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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Summer Holiday Sleeping Tips - The Sleep Geek

The Summer is well and truly here and many of us are flooding on Summer holidays but one thing many of us will suffer with is being about to get a decent nights sleep... without the help of alcohol! The sleep geek - James Wilson has got your some helpful tips on how you can get the best sleep whilst abroad.

Getting up early for the flight:

For most of us our holiday starts with an ungodly wake up time that often leaves us feeling absolutely shattered. Although this can be difficult to combat there are a couple of little things we can do to help. Firstly don’t rush to go to bed super early. Our body likes a consistent wake up time and sleep time and if we try to go to bed 2-3 hours before we usually do our bodies will not have built up the pressure to sleep sufficiently and we will struggle to fall asleep. Go to bed when you are sleepy, make sure you are winding down properly (not going straight from packing a suitcase to bed)  and if you are not asleep within 30 minutes get up and start again, maybe by trying to listening something to bring your heart rate down. Remember don’t worry too much about it, even if you only get a couple of hours, you have a holiday to relax and recover from the one bad night.

Sleeping In a New Environment:

Often when we are on holiday the environment we sleep in can be very different to home. There is research to show that when we sleep in a different environment our brain sleeps in a different way, staying more alert until it gets used to the new room. A way of combating this is to take your pillowcase from home as the touch and smell of it will remind us of our bedroom at home and allow our heart rate to drop. It is also worth accepting sleep might be more difficult for the first couple of nights, your partner may be closer to you in the bed or further away, you may have your children in the room, there may be air con, loud noises and brighter mornings... Try not to worry too much and ear plugs and eye masks can become your new best friends!

Dealing with Jet Lag:

Jet Lag can cause us to struggle to adjust to our new time zone and leave us feeling lethargic and confused. Some simple tips that an help with Jet lag are; try and land at dusk for long haul holidays as this allows you to go straight to bed when you get to your destination, expose yourself to as much daylight as possible and particularly in the morning, if you are going long haul for a couple of days try and keep your holiday schedule as close as possible to UK time so you don't struggle to adjust whilst away again when you get back.

Dealing with the heat:

Sleeping in the heat, when our bodies are not used to such high temperatures can seriously impact on our ability to sleep when we go on holiday. Many places you can stay now have air con and try and set your air con between 16-18 degrees Celsius, although for some people this can be incredibly cold. If you are someone who likes the room warm just ensure the room feels slightly cooler as you walk into it. A neat little thing to take in your suitcase is a hot water bottle; place your feet on the hot water bottle, when it has been filled with lukewarm water in the hour before bed. This helps drop the core temperature, an important part of the process that leads to you falling asleep.

Getting back into a routine:

When we get back from our holiday, it can be hard to get back into a routine, as later nights and naps in the day may have knocked our body clock out of kilter and early flights and jet lag can cause us to arrive hoe and struggle to sleep. If you do land early and feel tired try and stay awake for as long as you can, and get as close to your normal bedtime as possible. This will build up your sleep pressure and make it more likely that you will get back into your usual routine as soon as possible. Cut out naps if you have been napping, try and avoid alcohol so you get good quality sleep and expose yourself to lots if natural light, particularly in the morning.

James Wilson (The Sleep Geek)


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