It's often called one of the most wonderful times of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year.  From shopping to holiday parties to family dinners, sleep specialist, Dr. Anuj Chandra, says this all adds up to a lack of sleep.

Dr. Anuj Chandra said, "the more we compromise on our sleep, the worse the holidays are going to be, and we won't be able to enjoy them; it is more stress and worry, sleep deprivation."   

Dr. Chandra said it's important to focus on your sleep and make it a priority during the holidays and throughout the year. He says good sleep is the best holiday gift.

He has this advice:

1. Stay as close as possible to your normal sleep routine.

Dr. Anuj Chandra says "Just say okay these are the limits, this is what we have to do, stick with a fixed bedtime, fixed wake-up time."

2. Use relaxation techniques, like prayer or meditation, to wind down before bed.

Dr. Anuj Chandra said, "there are lots of new apps that have come out; it has all these meditations you can just listen to, guided meditation."

Take power naps and get some exercise but not too close to bedtime.

Dr. Anuj Chandra said, "if you have to get up early, do all these things, try to take a short nap early in the day not later on in the day. Also, definitely get some exercise at least four hours before bedtime." 

And we've heard this one before, and it's not just for kids and teens; no electronics before bed.  Try to unplug.

Dr. Anuj Chandra said, "at least an hour if not two, the blue lights and the background from these devices is dissipating the melatonin molecule, a hormone for sleep."  

For more information, visit sleepforhealth.org or call 423-648-8008.