One of the most important aspects of taking a well-deserved vacation is having time to relax and catch up on some much needed R and R. For many vacationers, the idea of finally being able to get in a good night’s sleep, free of life’s interruptions, is a driving force behind one’s travels and of grand significance.
However, even with the greatest of intentions, sleep can be thwarted by unwelcome jet lag and the discomfort of unfamiliar surroundings. There is nothing quite like being in your own bed, but with these simple guidelines to getting the best sleep possible, you’ll be on your way to a relaxing and refreshing vacation.
Tips for Overcoming Jet Lag and Getting a Good Night’s Sleep on Vacation
- Plan ahead. Start adjusting your body’s schedule to match that of your destination little by little. By tweaking mealtimes and bedtimes by a short fifteen to thirty minutes each day, it’ll be easier to fully adjust to the difference in timezones once you arrive.
- It can be difficult with the ensuing pressure of getting everything done before you go, but plan to be fully rested before you leave for the airport. A body at its healthiest can easily overcome disturbances caused by long travel times and jet lag.
- Stay hydrated both before and during your vacation. Dehydration is the leading cause of untimely headaches and it can accentuate fatigue when you’re already feeling restless.
- Let the timezone in your vacation destination call the shots. When the clock says you it’s time to eat, eat. When it registers bed time, try to get some sleep. Keeping your body running on a familiar routine will allow you to ease the effects of jet lag even if it’s a completely different timeframe.
- Avoid taking naps during the day, but if you must have a siesta, keep them under 45 minutes. The short catnaps will help you re-energize without creating a zombie-like-state that can ruin the rest of your day. Longer naps have a tendency to make for restless nights, given that your body isn’t quite tired enough.
- Feel free to enjoy a cup of coffee at various points throughout the day. Just remember, it takes about 30 minutes for the effects of the caffeine to set in, so try to time it so that you’ve finished your cup-a-joe before your energy takes a dip but not so closely to bed time that it keeps you up for hours when you should be asleep.
- Stay active during your trip. Liven your spirits with a brisk walk or get the morning going with an energizing session of yoga. A little physical activity will have you feeling more energized during the day and longing for your pillow at night.
- Take full advantage of the luxuries at your resort. Pull the blackout curtains closed to ensure complete darkness. Open the sliding door at night and let the waves lull you to sleep. Or simply curl up in the comfort of luxurious bedding and heavily air-conditioned suites for an exceptional night’s sleep.
- Bring earplugs and an eye mask if you’re a light sleeper. The nuisance of unfamiliar sounds and shadows, however beautiful they might be, can prevent some people from getting some shuteye.
- Prep for bedtime by taking a warm shower or bubble bath. Add in some aromatherapy, such as lavender, chamomile, and valerian and you have the perfect recipe for a sterling night’s sleep.