sleep and holidays Christmas

Follow these tips to get the sleep you need this holiday season (Photo Credit:

The holidays are right around the corner and many of us will be traveling to visit friends and family in other parts of the state or country.  This means there will be a lot of people who aren’t getting the sleep they need because they are sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings.  If you have spent many a Christmas Eve tossing and turning on the lumpy hide-a-bed in someone’s den, you understand how much that lack of sleep can affect your holiday spirit.  For those who will be traveling over the holidays, here are some helpful tips sure to have you dreaming of sugar plums no matter where you are sleeping.

1.     Sleep on the Way

One of the reasons people don’t get enough sleep when they travel during the holidays is that their schedule gets disrupted.  This means they aren’t going to bed and getting up at their regular time and it can start the minute you leave your house.  Make sure you have ear plugs or headphones and a sleep mask with you so that you can grab some zzzs on the way to your destination and start off ahead of the game.

2.     Bring Your Pillow

Another reason we struggle to sleep when we are in someone else’s bed or on their couch is because it is unfamiliar.  While there isn’t much you can do to make your cousin’s spare bedroom more familiar, you can bring along some things from home like your pillow, a favorite blanket, and an alarm clock that help make unfamiliar spaces more comfortable.

3.     Listen Before You Leave

Another problem many people experience when they try to sleep away from home is the difference in background noise.  If you are a city dweller who is used to the constant hum of cars and people, you may struggle to sleep in the silence of a country home.  Pay attention to the amount of sound you are used to having around you when you are sleeping and make a plan to replicate it as much as possible when you get where you are going.

4.     Ask for Extra Blankets

Differences in temperature can also make sleep elusive when you are trying to nod off away from home.  If you keep your house fairly warm and your host’s house is on the colder side, you may have difficulty falling asleep.  Make sure you can create the ideal temperature your body craves by asking for extra blankets and requesting a room with a window that opens.  This will make is possible for you to modify your environment to meet your individual needs.

5.     Plan Ahead for Travel Fatigue

If you will be traveling across more than two time zones, you may wind up with a little jet lag.  But even those travelers who aren’t may find themselves exhausted and worn out just from the journey.  This is true if you are driving or flying.  Set aside an hour or two for some downtime when you first arrive so that you have time to rest and recover and get settled in before the festivities begin.


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