‘Twas the week before Christmas…and you’re not sleeping enough!

Win a “nap sack,” including sheets, pillows, and iPod clock radio and eye pillow, to help you sleep better this holiday season, by answering in the comments below: What holiday-related tasks will you sacrifice shuteye for this week?

‘Twas the week before Christmas… and you’re not sleeping enough, says a recent study published by Sleepy’s and conducted by Toluna, an independent research service. The study shows that the “most wonderful time of the year,” is also the most sleep-deprived. Women, especially FOFs, push physical limits, sacrificing sleep for holiday chores. This past week, FOF Julianne Shannon tells us she pulled an “all-nighter” in order to turn her California home “into a  winter wonderland with faux snow and reindeer–a kind-of Santa’s Workshop motif. Then, I took my son to school and came home to have a morning nap before work.”

Julianne is not alone. More than half of women queried in the study expect to spend between one and four hours a night in December performing holiday-related tasks, cutting into crucial sleep time. The study reports that men will forfeit some sleep too, yet (no surprise here) they devote much less time to holiday chores.

According to sleep expert Robert deStefano, a woman over 50 should be getting seven to eight hours of sleep to function properly. “Throughout the year, women suffer stress-induced insomnia at a 2:1 ratio to men. That skyrockets over the holidays.”

“Many women over 50 have lower sleep efficiency, meaning that their quality of sleep is much poorer,” adds Dr. Steven Y. Park, M.D. an otorhinolaryngologist and Integrative Sleep Surgeon at Montefiore Medical Center.

“If her sleep is fragmented, the central nervous system is taxed and little stressors become magnified,” says Robert. “Stress is a primary contributor to heart disease, the number one cause of death to women in the U.S.”

Lack of sleep (quantity or quality) is known to promote weight gain by increasing your physiologic stress levels,” says Dr. Park. “It causes cravings of sugary or carbohydrate-laden foods, and metabolically makes you put on weight.”

Seven to eight hours of sleep before the holidays?! Fat chance! Here’s what the study shows that FOFs are doing instead of sleeping.

  • 46% sacrifice sleep for making or wrapping gifts

“I spent last night from midnight to 4 a.m. wrapping gifts for my 4 kids and making a dozen intricate holiday garlands for a fundraiser for our local museum,” says FOF Teri Miceli.

“I woke up from a dead sleep at midnight last night because I forgot I still had a dozen individual scrapbooks to finish and wrap for my co-workers… Was up until dawn on that one!” says FOF Tina Mulheisen.

96% put in extra hours baking, cooking, decorating or cleaning

Every year, FOF Francesca Kranzberg has a “cheesecake party” for 120 to 250 neighbors. She bakes 15 different varieties of the dessert–and non-cheesecake treats, too. “The last few days before our party I usually stay up until 2:30 or 3 a.m. finishing the baking, cleaning, etc., and arise at my usual 7 a.m. to get to work. While I always hope to get some sleep before the party, I am simply too nervous.”

“Sleepless nights start before Thanksgiving, with bread baking and prepping pie crusts,” says FOF Cathy Barrow of the cooking blog Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen. “As soon as that holiday is wrapped up, the holiday confections and cookies start. It takes two weeks to make twenty varieties (about 120 dozen) for my holiday cookie box. Lots of baking well past midnight. Plenty of mornings that start at 4 a.m., with cookies in the oven before the coffee is brewed. I mailed off all the treats on Monday, and now my holiday begins.”


“In addition to my normal crazy party schedule, this year I volunteered to make 700 gift boxes of white chocolate dipped and decorate pretzels, oreos and rice crispy treats–up all night with that,” says Alison Mesrop of Alison Mesrop Catering “Also made 20 flourless chocolate cakes complete with ganache frosting and glaceed fruit decor. In a sleep-deprived stupor at 3 a.m. I possessed the patience to separate prosciutto slices, painstakingly fitting into cups, baking them to make 500 crispy prosciutto cups.”


45% are shopping online during hours they normally sleep.

“I stay up to 11:30 p.m. shopping for clients last minute..not for myself,” says FOF style guru Sherrie Mathieson, author of Steal This Style and Forever Cool. “Then it’s hard to unwind, as the computer light affects melatonin cycles. They say that sleep  between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. is most important, and I have sabotaged that rest time.”

Win a “nap sack,” including sheets, pillows, an iPod clock radio and eye pillow, to help you sleep better this holiday season, by answering in the comments below: What holiday-related tasks will you sacrifice shuteye for this week?

One FOF will win.(See all our past winners, here.) (See official rules, here.) Contest closes December 29, 2011 at midnight E.S.T.

0 Responses to “‘Twas the week before Christmas…and you’re not sleeping enough!”

  1. Sue Gordon says:

    OMG…..I NEED this Nap Sack! Year end STRESS is just too much!!

  2. Janet says:

    I lose sleep over so many things.. during the holidays it can be anything from cooking and bakings to stressing about whether I have spent too much… not enough… etc. I would LOVE the sleep nap sack

  3. VJ says:

    I haven’t had a full nights sleep in, well I can’t remember when. I wake at about 2:30, get up and usually go back to bed at 5 or so and sleep for maybe an hour. I am REALLY tired. Winning this just might be a life saver!

    And I will be up the night before Christmas prepping food and getting ready for Christmas dinner. My husband and I are alone this year. First time ever that I haven’t spent Christmas with my son and grandkids. Not much holiday spirit around here this year.

  4. Theresa Buchle says:

    I’ll give up sleep to wrap gifts, travel and play with grandbabies! Merry Christmas!!

  5. jaycee2001 says:

    Holiday related events/jobs/chores, etc. are not what keep me from sleeping. My Christmas/Solstice work has been finished for a week. FMS keeps me from sleeping. Maybe some of these items would help…

  6. ktpotat says:

    WOW,What a dreamy prize

  7. mawk313 says:

    All the usual tasks will deprive me of my sleep.

  8. ktpotat says:

    I forgot to answer question.Christmas cards caused loss of sleep.

  9. Mick says:

    I lose sleep over answering email. I put it last on the priority list behind cooking, decorating, wrapping, cleaning, social events & family. I end up staying up past 2 am just to delete stuff!!

  10. Kelly in Carrollton says:

    wrapping, wrapping, wrapping…….and cooking prep for traveling to see family!

  11. Cynthia says:

    I lost 2 hours on Sunday and 2 hours on Monday baking cookies. I expect to lose 1 or 2 hours each night, over the next 3 nights, wrapping presents and cleaning. Then there’s a bit more time on Christmas eve, putting out presents and filling stockings. It’s just too bad they won’t let me sleep at work! 🙂

  12. vclark500 says:

    I will sacrifice wrapping for shut eye any day. I have a neighbor who loves to wrap and brings her own wine.

  13. Clare says:

    This might not be holiday related for most people, but what keeps me up before Christmas is grading all of my university classes by deadline. Fall is my busiest semester. Then, time to prep for spring. A nap sack would be heavenly.

  14. scout says:

    Wraping Gifts @ trying to get the house ready for 6 over nite guests.

  15. Peggy says:

    I have a hard time getting to bed at a decent time….I get on the computer, etc. and the next thing I know, it’s midnight (or after) and I have to get up by 6:30 to get to work by 7:30. Would love to try this Nap Sack set!

  16. Terrie says:

    I have never been a good sleeper and now that I’m older I really suffer for it. I spend way too much time on the computer and worrying about insignificant things.

  17. tracey@parkleigh.com says:


  18. Dee Dee Acquisto says:

    Wrapping presents

  19. Ianete says:

    I feel so relaxed looking at the Nap Sack. It’s a blessing I wish for friends and family–restfulness. With the Nap Sack, it might become a self-fulfilling prophesy!

  20. Ianete says:

    One of the blessings I wish for my friends and family at this holiday time is for restfulness. The Nap Sack would be a self-fulfilling prophesy!

    Happy, joyous, merry, peaceful, restful!

  21. Mary Stump says:

    I decorate corporate Christmas trees starting the week of Thanksgiving and just finished up last Wednesday. All things Christmas must be finished now. I am enclosing a prompt to all women on my list s follows “TODAY, resolve to make time for yourself on a regular basis. REMEMBER, you are #1 on your list.” Guess I should take my own advice; nap sack would help! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  22. Suzanne says:

    Sometimes it is just hard to unwind after all the activities! Plus I don’t sleep thru the night anyway! Double whammy on losing sleep! Sigh…

  23. Roxyd says:

    Full night’s sleep? What’s that, I don’t remember. 🙂

  24. kathypt1 says:

    I don’t sleep just because of the stress of it all!

  25. Margarida says:

    Placing Christmas presents around the tree and filling Christmas stockings cause me to lose sleep on Christmas Eve.

  26. Ro says:

    If this would help me sleep through the night I would kill for it!

  27. Sharon S says:

    Last minute sewing projects

  28. Marcy says:

    Sleep…the whole night through? Had two major moves this year…still “sorting”…”shifting”…and “stressing”!!!

  29. Libbie says:

    The holidays are actually a busy work time for me……..so in addition to work stress I stay up until 2:00 am baking,wrapping and shopping! Madness!

  30. morning star says:

    PLEASE, I’m trying to sleep!

  31. Becky says:

    The mall!!!! ….Shop on line is the best thing to do now!!

  32. rawraimey says:

    I enjoy wrapping presents, but Christmas always causes lots of paper cuts and loss of some time in the sack.

  33. Amy rouse says:

    I’ll sacrifice sleep to fill the kids stockings. I always do that around two a.m. so I’m sure they’re all asleep and don’t see me. Which is silly, since they are ages 27-33. Like they still actually believe in Santa, right???

  34. D says:

    I am so proud of myself this year – got most of the major tasks done the first week of Dec., but know I’ll be baking. Sleeping straight thru 7-8 hours is a rarity. Love it when I do. Would like the “nap pack” to have that feeling every morning!!

  35. Laurakb says:

    What keeps me from sleep is thinking about something I need to do then going over and over it in my mind until I finally get up and do it. The real sleep killer is the next door neighbors hound dog. They live in a duplex with a small yard and NEVER take a dog bred to run for miles on even a simple walk. He is outside my window baying most of the day while they are at work. I work nights and only getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep is really starting to wear on me. Even earplugs only muffle him slightly.

  36. inMO says:

    Cleaning, decorating, wrapping presents, menu planning and table setting for the Christmas feast.

  37. bigsis1960 says:

    I’ve been baking for work, baking for the office party, doing ALL of the Christmas shopping for the family, wrapping, decorating etc etc plus work my full time job. Sleep?? I wake at least three times a night and look at the clock.

  38. nancy homapour says:

    Cooking favorite foods for my family, specially for my wonderful kids. Thank you GOD for all my blessings.

  39. Rita says:

    I will sacrifice shuteye for the holiday task of baking sugar cookies for Santa and his elfs 🙂

  40. Katherine says:

    I no longer do cards, so that’s one thing that does NOT keep me awake. But bills, wrapping, worry…yeah, all those. Plus, the usual teacher things. Lots of grading and planning, always.

  41. LindyBelle says:

    Having suffered from insomnia since I was a child, I usually spend hours in bed ruminating on the day that has just passed and upcoming events/responsibilities that come with the day yet to arrive. I awaken many times during the night and very rarely sleep for an uninterrupted 4 or 5 hours (that would be heaven!), and naps have always eluded me. Would dearly love the “nap sack.”

  42. nancdep5 says:

    I always end up staying up late on Christmas eve to wrap presents. After returning from church services, I seem to never go to bed until 4a because I didn’t wrap any presents before that evening. And this year was no different and the kids are older!

  43. Joanna says:

    I am exhausted! I have sacrificed sleep every night for the past two weeks getting my house ready, buying gifts online and wrapping until the wee hours of the morning! Pick me, please!

  44. valorosa says:

    Cleaning the house before guests come over especially the bathrooms. I really need the Sound Asleep pillow. I think it would help me get to sleep faster.

  45. Carolsue says:

    I seem to sacrifice shut-eye for just about everything — baking, cooking, planning parties, wrapping gifts — you name it. I could really use this nap-sackl!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  46. deborahf2 says:

    I willingly sacrifice sleep at this time of year to entertain my dearest friends…they are so important to me and helpful all year-I can make up the rest later…sounds like your prize would do the trick for catching up on zzz’s..

  47. CHristel Tirrell says:

    I am being rewarded every year at Christmas- I meet Santa coming through the chimney! This Christmas was no different, except now I WAITED for HIM to come down the chimney!
    Holiday stress to me means being far, far away from my children around this time- and for the past 12 years this was my stress. Shopping stress, what am going to cook-stress, what am I buying for who-stress – etc..nothing beats this heart-stress …
    Come to think of it: I do think I can do with some Nap Sack help:)

  48. sccoed09 says:

    Food prep and gift wrapping, one year spent over 2 hours locked in bathroom Xmas eve finishing scarfs made for everyone. But all worth it to see the looks on faces as gifts are opened and meal is thou-really enjoyed. Since have various health issues and do not sleep well would really appreciate this prize very,very, much, thanks for opportunity, and The best of the New Year to all the staff at Fab/Fifty and all the fabulous ladies who log onto this site!!!

  49. nanja says:

    I sacrificed shut eye by staying up late to wrap Christmas presents. I tend to be an insomniac anyway.
    I “think too much” as my husband would say. It’s hard to shut down the brain!!
    Thinking a lot about my daughter who’s boyfriend just broke up with her before the holidays. having a lot of sympathy pains for her!

  50. faithmm says:

    I am a teacher so end of semester grading, shopping & wrapping gifts, baking, and taking care of a teenager are really taking their toll on me. On top of it, I am moving to a small house over the holidays. Eeek! Getting some much needed sleep would be an absolute Godsend at this point!


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