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