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October 7, 2022

Sleep and the Holidays (Why isn't this Turkey Making Me Sleepy?)

Holidays are a time for family, friends, and relaxation. But for many people, the holiday season is also a time of stress and poor sleep. Whether you're out late sharing cocktails with friends, enjoying a family dinner, or rushing to the airport, it's vital to prioritize your sleep. Even if you don't enjoy the holidays, the additional activity and excitement can affect your sleeping habits. According to the National Sleep Foundation, holiday stress can lead to insomnia, which can significantly impact your health.

Given these circumstances, you likely have considerable potential for interrupted sleep. Prioritizing getting enough sleep will help you cope with holiday stress while strengthening your immune system. By facing the various difficulties that could be disrupting your sleep during this season, you can have a holiday celebration without losing out on much-needed shut-eye.

Here are some tips that may help ensure you enjoy a restful holiday season:


For many people, the holidays can be a particularly stressful time. According to the National Sleep Foundation, stress is a significant cause of insomnia and sleep problems. Stress may contribute to sleep difficulties and associated pre-bedtime thoughts, making sleep difficult and restful. Meditation, exercise, or reducing your number of commitments are helpful strategies.

Increased Anxiety and Depression

Various things can trigger anxiety and mood issues during the holidays. They include grief, loss, social anxiety, or heavy travel. Try not to overschedule yourself, and consider coming up with a strategy for handling events that you find anxiety-producing if you tend to get anxious at social events and travel.
If you are grieving because of loss or the holidays are difficult now, only engage in pursuits that can assist you to feel great. Managing any mental wellness issues you might be facing in ways that help you feel good is the key to ensuring that you're getting enough sleep consistently.

Financial Stress

Your money troubles could intensify throughout the holidays due to an upsurge in necessary costs, such as gift-buying and travel. Creating a holiday budget can help you stay on track and spend less than at other times of the year. Stick to your budget, carefully making each purchase, and your stress will be reduced as you retain control over your financial resources.

An Overpacked Schedule

Overjoyed at the prospect of squeezing in bazillion parties, gatherings, and get-togethers, all the annual celebrations that participants have on their plates can make it challenging to make room in your daily schedule for some much-needed rest. Prioritize your holiday parties, family occasions, job-related obligations, and leisure time, and say no to everything that will be difficult to fit into your schedule.

Holiday Foods

Alcohol, turkey, caffeine, and sugary foods can disrupt your sleep during the Holiday season. You'll notice that certain foods don't make you sleep as well as you usually do; abstaining—or stopping yourself from eating entirely—may be a sensible alternative.

Late-Night Parties

One of a lot of fun aspects of the holiday season is coming up late-night parties. Nevertheless, being out too late may impede your sleep quality throughout the week. Take time to establish your limitations and schedule, and be sure to get enough rest in the days after you stay out late. So, keep tabs on what type of holiday events you have throughout the work week and ensure that you have boundaries with your schedule.

Family Issues

Sometimes, the gatherings around holidays have the power to stir up arguments and reconnect with the dysfunctional dynamics in a family. If you're aware that there could be an impending flare-up at the dinner table or you're acquainted with a family relative prone to outbursts, plan what you will and will not engage in. Getting angry, or possibly even getting triggered by any family hassles that you might have, can significantly disrupt your sleep. So be sure to take care of yourself and create boundaries when required.


Travel may be enjoyable but exacerbates jet lag if you travel through different time zones. Bringing along some extra water, getting a good sleep before your flight, and adjusting your schedule to your destination as soon as possible upon your arrival, can all help to improve your recovery after experiencing jet lag.
Even if you're not jet lagged, long car rides, sleeping in an unfamiliar hotel room, and being in an unfamiliar place can all disturb your sleep. Consistently following your sleep schedule can help. According to The National Sleep Foundation, taking a warm shower, meditating, journaling, and using sleep masks and earplugs can potentially make you sleep better when away from home.

With a little preparation in advance, establishing adequate sleep habits, and setting some boundaries in the event of unexpected disruptions, you can better enjoy the festivities and minimize any resulting difficulty stemming from your sleep routines. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!