During the holiday season, it can feel a bit like you’re running a marathon. You’ve got to make sure that your holiday cards make it into the mail in time, or that you and your loved one make an appearance at the neighborhood party, and that the pets don’t knock over tree (again). With a litany of obligations, you may feel drained before you get near the finish line.
We have to keep our energy up. And that means making sure we get the sleep we need. If we don’t, we won’t be fully present to make memories over the next few weeks. To finish the year strong, keep the following in mind:
Don’t Skimp Out On Sleep
Although it may seem a little too on-the-nose to say that if you’re feeling tired you might need to sleep, the importance of getting a good’s night rest cannot be overstated. It’s also something that’s widely misunderstood.
A recent study from NYU Langone Health investigated more than 8,000 websites to identify the most common and harmful assumptions about sleep. The study assembled a team of sleep medicine experts that then ranked these beliefs based on whether each was really a myth or could be supported by scientific evidence. They also took into account the harm that the myth could cause. One of the top myths reported was the belief that people could get by on five hours of sleep or less.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s research says a third of Americans sleep fewer than seven hours each night.
That isn’t good enough, folks.
According to Dr. Rebecca Robbins at NYU Langone Health, the most serious risk to someone’s health is the myth that we can get by sleeping five hours or less at night.
To help avoid this danger, Robbins and her colleagues have a bit of advice that will sound familiar to TOT-ers (That’s you, dear reader!). They recommend “creating a consistent sleep schedule and spend more time, at least seven hours, asleep.”
As you look toward 2020 and create time blocks for your goals, consider sleep-blocking to ensure that you’re giving yourself enough rest to tackle it all. You may find that adding another hour to your slumber will give you the edge you need to cross the finish line.
If you need help figuring out how to incorporate that extra hour of shut eye into your schedule, there are multiple hacks you can incorporate into your evening routine. For instance, try starting your evening routine earlier. If you get into those cozy jammies and brush your teeth an hour earlier than you normally do, you’re more likely to feel ready to go to sleep when the time comes, even if it’s earlier than usual. Other routines like cutting off your electronics ahead of schedule (avoid the screen’s blue light!), setting a bedtime alarm, and even introducing aromatherapy – such as lavender – to your sleep area can all help trick your mind and body to get to bed earlier.
Need a way to get your colleagues on board with the idea of making their energy a priority? Try The ONE Thing’s Wellness Challenge — a 66-Day Challenge to build a habit that to help you live your healthiest and biggest life.