The holiday provides a great chance to catch up on sleep. Here's how to take advantage of it.
If you're used to moving a mile a minute at work, taking a long Thanksgiving weekend to rest might be a little, well, difficult. It's hard to stay away from email--and constantly checking in with work. And if you're traveling across time zones, jet lag can alter your natural sleep rhythm.
But there are a few simple tricks to getting some extra snooze time over the holiday break.
1. Keep your phone handy. That is, if you’re using one of the many sleep apps available. Try JetLag Genie, which formulates a plan to help shift your sleep schedule and ward off jet lag.
Not traveling? Try Pzizz or Relax Completely, both apps offer relaxing music and a hypnosis session to lull you to sleep.
2. Stop eating at least three hours before bed. Inc. contributor and nutritionist Barbara Mendez said that those who snack up until bedtime are likely to have broken sleep. That’s because when the body works to digest foods, it can hinder the ability to wind down in time for bed.
3. Avoid alcohol close to sleep. It’s true that as a depressant, alcohol can make it easier to fall asleep, but it can also make it harder to stay asleep. "Alcohol raises your core body temperature, increasing the chance you’ll wake up in the middle of the night -- and making it difficult to fall back asleep," Mendez said. So keep your holiday drinking to earlier in the day and pace yourself in the evening.
4. Open the windows and shut off all your screens. Cool temperatures help to induce sleep. A dark sleep environment can also help you to have a more restorative sleep, so turn off your TV, laptop, phone, or anything else in the room making it bright.
5. Take a warm shower before bed. Taking a shower is both calming and sleep-inducing. A warm shower increases your body temperature, and as your body cools, the effect creates a feeling of drowsiness.
For more sleep tips, read the rest of Mendez's article here. And if you need more convincing that sleep is absolutely necessary for your well-being, read this article about what sleep deprivation does to the brain.
LAURA MONTINI is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco. @lmmontini