The lights, the seasonal jammies, the sensory overload, the décor, the candy, the treats, the movies, the family time, the pause. All of it is beautiful and lead to sensational, cherished family memories but there is no denying that this can put a strain on your finances and time but even not so your sleep, which can ultimately threaten your sanity during the holiday season. Not just for adults but also for children who can be temperamental and throw unnecessary tantrums. This often occurs not for lack of discipline but rather for lack of sleep. Some easy tips to help get you through the season, as school takes a hiatus, you gain a few coveted days off work, and fun plans peak:
Stick to an existing bedtime routine. It is easy to become distracted by scintillating conversations, doting relatives that visit once a year, the scent of baked goods and everything else but the repercussions can leave parents exhausted as they try to balance their own lack of sleep while compensating for their child’s as well. Instead of wanting children to over extend themselves and join into activities beyond bedtime, perhaps add a holiday sparkle to an existing routine. Maybe a soothing bath and a holiday story can wrap the night up while Fade Away Sleep Sounds help calm and ease the transition.
Be realistic. Make plans that do not put a mental strain on anyone to accomplish. If its stressful to plan and accomplish then decide whether its worth it. The holidays are a great time to re-evaluate the things, people and events that bring us joy and as the plethora of holiday events begin swooning on social media sites, the radio and just by word of mouth; it is important to choose quality over quantity. Children who are less over stimulated and well rested will enjoy events much more. Parents/adults who have less behavioral distractions from children will be more motivated to engage in these activities. This will also lead to pleasant memories that can be repeated and form beautiful traditions.
Consistency is key. The holiday parties and festivities might not make it possible to apply the points listed above but sleep experts recommend that even if you are late to bed one night, you should awaken at the regular time in the morning so as to prevent disrupting the sleep-wake cycle that your body has grown accustomed to.
Make the bedroom a peaceful sanctuary. It is not recommended to overly decorate bedrooms during the holidays as it changes the ambiance, creates excitement and makes it difficult to sleep. Closing the blinds to eliminate the glare of your neighbors exuberantly lit outdoor décor while using a sleep machine or white noise are great ways to garner peace for both children and adults.
Get exercise. This is usually the task/activity that gets pushed to the wayside in lieu of more fun and exciting things. However, exercising reduces stress hormones which make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Make no mistake, children also suffer the effects of stress and it is equally important for them to move their bodies.
As this holiday season dawns upon us, it is imperative that we remember our mental, emotional and physical well being trumps all else. The family memories that we long to have will be enjoyed much more if those facets of our lives are accounted for. Proper sleep will not only recharge and refresh the body but will most importantly, help us to enjoy the things that matter most!
Naimah Shaw is the mother of five beautiful children and the owner/content creator of the parenting blog, This Beautiful Life. There you can find product reviews, articles and conversations about food, homeschooling and motherhood. We are pleased to have her as a regular contributor to Fade Away Sleep Sounds.