It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and also the busiest. Between parties, shopping and getting ready for the season, this time of the year can lead to a lack of sleep.

In preparation for the holiday buzz, it is important not only to keep sleep on your wish list but also make it a priority by adding it to your to do list during this hectic time. Imtiaz Ahmad, M.D., a board certified Fort Myers sleep medicine doctor, offers the following 8 tips to sleep better during the holiday season.

1. Ensure that you have your daily fix of coffee before noon. Caffeinated drinks should be replaced with water in the afternoon and evening.

2. Try to take quick 20-30 minute naps during the day if you feel the need. Short naps restore energy without depriving you of sleep later on at night.

3. Stress can keep us up at night. Make time during this hectic time of year to de-stress with family and friends doing something you enjoy.

4. Is your bedding comfortable enough? If not, get yourself an early holiday gift with a new mattress, or new pillows. They can make a huge difference in the amount of quality sleep you are getting each night.

5.  Stop eating two to three hours before bedtime. Eating right before bed can cause heartburn and impact your ability to sleep.

6.  Although this a time of much needed preparation and planning, try to relax and decompress a couple hours before bedtime.

7. Keep electronics such as phones, laptops and tablets out of the bedroom as they may disrupt sleep and cause distractions.

8. Consider playing soft holiday music to encourage relaxation before bedtime, making it easier to fall asleep.

If you follow these tips, your sleep doesn’t have to be sacrificed during this upcoming holiday season, or all of next year.

If these tips don’t help and you still experience excessive daytime sleepiness, consider making an appointment with your doctor. Common conditions like sleep apnea can be exacerbated by stress and irritants like alcohol. Once diagnosed, sleep apnea can be easily treated, giving you the full, restful sleep you deserve.

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