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Travelling This Summer? Tips to Maintain Your Sleep Routine on Summer Holiday

Summer holidays or summer vacations are a cherished time for relaxation, exploration, and creating lasting memories. However, maintaining a consistent sleep routine while travelling can be challenging, especially when adjusting to new environments and climates.

Whether you're heading to a tropical beach or a cool chilled out retreat, ensuring you get quality rest is crucial for enjoying your trip to the fullest. So we thought we would share top tips to help you maintain your sleep routine while on summer holiday, backed by scientific data and case studies.

Understanding the Importance of Sleep

Before exploring top tips, it’s essential to understand why maintaining a sleep routine is important. Quality sleep enhances cognitive function, mood, and overall health. According to the National Sleep Foundation and the NHS, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal functioning.

Disrupted sleep patterns can lead to fatigue, irritability, and a weakened immune system, potentially dampening your holiday experience. After all why should we pay thousands of pounds to be grumpy aboard due to lack of sleep when we could easily do that at home! 

With just a little bit of planning you can ensure you sleep like a baby on holiday and come back with those batteries fully recharged. 

Tips for Maintaining Your Sleep Routine in a Hot Climate

person sleeping in a large bed on a Putnams travel pillow

1. Stay Cool and Comfortable

Hot climates can significantly impact sleep quality. The ideal room temperature for sleep is around 65°F (18°C), according to a study published in the journal New York Times. Here are some strategies to stay cool:

  • Choose Lightweight Bedding: Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to prevent overheating.
  • Use a Fan or Air Conditioning: Ensure your accommodation has adequate cooling options.
  • Cold Shower Before Bed: A cold shower can help lower your body temperature.

2. Hydrate Wisely

Dehydration can exacerbate sleep problems.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day but avoid large quantities right before bed to prevent nighttime awakenings. We understand that you're on holiday but don't over indulge in alcohol more than you would at home (!) as this can impact your sleep quality dramatically.

3. Adjust to Local Time Gradually

To minimize jet lag, try adjusting your sleep schedule to the local time zone a few days before your trip. Exposure to natural light during the day can also help reset your internal clock. NHS advice on jet lag.  

Tips for Maintaining Your Sleep Routine in a Cold Climate

1. Maintain a Warm Sleep Environment

In cold climates, keeping warm is key to a good night's sleep. The aforementioned study from National Library of Medicine notes that an overly cold environment can disturb sleep.

  • Layer Up: Use thermal pajamas and extra blankets.
  • Warm Bath Before Bed: This can help raise your core body temperature and promote relaxation.

2. Stay Active During the Day

Physical activity can improve sleep quality. Engage in outdoor activities like hiking or skiing, but avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime as it can interfere with sleep onset. Try and maintain or establish a sleep routine (yes, we know you're on holiday)!

3. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Even on vacation, try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. Consistency helps regulate your body’s internal clock.

The Butterfly (Japanese |Style) Pillow - The #1 Travel Pillow 

person sleeping on a Putnams butterfly pillow

Universal Tips for All Climates

Regardless of the climate, these tips can help ensure you maintain a healthy sleep routine:

1. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

  • Darken the Room: Use blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out light.
  • Limit Noise: Use earplugs or a white noise machine to drown out disruptive sounds. Be prepared as you really don't know what the other hotel residents have in mind for a 'good night's sleep'.
  • Replicate your home sleep environment: It is NOT a waste of luggage room to pack your own pillows, sleep sprays or eye masks. These items can ensure the transition is painless and that you can adjust seamlessly. If you use bed wedges for acid reflux make sure you bring a travel wedge with you as the hotel will not supply these.  

2. Mind Your Diet

  • Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol: Both can disrupt sleep patterns. Try to limit their intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Light Evening Snacks: If you need a nighttime snack, opt for something light and sleep-promoting, like a banana or a handful of almonds.(ok, we know you're still on holiday)!

3. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Stress and excitement can make falling asleep difficult.

Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or reading can help calm your mind before bed.

Case Studies and Scientific Data

1. Jet Lag and Light Exposure

The NHS highlights the importance of light exposure in combating jet lag. Travelers who exposed themselves to bright light during the day adjusted to new time zones more quickly.

2. Temperature and Sleep Quality

Gallup revealed the impact of temperature on sleep quality. The study found that both excessively hot and cold environments can lead to fragmented sleep and increased wakefulness.

In order to prevent such issues do your homework - find out average night time temperatures, does the hotel have aircon, bring your own pillows - this can make a significant difference to your sleep success whilst in a strange and unfamiliar environment.   

3. Exercise and Sleep

An analysis in the National Library of Medicine reveals that moderate exercise can improve sleep quality and duration. Participants who engaged in regular physical activity reported fewer sleep disturbances.

You're ready for a restful Summer holiday! 

Maintaining your sleep routine while on summer holiday is crucial for your overall well-being and enjoyment. By understanding the impact of different climates on sleep and implementing these practical tips, you can ensure a restful and rejuvenating holiday experience.

Sweet dreams and safe travels! Don't forget to send us a post card! 

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