7 sleep tips to reduce stress and avoid insomnia over Christmas

How to get a good night’s sleep during Christmas and the festive season

Someone wearing tartan Christmas pyjamas while holding a cup
(Image credit: Eugenivy Now / Unsplash)

Struggling to get to sleep this Christmas? Then make sure to prioritise your sleep schedule and use these seven tips to reduce stress and avoid insomnia over the festive period.

With Christmas just a week away, sleep is probably the last thing on your mind. But I can’t stress enough how important it is to prioritise sleep, especially over Christmas and in the lead-up to the new year. Let’s face it, no one wants to feel like they’ve wasted Christmas taking countless naps or wake up on the first working day in January feeling exhausted.

Christmastime is filled with overindulgence and late nights which are fun to partake in, but they shouldn’t impact your sleep and wellbeing. However, with an excess of food, alcohol and socialising, you’re bound to lose some sleep here and there, so to help you manage this better, here are seven sleep tips for a rested and relaxing Christmas night’s sleep.

P.S. Set yourself up for sleep success with the best mattress.

1. Stick to your normal sleep routine

One of the rules of good sleep hygiene is to stick to a sleep schedule. Going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning helps balance your circadian rhythm which ensures your sleep is high quality. While you’re likely to have a few later nights than normal over Christmas, it’s important to stay close to your normal routine so you don’t feel groggy or irritable the next day. Do this by going to bed at the same time as you would normally, follow your nighttime routine like skincare, reducing screen time and reading before bed, and make sure to limit your alcohol intake.

2. Have a soft drink after every alcoholic drink

From a morning bucks fizz, to wine with lunch, to Baileys for winding down in the evening, Christmas Day is sure to be filled with alcoholic drinks. But while alcohol can have a sedative-like effect, it’s very disruptive to sleep as you’ll find yourself waking up more often in the night and feeling rundown and dehydrated in the morning. Limiting your alcohol intake is a good way to minimise these sleep disruptions so try to have your last drink two-three hours before you go to bed. To keep yourself alert and hydrated while (hopefully!) avoiding a hangover, have a soft drink after every alcoholic drink to give your body a chance to digest the alcohol properly before you consume more.

Alcohol free drinks in glasses

(Image credit: Pexels)

3. Eat protein-rich foods to aid sleep

Yes, it’s true that turkey can make you feel sleepy and if you’re finding it hard to sleep, eating protein-rich foods like turkey can solve this problem. Turkey and foods like cheese, nuts and salmon are high in tryptophan which increase the production of melatonin and serotonin. These two hormones regulate your sleep schedule so if you have an increase in them, you’ll feel sleepier. Aside from this natural sleepiness, protein-rich foods take longer to digest which helps regulate your blood sugar levels.

4. Get fresh air and sunlight

It’s easy to stay inside playing games, eating food and making cocktails but to help you sleep better at night, you should get some fresh air and sunlight every day. Getting natural light and fresh air in the morning helps wake you up and kickstart your circadian rhythm which will determine when you feel sleepier at the end of the day. Going for a Christmas walk also gives you a bit of exercise after overeating.

5. Bring sleep-inducing products when travelling

If you’re going away for Christmas, your sleep might be disrupted, as you’re in an unfamiliar environment, not used to the mattress you're sleeping on or sharing a room with someone you don’t normally share with. To solve these issues, take sleep-inducing items with you that bring a sense of familiarity and comfort. When your brain and body sees your best pillow, eye mask or sleep spray, it’ll know that it’s time to wind down which can help you drift off faster and sleep better.

Woman asleep in bed while wearing a pink face mask

(Image credit: Dmitry Ganin / Unsplash)

6. Have a power nap

Christmas and napping go hand in hand, and are oftentimes unavoidable, especially if you’ve just eaten your bodyweight in turkey. If you feel like you need a quick snooze, have a power nap so you feel alert but you don’t affect your sleep schedule later. When having a power nap, keep it to 20 minutes so you don’t sleep for too long, and place it in the mid-afternoon as any later, you’ll disrupt your sleep. Here’s how to have the perfect nap for more details.

7. Keep Christmas gifts and mess out of your bedroom

Whether you’re hosting Christmas or enjoying it at someone else’s, chances are your room and the house in general is going to be a bit messy. Clutter and mess are big stressors and if you’re worried about this mess, it can be hard for you to fall asleep. Try to minimise this stress by keeping Christmas presents and other messes out of your bedroom. These visual cues will remind you of all the jobs you need to do so removing them from sight can help you rest and relax. Out of sight, out of mind!

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!