3 Reasons to Get More Sleep During the Holidays

Make sure you get enough sleep this time of yearMake sure you get enough sleep this time of year

Late-night gift shopping, seasonal cocktails, and party after party can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule this time of year. But it's especially important to stick as closely as you can to a regular snooze schedule in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Here's why you need enough pillow time:

Related: 25 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

1. Your waistline
People with inconsistent to-bed and wake-up times (as well as those who sleep too much or too little) are more likely to be overweight, reports a new Brigham Young University study. A previous study, from McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., found that sleepy people have less activity in the parts of the brain that regulate willpower, making it tougher to resist the cookies, cakes, and booze that's everywhere you turn this month.

2. Your immunity
Want to avoid that cold floating around your office? Get to bed on time. Skimping on shut-eye weakens your immune system. In fact, a Carnegie Mellon University study found that people who got less than seven hours of sleep were almost three times more likely to develop a cold after being exposed to a virus than those who got eight or more hours. Who wants to spend the holidays sniffling and sneezing?

Related: 7 Surprising Ways Your Diet is Preventing a Good Night's Sleept

3. Your mood
It's a happy season, sure, but it's also often filled with tension (family bickering, financial worries). Getting enough slumber helps you buffer the effects of stress. Too-few hours of zzzs can make you irritable and grouchy, and it's much easier to laugh off your family drama when you're in a good mood.

- By Marnie Soman

More from Good Housekeeping: