Holiday Sleep Loss is No Longer Inevitable

The Holidays are an exciting marathon of food and family and fun. But most of us suffer from holiday sleep loss due to a multitude of factors. Prevent what feels inevitable using these tips from Mattress Advisor.


We love the holidays, even if the onslaught of merry and cheer can be overwhelming. Making time for yourself, for fitness, and for sleep often takes a backseat to everything and everyone else. Preparing to run in the colder weather will help you tackle your fitness. Making time for some relaxation and pampering is crucial. So is avoiding holiday sleep loss, which is why we’re sharing tips from Mattress Advisor and their survey of 1000 busy adults. Below are excerpts and major takeaways from their research.

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We all know that the holiday season can be a stressful time of the year – it’s practically all anyone talks about! Between shopping, dealing with crowds, and making time for your family, it’s no wonder anxiety levels are at an all-time high. But one issue many people aren’t talking about is how holiday pressures can add up and lead to holiday sleep loss.

The connection between stress and sleep creates a dangerous cycle that’s nearly impossible to escape. Increased stress leads to trouble sleeping, and losing sleep leads to even more stress. No one wants to be a Grinch during what’s supposed to be the happiest season of the year. Read on to learn what could be sabotaging your precious (and much-needed) sleep.


holiday sleep loss


Why Do We Lose Sleep?

The holidays destroy our sleep, but why is that? The top-reported individual factors include visiting family members (12 percent), the pressure to get everything done (11 percent), hosting family members (10 percent), and financial stress (nine percent). When we tied all of these responses back to the root cause, we found that the culprits of sleep loss could be categorized into holiday pressures, family-related factors, and travel-related factors. Surprisingly, the family factors are nearly as stressful as holiday pressure in general.

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Family-related factors have a large and harmful impact on sleep satisfaction. Thirty-nine percent of respondents related their sleep problems during the holidays to family-related factors such as hosting family, visiting family members, or just being around family in general. Who knew that crazy aunt of yours was really getting to your sleep?

General holiday pressures took the number one spot for causing the most stress on sleep. Forty-three percent of people said holiday stress around finding the perfect gift, hurrying to get everything done, preparing the “Santa Clause” experience for children, and financial stress greatly affected their sleep quantity and quality. In fact, financial stress accounts for 22 percent of overall holiday stress. The pressure to buy everyone you know a gift, and not only that but the perfect gift, adds up and takes a large toll. So the lesson here is simple, don’t sweat the small stuff. Relax and enjoy the season instead of trying to get it perfect.

Maintain Your Habits

One of the best steps you can take to improve your mood, health, and daily energy is to ensure you get a solid eight hours of sleep each night. Consistently sleeping eight hours a night is a healthy lifestyle habit adults should follow. But during the holidays, it’s common for your sleep schedule to be thrown off wack. Do everything you can to maintain your habits.

While eight hours is the standard number used for a good night’s sleep, everyone may not need quite as much. If you’re sleeping seven hours a night consistently, then maintain this during the holidays. As many as 32 percent of adults are sleeping as little as 3-5 hours each night from Thanksgiving through New Years. That’s certainly not enough time for your nightly shut-eye.


holiday sleep loss


Does Where You Sleep Matter?

Travel-related factors didn’t have as large of an effect on sleep as general holiday pressures or the family, but its still significant. Fourteen percent of respondents say their sleep suffers due to travel-related factors such as sleeping in a different environment, jet lag, and weather-related stress. This begs the question: How much does your sleeping location really matter?

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Although the majority of people stay at home for the holidays, they are also the ones whose sleep suffers the most. Those getting the best night’s sleep are staying at a friend’s home. But even better are outside accommodations. So if you’re choosing between staying home, visiting the in-laws, or booking an Airbnb, your best bet is to find a hotel or Airbnb.

Sleep quality ratings also showed that sleeping at home offers the least amount of sleep satisfaction, with the average sleep quality score at a 6.03 out of 10. Sleeping in a hotel/Airbnb offers the best sleep quality with an average score of 6.43 out of 10.


Holiday Sleep Loss


Better Holiday Sleep

There’s no secret sauce to a good night’s sleep during the holidays, but knowing the causes will lead to solutions. We’ll leave you with three useful tips for getting better sleep during the holiday season.

  1. Plan Ahead: Even if you operate under the belief that you perform best under pressure, don’t wait until the last minute to get everything ready for the holidays. Start shopping, preparing your home, and getting everything in order sooner rather than later.
  2. Stick to Your Schedule: Hard as it may be, try sticking to your normal routine. This includes your eating, drinking, exercising, and sleeping habits. Throwing one (or more) of these habits off your typical schedule can have a harmful and lasting effect. Stick to the status quo and you’ll be good to go.
  3. Lose the Idea of Perfection: More often than not, things do not go to plan. So when that happens, don’t let it get to you. If you scale back your expectations of the “perfect” holiday season, then you’re less likely to stress out.


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