In Search of Sugar Plum Dreams this Holiday Season?
Sleep can be a fragile commodity, especially during the holidays when there are hundreds of thoughts churning in your head. Between shopping for gifts, preparing for parties and family gatherings, the holidays can leave you strained for time. You’re likely to sacrifice good sleep time to get everything done. What you may not realize is that the benefits of sleep affect virtually every aspect of your daily life.
Sleep Helps Repair your Body
While you’re sleeping your body produces extra proteins that boosts your immune system at a cellular level to strengthen your ability to fight infections and stay healthy.
Sleep Reduces Stress
A good night’s sleep helps lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels. Sleep encourages relaxation and slows the negative effects of high blood pressure.
Sleep Improves your Memory
The next time someone says “Perhaps you should sleep on it,” take their advice. While you sleep, your brain organizes and links memories. One of the wonderful benefits of sleep is that it allows your brain to process new experiences and knowledge, which in turn increases your understanding and retention of information.
“All through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse and you!”
Your brain is far from settled and you have much more than just “sugar plums dancing in your head!” If you find yourself longing for some sugar plum dreams this holiday season, here are a few things you can do to get a good night’s sleep.
Getting ready for bed is a process of winding down. It is the time to unplug and relax in the dark. As mentioned in our “Shake-up Your Wake-up” article, drowsing in front of the TV does not allow your brain and body to shut down and rejuvenate with good sleep. Try reading a book, taking a warm bath or practicing relaxation exercises before bed instead.
Jot it Down
Sometimes your brain just won’t shut-down. If you can’t get shut eye because your never-ending to-do list keeps dancing in your head, take a minute to write it down. Having these thoughts on paper helps get them out of your head, so you can drift off to dreamland.
Stick to a Schedule
Stick to your regular sleep schedule as much as possible over the entire holiday season. Getting up and going to sleep at the same time everyday helps keep your body on track and reinforces a regular sleep routine.
Here’s to sweet dreams, dear Readers!