It can be difficult enough to feel well-rested at any old time of the year, but challenges associated with sleep can multiply as the holiday season approaches. Between a packed social schedule, long days of travel and extended family time, you may find yourself feeling completely exhausted before the festivities can even begin!

Christopher Lindholst is a sleep expert and the CEO of Restworks, a company that provides sleep-related solutions for corporate clients. He points to travel as the major contributor to sleep issues at this time of year. 鈥淟ots of people are on the move, 鈥 Christopher says. 鈥淵ou can expect to see fatigue due to extensive driving and jet lag from air travel, especially between time zones.鈥

To help all of us stay healthy and refreshed 鈥 and even more ready to enjoy our favorite sweets, cocktails and movies of the season 鈥 we got some advice from Christopher on how to combat the sleep-related challenges of the winter holidays. Scroll down for his expert tips!

Woman looking out airplane window

1. If you鈥檙e making a long drive, resist the urge to power through the whole trip at once. While it鈥檚 tempting to get to your destination ASAP, be smart when it comes to tired driving. Christopher encourages you to pull into a rest stop, put your seat back and nap for up to 15 minutes if you鈥檙e feeling sleepy. He also suggests taking a quick walk after you wake up and before hitting the road again. You鈥檒l make the road a LOT safer if you get a little shut-eye, and your body won鈥檛 be nearly as exhausted when you finally arrive at your holiday headquarters.

2. Stick to your normal time zone. Jet lag can be a major problem for holiday travelers, especially for people making trips on the shorter side. 鈥淎ssuming you are only staying for a couple of days and need to be back at work on Monday, try to keep your body clock on your usual time zone,鈥 Christopher says. 鈥淭his will help keep you less bleary-eyed during the holiday weekend, and you鈥檒l be ready to be productive come the Monday after.鈥

3. Try not to sleep too late. We know, we know 鈥 there are few things better than shutting off your alarm and enjoying extended mornings of sleep during a holiday break. The bad news is that, unless you鈥檙e sleeping late in order to keep your body on track and avoid jet lag, doing so will mess up your internal clock and throw off your sleep schedule after the holidays. There鈥檚 no need to wake up at the crack of dawn, but you鈥檒l likely regret sleeping in during your travels when you return to work.

couple taking a nap during the holidays

4. Take a nap (or a few). The experts insist! Sleeping in may be ill-advised, but Christopher has an ideal solution.鈥淪ince the point of the holidays is also to get some rest, I suggest getting in a few naps to help you catch up on your sleep,鈥 he says. Christopher recommends early afternoon napping, in any comfy spot where you can really put your feet up and for as long as necessary to recharge. You鈥檒l feel refreshed but will skip the 鈥渨eekend lag鈥 that comes with excessive sleeping in 鈥 and if your family tries to hate on your nap schedule, you can tell them that it鈥檚 expert-recommended!

Do you experience holiday exhaustion? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)