If you’re not a child or Mariah Carey, Christmas likely inspires consternation much more than it does glee. Americans spend just about $630 billion on holiday expenses every year, with 61% of these contributors willingly going into debt to satiate various festive obligations.
A retrospective scan of the last five decades confirms these figures to remain consistently high irrespective of the state of the economy— not that money is the only winter stressor (or consequence for that matter). A new exhaustive survey of 1,000 US adults conducted by Mattress Advisor illuminates the alarming extent to which quality sleep suffers between November and the new year.
“There’s enough to worry about during the holidays, so the last thing you want to deal with is feeling low on energy and cranky due to sleep deprivation. No one wants to be a grinch during what’s supposed to be the happiest season of the year,” reports Mattress Advisor’s resident sleep content specialist, Ashley Little.
As you likely already know, the majority of American adults are already falling considerably short of the recommended quantity of sleep ere the mistletoe comes out. The suggested value changes fractionally depending on genetic mutations and age, but between seven and nine hours serves the official health canon well enough. Despite this undisturbed unanimity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report recently disclosed that one in three US adults are failing to adhere to their guideline.
This stat reliably plunges during the holiday season. According to Mattress Advisor’s new paper, 64% of adults do not receive at least eight hours of sleep during this span, and 32% of these only manage about three to five hours.
Not only do people sleep less during the holidays but their quality of sleep is also wounded. A phalanx of looming responsibilities saw the average participant rating their best night’s rest as a six out of ten or below.
“The top-reported individual factors include visiting family members (12%), the pressure to get everything done (11%), hosting family members (10%), and financial stress (9%). When we tied all of these responses back to the root cause, we found that the culprits of sleep loss could be categorized into holiday pressures, family-related factors, and travel-related factors. Surprisingly, the family factors are nearly as stressful as holiday pressure in general,” continues Little.
There was also a direct correlation observable between how much a respondent spent on gifts and the amount of sleep they achieved. Sixty-seven percent of participants that spent a grand or more on festivities consistently got less than eight hours a sleep a night. Comparably, participants that spent $100 or less routinely achieved quality rest. At the end of the day, it all comes down to planning. Forty-three percent of the sample pool felt that unexpected holiday expenses supplied the greater portion of holiday pressure, 39% said the same but about either hosting or visiting family members and the remaining share identified travel as the culprit of their end of the year anxiety. To avoid these pitfalls, Little urges us to plan ahead, stick to a schedule, and most importantly, abandon the idea of a perfect holiday season.
“More often than not, things do not go to plan. So when that happens, don’t let it get to you. If you scale back your expectations of the “perfect” holiday season then you’re less likely to stress out. With preparation, consistency, and realistic expectations, it’s possible to survive the holiday season without sacrificing your sleep,” concludes Little.