5 Types of Holiday Sleep Disruptions

December 18, 2013
by Michael Barber
5 Types of Holiday Sleep Disruptions

There are several issues over the holidays that can prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep will make you a Scrooge. Luckily, you can learn how to combat five types of holiday sleeping problems, and get back to the fun.

Related: Hey Sleepyhead, How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Really Need?


While it may seem strange, being on vacation may actually leave you feeling less rested. Sleeping away from home, in a new environment, can cause sleep issues while your body adjusts. To help combat the problem, bring your favorite pillow and blanket to make your bed more comfortable. Use a sleep mask and ear plugs to block out light and noise distractions. Play calming music or use a sound machine to help relax you to sleep.

Don't overeat, as it can cause your body to use energy to continue digesting when you should be sleeping. Lastly, avoid too much alcohol. Although it may put you to sleep, you'll wake up once it wears off.

Related: Holiday Travels: How to Stay Safe on the Road

Jet Lag

Jet lag can also interrupt sleep. Jet lag occurs when you cross into a different time zone, and your body needs to adjust. To fight jet lag, give yourself a chance to catch up with your current time zone. Prepare yourself for the difference by going to bed and getting up earlier than usual a few days prior to your trip. Pick a flight that will arrive early in the evening, and stay up until 10 pm local time. If you must nap, make it a quick one in the early afternoon.

Red-Eye Flights

It's often difficult to sleep on a plane. From crying babies to uncomfortable seating, a red-eye flight may have you up all night. If you must travel in the middle of the night and you know you won't sleep, plan ahead to stay refreshed. Exfoliate your skin and moisturize it to keep it refreshed. Keep your seat upright as much as possible to let your blood circulate throughout your body. Stay hydrated, and munch on healthy snacks. Hold cold napkins up to your eyes to prevent puffiness. By keeping your body refreshed, your mind will stay fresh, too. 


Let's face it: the holidays are one of the most stressful times of the year. This build-up of stress can cause your sleep pattern to become very chaotic. To help beat your stress and get more sleep, be aware of the causes. Talk about frustrations with family and friends. Get plenty of exercise and eat properly. Most importantly, don't take on everything yourself -- divvy up the chores among your family.

If you are having trouble dealing with your stress and its physical symptoms, consulting a physician at an urgent care facility can help.

Related: 6 Tips for Running in the Winter


One of the most overlooked causes of sleep problems during the holidays is the overload of excitement. The holidays are stressful, but they're also fun and exciting. Kids aren't the only ones who can't sleep when they're excited. If the anticipation of the holidays is keeping you awake, try a warm bath, drink some warm milk, regulate your body temperature, and distract yourself with soft music or a good book.

Don't let these five sleeping disruptions turn you into a Grinch this holiday season. Enjoy your holidays. With these tricks for holiday sleep disruptions, you'll have visions of sugar plums in no time at all.