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Most of us have been waiting for this all year and, finally, the time for our summer vacation has come!  Plenty of sun, the sea, maybe a trip somewhere – and, ideally, lots and lots of rest. What happens, though, when our vacation doesn’t go together with good, quality sleep? Many factors can affect our sleeping patterns on vacation, but there are things we can do to enjoy our sleep even when we are away!

One of the most common causes of sleep disturbance during vacation is “travel fatigue”, which can be caused by stress before and during travelling, changes in our everyday routine, difference in the time zone of the country of arrival (jet lag) or simply because we can’t sleep while traveling. In addition to these, it is highly likely that we will consume more coffee and alcohol than usual when we travel, which also affects significantly our sleep.

The best way to avoid this, is first of all, to prepare on time for our trip, not leaving everything up to the last minute. If we have everything ready beforehand, we will reduce our stress, which means we will be calmer and more relaxed during our trip but also when we arrive at our destination. It is also a good idea to stick to our everyday sleep routine as much as possible, especially during the first days of vacation, in order to overcome our jet lag. As for the trip itself, a travel pillow might help us sleep even while sitting, while consuming snacks and beverages cautiously will save us from discomfort later. Finally, when we are about to make a big trip abroad, we should keep in mind that sleeping during the first half of the trip gives us more chances to avoid jet lag rather than sleeping during the second.

One more common reason that we might… lose our sleep while on vacation is the new sleeping environment. Many people have trouble adjusting to a new bed and as a result are having trouble sleeping those first nights away. A simple solution to this is to pack our sleeping pillow, which will help us feel more comfortable. Another good idea is to have a sleeping mask and a pair of earplugs handy, just in case our room is noisy or not dark enough.

And of course, we don’t forget to maintain the children’s everyday routine also, so that they too can enjoy their sleep away from home! It might be a challenge during vacation, but we try to keep up with their sleep routine, continuing to put them to bed at the same time and making sure they get their noon or afternoon nap. Additionally, to help them relax more easily, we pack in our bags their pyjamas or the clothes they usually sleep in and a toy they love, so they will feel more cosy and familiar. We also remind them to avoid screens and video games at least half an hour before bedtime. We urge them to take their bath at this time instead and we read a bedtime story to them once they are done. This will help them relax and unwind from all the excitement of the day.

Concluding, by just applying some simple tips we can enjoy our sleep even on vacation!  A balanced diet including lots of water to stay hydrated, moderate consumption of coffee and alcohol, everyday physical activity, the right accessories and some relaxing exercises is all we need to have a truly restful vacation. So, sleep well and enjoy your summer!