Ways to get better sleep during the holidays

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ST. LOUIS - Sleep and the holidays often do not mix. The Clayton Sleep Institute joined FOX 2 in the Morning with an early gift of ways to get enough sleep.

Dr. Joe Ojile discusses how holiday schedules often cause or exacerbate a misalignment of your body clock and sleep drive.

Try to achieve healthy, restorative sleep during the holidays with these best practices:

  • Maintain a steady time pattern of going to sleep and waking up and avoid the urge to sleep in
  • Limit daytime naps to no more than 20 minutes. Longer naps will take you into stage 3 and disrupt the coordination of your daily schedule, sleep drive, and your circadian clock.
  •  It`s winter—get bright light as close to waking as possible and throughout the day; you might consider a light therapy device
  • Get exercise but try to do it early - for most people, it`s best to exercise in the early morning (6am); second choice is early afternoon (2pm) to keep from interfering with sleep; in order to keep in sync with your circadian body clock, exercise never less than a minimum of 3 hours before bedtime.
  •  Turn off screen technology no later than 1 hour before bedtime
  • Eliminate caffeine intake 6-8 hours before bedtime
  •  Consider a time-released melatonin supplement 30-60 minutes before bedtime, but be sure to discuss with your physician
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