Insomnia during the holidays is common. Get the rest you need and deserve with this holiday sleep guide.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and also the time of never-ending to-do lists. The holiday season can be both joyful and stressful for many.
It’s not surprising that the stress and business of the holiday season can lead many to suffer from holiday insomnia – and lack of sleep can quickly turn the jolliest of Secret Santa’s into the Grinch who stole Christmas.
We have developed this holiday sleep guide with practical mindfulness techniques you can start using today. A 2015 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) demonstrated significant improvement in sleep quality in individuals using mindful awareness practices just like these (1).
Here, we will share the most effective, and proven strategies for you to let go and improve your quality of sleep so you can truly enjoy your holiday season.
Aura’s Holiday Sleep Guide
Establish a mindful bedtime routine
A relaxing bedtime ritual can send a signal to your mind and body that it’s time to transition from energetic, stressful or hectic daytime activities to peaceful nighttime rest. To relax before bed, choose a few relaxing activities you enjoy and do them each night away from the TV.
Make sure you start at the same time each night and try to then wake up at the same time the following morning.
Some ideas for relaxing activities include meditation, a calming story, or listening to relaxing music or nature sounds (all of these are available in Aura app)
Leave your worries in a bedtime journal
If you’re worried about getting everything done, try journaling about your thoughts and worries. Write all of your to-do list items down on a piece of paper and put the note away before going to bed.
The items on your note can wait until tomorrow. You won’t forget them, because they are all written down. Let your worries and tasks live on that piece of paper and out of your mind for the night.
A 2018 study in The Journal of Experimental Psychology on the effects of bedtime writing on difficulty falling asleep concluded that this type of journaling before bed can have similar effects as pharmaceutical sleep aids (2).
You can also use journaling as a way to reflect on all the things in your life you can be grateful for to bring your mind and heart to a place of peace before going to sleep [Aura has a simple gratitude journal you can use nightly].
Choose Compassion over Anger
Fostering more compassion in your heart for others and for yourself is not only good for your relationships and your mental well-being, but it will also effectively help you sleep better.
If you’re stressed or worried about your relationships, something someone said or did, an action you don’t agree with or understand, try coming at the situation from a place of compassion instead of anger. Put your anger to bed before you go to bed.
In addition to taking time for yourself each night, give yourself compassion by agreeing to not taking on too many tasks and asking for help when you need it. Prioritize what is most important, and then ask trusted loved ones to support you. Receiving help from loved ones takes the burden off of you and deepens your bond with others. Be kind to yourself, and know that your best is enough.
By establishing a bedtime routine, journaling and fostering compassion for yourself and others, you can help yourself fall asleep faster, and enjoy a better quality of sleep throughout the night with fewer nighttime wakings and deeper sleep cycles.
We hope you enjoy using these strategies to help you sleep better this holiday season and feel refreshed and rejuvenated to truly take in all the good and abundance this season has to offer you!
Got any more ideas for what helps you sleep this holiday season? Comment below!
The Aura Sleep Team
Aura understands your emotions and helps you feel better.
Whenever you’re stressed & anxious or having trouble sleeping, Aura will find mindfulness meditations, life coaching, stories, and music, created by the best therapists and coaches, personalized just for you.
It takes just 3 minutes to feel better, and Aura will continuously learn about what helps you and improve the recommendations. Download the App or learn more at https://www.aurahealth.io/.