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Don’t let the lack of sleep ruin your holiday

Holidays should be a chance to get away, unwind and relax however for some people it can be stressful and tiring, especially at the thought of leaving the comfort of their bed and those ‘special’ pillows some of us have.

For most people a good night’s sleep is what helps them get through the day, I know from experience I can’t function properly without a minimum of seven hours sleep. When we are at home we put so much emphasis on ensuring our bed, pillows, room temperature and bed clothing are all set to ensure we have the best possible night’s sleep, but why do we not put as much emphasis on our holiday sleeping arrangements.

I love travelling abroad and seeking out new adventures with my family and when I am away from home the thought of not sleeping well doesn’t cross my mind. I’m not at work, I don’t have the weekly household routines to worry me and other than, which beach we are visiting tomorrow, the peace of mind allows me sleep all night and wake refreshed and ready to go.

Holidays can be hectic especially if you are travelling with children or anyone with a medical condition. Combining flights, lengthy road trips and changing time zones can end up with your sleep pattern being disturbed which will make you feel sluggish and affect your mood. Holidays are a good time to catch up with lost sleep and recharge your batteries. I always find warm sun and fresh sea air always helps me to relax, which aids a good night’s sleep.

Here are some of my handy tips to ensure you are not sleep deprived while away.

Healthy eating

Once you arrive at your holiday destination and start enjoying your new surroundings, chances are you won’t be paying much attention to your diet. Enjoying lavish meals when abroad is all part of the holiday experience and if you’re staying on an all-inclusive basis, it can be easy to think you have to keep eating to get your monies worth!

Mid-afternoon cakes, snacks and rich food packed with calories will all hinder your chances of a restful night, contrary to belief a heavy meal won’t make you sleep better. I love to try out new delicacies but I do try to keep to the healthy options at least once a day as they that will keep your body in tune.

Remain active

Lazing on the beach all day can sometimes be more exhausting than expected as the heat of the sun can sap your energy levels and make you lethargic.

If you’re staying in a hotel use the swimming pool or the exercise room if available. If you’re staying with family or friends, invite them along for a walk after lunch or even better, go for a jog early in the morning before anyone else is on the beach, it’s a great feeling seeing only your footprints in the sand.

Stay hydrated

I always carry a large bottle of water with me to drink throughout the flight as it’s surprising how dehydrated you become, especially to long haul destinations. If you are indulging in an all-inclusive resort, it could be too easy to get carried away with the holiday cheers! Drinking to excess will cause you to become dehydrated or even worse, suffer other complications if you have medical conditions.

In fact, that nightcap before bedtime can actually trigger some common sleep problems such as sleep apnoea, a serious breathing problem that cause your breathing to become shallow and even pause during sleep. Sleep apnoea is a common cause of daytime drowsiness and untreated can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and other serious conditions.

Surprisingly, spending hours on a hot beach can also dry you out and this could lead to heat stroke. Young children should be drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day and this could be in the form of ice lollies, slush puppies and fruit juices.

Family stress

Travelling abroad with small children or even young adults can be stressful at times even for the most patient of parents. If spending 24 hours a day with the family is too much, make some time for you treat yourself to a massage or a peaceful walk along the beach.

Most hotels will provide evening entertainment and as much as your little ones may enjoy dancing and running around to the children’s music, the noise and excitement may just be a bit too much. Instead of them becoming tired the complete opposite could happen and the difficulty is then, trying to get them to settle into a relaxed state to enable them to sleep.

Unfamiliar noise

If you can’t sleep because of noise created by other holiday makers, report it to the hotel, don’t lie awake all night listening. Ear plugs are great at blocking out unfamiliar sounds either from a busy nearby street or within the hotel itself. Whilst it isn’t always going to be comfortable wearing small pieces of foam in your ears, it should at least make for an uninterrupted night.

Remember housekeeping can start their rounds as early as 7am in some hotels, so if you plan on sleeping in a bit later, be sure you to make use of the hotel’s do not disturb signs, by hanging it on your door before you go to bed.

I am a firm believer that everyone should enjoy a holiday all of the time even at night and a good night’s sleep is crucial to our health and wellbeing. I will not take a night’s sleep for granted but, I shall endeavour to make sure it is as restful as it can be for all of us, even when away from home and travelling the world.

I hope you have a great holiday full of wonderful memories and you are able to return home feeling refreshed and relaxed because you were able to enjoy a great night’s sleep away from home.