The holidays are some of the happiest times of the year, but they can also interfere with your sleep schedule and sleep routines.

Keep reading to find out some of the most common ways the holidays affect sleep.

How the Holidays Affect Sleep

1. Increased amounts of stress

The holidays can be a stressful time of year. A Sleepopolis study found that 66% of their respondents reported that they feel more stressed during the holiday season. Unfortunately, that stress can lead to sleep problems. Stress releases hormones like noradrenaline and cortisol, which keep you awake and on high alert.

Financial stress is a common form of stress during the holidays due to worries over buying gifts, travel expenses, and buying supplies for holiday dinners.

Having a holiday spending plan in place — and sticking to it — can aid in eliminating financial-related worries and reduce your stress levels for a better night’s sleep.

2. Busier schedules

You may have a set schedule for your days during the majority of the year. However, during the holidays, that schedule can go out the window.

Whether you’re staying up late to wrap presents, or you’re on the move to a variety of holiday events, your routine is bound to change or fall apart a bit.

Trying to fit everything in can be a lot, especially if you’re balancing work, friends, family, volunteering, and more. Your schedule can quickly become overloaded, leading to an almost non-existent bedtime routine.

Giving yourself time to sleep in when you’re up late can make all the difference if you’re changing up your schedule for the holiday months.

3. Increased amounts of traveling

The holiday season is one of the biggest travel periods of the year. Whether you’re catching a plane, taking a long drive, or riding on a train, travel throws a big wrench into your typical sleep schedule.

Your circadian rhythm, which is what helps you stay awake during the day and sleep at night, can be knocked out of place when traveling. Even just our daily lives and routines can introduce numerous challenges to our circadian rhythm.

However, when you throw jet lag and time zones into the mix, it can disrupt your sleep patterns even more.

If you make an effort to slowly make adjustments to your sleep schedule when you know you’re going to be traveling soon, it can help negate the effects associated with travel and sleep.

Sleeping in unfamiliar places like hotel rooms or guest rooms can also throw off your sleep schedule. If you are able to, staying in a familiar place during the holidays can help you fall asleep easier and get the rest you need.

Commit to Prioritizing Your Sleep

With all the fun activities that go on during the holidays, making sleep a priority may seem difficult. However, to ensure that you feel happy and healthy, getting the best sleep possible is important.

If you suspect that your sleep problems aren’t related to the holidays and that you may have a sleep disorder, Sleep Dynamics is here to help. When you contact us, our team can help you find the answers you need to start sleeping better.