RICHMOND, Virginia (WRIC) – With stockings and gifts taking center stage this Christmas, there is a gift you can give yourself – restful sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation encourages rest during the holiday season and urges people to put “better sleep habits” at the top of their list for New Year’s resolutions.
During the holidays, children and teens come home from school, there are fewer hours of daylight and families can burn themselves out traveling to visit loved ones across the country.
The colder weather also makes outdoor activities and exercise more difficult.
With all of these changes, the National Sleep Foundation said one thing should remain constant: healthy sleep patterns.
The nonprofit associates a consistent sleep schedule with a feeling of well-being rested. People with regular sleep schedules would feel 1.5 times more rested than those with variable sleep schedules.
Dr Natalie Dautovich, PhD., Professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and National Sleep Foundation Environmental Fellow, said that “this time of year can be especially difficult when it comes to maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. “.
“Despite this, we [National Sleep Foundation] I want to remind you how important sleep is for reducing stress, maintaining a healthy immune system, and staying on track with your health goals, ”she said. “No matter where or how you celebrate the holidays, there are things you can do to be your ‘best sleeper’.”
So, how can you rest better? The National Sleep Foundation has three essential tips:
- Establish a sleep schedule. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, and children and teens need 8 to 11 hours.
- Make a bedroom suitable for sleeping. Sleep in a dark, quiet room and keep the room temperature between 60 and 67 degrees. You may also need to change your sheets or blankets depending on the weather.
- Maintain healthy habits. Spend time outdoors each day to get in the sun. Exercise can also promote better sleep. Finish eating and drinking 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.