Sleep, Stress, and the Holidays

I know I do. For whatever reason, from about early December until mid-January I normally have had a hard time sleeping straight through the night (however, this year…so far is the exception, fingers crossed : ).

Most years, I woke up around 2 or 3 in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. As you can imagine, this was extremely frustrating. Those of you who struggle with sleeping or falling asleep probably feel the same way.

What makes matters worse, is so often we blame ourselves, and we get frustrated at ourselves for not being able to fall asleep, which makes no sense.

This quote by John R. Wooden makes a ton of sense to me given our topic and context. He says, “ Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

Instead of being frustrated and becoming overwhelmed with what you can’t control, focus on the steps and the practices that you can control. For me, that means having a schedule and going to bed at 9:30 PM. Instead of focusing on the negative and just getting frustrated and bent out of shape. Spend your time energy and effort on some practices that you can control, that have been shown to make a difference.

No, not all of these things that I’m going to list below are going to magically make you sleep better. But chances are at least one of them can greatly help. But once again, you never know until you try and you can’t try if you are only focused on the uncontrollable.

Truthfully, some of these ideas and practices are simple (maybe not easy, but simple) and we know them…BUT we just don’t do them. We don’t put the effort into them for them to make a difference.

So, once again, “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” Instead focus your efforts on what you can do and what you can control.

With that said, here my tips to help you sleep better, reduce stress, and enjoy the holidays more.

4 Simple Steps To Sleep Better And Stress Less

  1. Set a bedtime. How? Its simple, count back 7-8 hours from when you have to wake up: that’s your bedtime. Set an alarm on whatever electronic device you typically use in the evening for 30 minutes before you should be sleeping. If your bedtime is 10:00 PM, set your alarm for 9:30 PM.
  2. Create a bedtime routine. If you always get up to brush your teeth at 9:30, sooner or later it’ll get automatic and you’ll end up doing it even on “off days.” Read for 10 – 15 minutes. Use one of the Apps listed below to help you relax and get ready to fall asleep.
  3. Ban electronics from the bedroom. If they’re not there, they can’t distract you. I leave my phone in the kitchen.
  4. Schedule a “done time” for your work. Don’t tell yourself you have all evening to do whatever it is; give yourself a deadline so you can get it done and then relax and get ready for bed.


The Top 2 Rated Apps To Help You Fall Asleep and also, stress less.

1.   Calm

What it does: Helps you fall asleep easier and learn how to meditate

The Cost: iOS: Free (with in-app purchases), Android: Free (with in-app purchases)

Description: Calm is loaded with a variety of guided meditation sessions to help you better acquaint yourself with the practice, and eventually get to the point where you can successfully do it without your smartphone. Even better, it’s stocked with a catalog of soothing nature sounds and calming music intended to lull you to sleep on those nights when your brain won’t stop racing.



2.   Relax Melodies

What it does: Helps combat insomnia

The Cost: iOS: Free, Android: Free, Windows: Free

Description: Relax Melodies is essentially an elaborate soundboard of soothing ambient audio designed to dial down your brain and help you fall asleep. You can cue up individual looping nature clips (rain, birds, winds, etc.) or melodies (humming, grandfather clock, monk chant, etc.), or even combine them and adjust volumes to create your own custom soundscapes.


Now go be awesome!

KELLEN LAKE – Having a strict rule of going to bed by 9:30 PM has been huge for me…I have to get up daily at 4:50 AM.

PS – Interested in improving your confidence, losing weight, and becoming fitter in a completely private setting? Try three sessions on me : ), click the link:

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