You’ve put in the hours at work, got the kids ready for school each morning, stood in the rain at their football practice and fallen asleep on the sofa, exhausted, every night. You deserve a relaxing summer holiday.
However, have you ever returned from your break and felt as if you needed another, just to recover? Holidays can be draining at times, but here are some tips on how you can make the most of your holiday and ensure you get the rest you need.
Get plenty of sleep beforehand
Sleep-wise, you should be prepping for your summer holiday in advance. You don’t want to arrive at your destination already needing to catch up on sleep, so try to get a few early nights leading up to your holiday. This is particularly important the night before if you have to be up early to catch a flight – you don’t want to sleep in and miss it!
Pack some sleeping essentials
If you’re a little concerned that you might not be able to sleep too well when you’re on your summer holiday, you could try packing a few sleeping essentials to give you a helping hand. For example, an eye mask can help you combat the bright mornings, allowing you to stay asleep a little longer, while loose fitting clothing is also recommended to help you stay cool. Sleeping naked might help you keep even cooler and has a number of other health benefits.
If you want to recreate your bed at home then you could even pack your own pillow case – sleeping on your own cotton pillow case with its distinctive feel and smell, for instance, is a creature comfort that could help you sleep better.
Sleeping on the plane
If you were up early to catch your flight or are travelling through the night, then it might be worth trying to get some shut-eye on the plane. This isn’t always the easiest thing to do, unless you’re in the posh seats, but if you can get an hour or two of sleep then it can help you feel refreshed when you get there. Neck pillows are a great way to help you fall asleep on a plane and can prevent you getting a sore neck and back.
Acclimatise your hotel room
You may not intend on spending an awful lot of time in your hotel room, but you’ll be sleeping there so it’s important to make it a good sleeping environment. If you’re in a hot country, you will hopefully have air conditioning, and this will be your saviour, as sleeping in hot weather isn’t easy. However, don’t go overboard with the air con or you could easily find yourself waking up cold in the middle of the night, or worse, catching a chill.
Don’t give in to jet lag
Depending on where you go on holiday, you might be affected by jet lag. Even just one or two time zones can make a real impact on your sleep pattern, but don’t give in to your tiredness or you won’t acclimatise. Failing to adjust to local time will not only affect your body clock but it could also mean that you don’t fully enjoy your holiday as you won’t be operating on the same time as the locals.
Sleep in the shade
One of the joys of a beach holiday is being able to rest by the pool or at the beach – just think of all that lovely sleep you can catch up on. However, just be careful when and where you sleep. Falling asleep in the sun can have its consequences (sunburn, heat stroke, etc) so try and find a spot in the shade if you can, and be careful about being out during the hottest parts of the day. You don’t want to spend the rest of your holiday in pain and looking like a lobster.
Keep your children’s routines
If you’re going away with your children then obviously you’re not going to enforce a strict bedtime every night. However, it would pay to keep their routines roughly similar to when they’re at home, so they still know when it’s time for bed. Again, be careful about them sleeping in the sun as they’re even more susceptible to its effects than you are.
Take a couple of days when you’re home
If jet lag is an issue, then it might be wise to take a couple of days when you get home before you go back to work, if that’s possible. This will help you get back into the swing of being home, will help overcome the holiday blues – and let you enjoy the last couple of days of your holiday a little more without thinking you’re straight back to work when you get home.
Have a relaxing summer holiday from everyone here at The Sleep Matters Club!