How to Cure Post-Holiday Insomnia

Patient Expert

Now that the holidays are behind us, you may be having some trouble getting a good night's sleep. What with all the parties, festivity, and traveling, the holidays tend to throw our sleep schedules off.

If you're suddenly having a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep, here are a few tips that will help you cure your post-holiday insomnia.** Exercise in the eveningAfter a good workout, many people become tired or drowsy. If you're one of these people, you should try exercising for about an hour in the evening to prep yourself for a good night's sleep. However, your workouts in the evening should not** be intense, since exercise increases your cortisol levels.

An intense workout can actually get you ramped up rather than drowsy. If you find that even light exercise gets you energized in the evening, then you should consider exercising earlier in the day so that your cortisol levels are normal by the time you're ready for bed.

_Establish a routine _

The human body responds well to repetition and rhythm. Therefore, after the holidays, you want to establish a bedtime routine.

You should go to bed at roughly the same time every day. You also want to wake up at around the same time each day. While it is okay to sleep in a little on your days off from work or school, you don't want to wake up more than half an hour or so later than you usually do.

Eventually, you will be able to both go to sleep and wake up with ease. You just need to use repetition to train your body.

_Reduce light _

Another way you can cure post-holiday insomnia is by reducing the amount of light in your bedroom. Exposure to light stimulates the pineal gland, which controls the sleep/wake cycle. Therefore, even a small amount of light can reduce the length and depth of your sleep.

In order to reduce your exposure to light as you try to sleep, you should wear an eye mask and put up blackout curtains in your bedroom. You may also want to use a cloth to cover the digital clock on your nightstand.

Don't use your tablet, smartphone, or any other electronics right before you go to bed. Many electronics emit a blue light that causes the brain to think it is daytime when it is actually time to go to bed.

If you have trouble waking up in the morning after the holidays, you are far from alone. Millions of Americans experience post-holiday insomnia in the first few months or so of the new year. Fortunately, if you're one of these people, there are many things you can do to cure your post-holiday insomnia.


Martin is the creator of Insomnia Land’s free insomnia sleep training course. His course will help you stop feeling sleep deprived. Over 3,000 insomniacs have completed his course and 96 percent of graduates say they would recommend it to a friend.

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