestyle. We detox, exercise more, de-clutter our homes, and make the changes necessary to feel better inside and out. We can’t forget one of the most important pillars of health though.
It’s possible that during the holiday season your family has accumulated a bit of a sleep debt with late nights and off-kilter sleep routines. I call it your Holiday Sleep Hangover. It’s difficult to now put a focus on exercise and nutrition when we aren’t meeting our basal sleep needs and chipping away at that sleep debt is a great way make the improvements in your family’s self-care.
Make it a Family Mission
The best way to start any new change within your family unit is together. Your children learn best from observing you and when they see how you are making sleep a priority they will understand better why they need to do the same. Hold a family sleep meeting where you can communicate the importance of sleep and that you are taking the steps necessary to make sure you are all getting the sleep you need.
Get Your Schedule Back on Track
January isn’t the time to overload your day-to-day. The holidays are busy and it’s okay to take a few weeks to slowly get back into the swing of things. Try not to overschedule the kids and yourself. Make sure you schedule some downtime on the weekends and the whole family should focus on age appropriate bedtimes, which will aid in wiping out your accumulated sleep debt.
Rethink Your Bedtime Routine
It’s important that all family members have a proper bedtime routine in place before bed. Throughout the busy holidays your usual calming bedtime routine has probably disappeared and establishing those sequence of activities again can be as simple as a bath and story for your little one and a warm glass of milk and chapter in your current paperback for yourself. Practicing these similar events will help cue the body to sleep. Make sure that all electronics are turned off at least an hour before bed and take it a step further by removing tech completely from your bedrooms.
Check out this podcast, where I talk more about getting into a routine.
If you are ready to take on some self-care improvements this year don’t skimp on your sleep. Adding a healthier sleep relationship to your family’s New Year resolutions will be a great start to a healthier household.
Alanna McGinn is Founder and Certified Sleep Consultant of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. She serves on the faculty of The Family Sleep Institute and is host of the ‘This Girl Loves Sleep’ Podcast and author of ‘This Baby Loves Sleep’. Follow Alanna and all her sleep tips on Instagram – @GNSleepSite.