The summer holidays are almost upon us, but there is no need to lose sleep whilst on your travels. Whilst trying to prepare for the amazing trip we’ve been waiting all year for, it is easy to get lost in the whirlwind of endless list of jobs that need doing and lose a week’s worth of sleep before even stepping onto the plane. But it’s important to maintain your sleeping routine to beat jet lag. Here are my top tips to make sure you have a great night’s sleep on holiday.
Top 5 tips
1. Set the time zone
A few days before your flight, try to set your routine closer to the time at your destination. This is especially important if you are travelling long haul and crossing time zones, which your body clock will have to adjust to. The best way to cope with long haul is to adjust your night-time routine to your new time zone as close as possible to the time zone of your holiday destination before you set off on holiday. You can do the change over a couple of days to make the transition easier. As soon as you get on board your flight set your watch to your holiday destinations time. If you have children try to adjust their naps according to the new time zone, and adjust sleep for the whole family too. This means when you get off the plane your body will have adjusted to the new location’s time zone and avoid jet lag.
2. The perfect flight routine
Going on holiday normally disrupts all our routines. One of the routines within our body clock is our eating pattern. To get your body into the right time zone, try to tweak your eating routine as per your sleep patterns. Give yourself a boost the day before you set off. Make sure you eat three balanced meals, with at least 3 servings of your 5 a day fruit and/or green vegetables. Also, include a protein-rich food e.g. white fish, beans & eggs. During your flight drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Remember to get up throughout the duration of the flight and take walks up and down the aisle.
An element of flying that people generally forget is stretching. Some simple stretching exercises every two hours will stop your muscles becoming stiff. Straighten your legs, point and flex your toes; stretch your arms high above your head. Later, when you arrive at your holiday destination, don’t eat high carbohydrate meals, as this will make you feel more lethargic. You should instead eat high protein meals to increase your alertness.
3. Getting the temperature right
Most hotel rooms will set their room temperatures to a standard temperature according to your holiday destination’s heat. If it is hot during the day keep blinds and curtains closed, as it will keep the temperature down in the room. At night adjust the temperature; the perfect temperature for sleep is between 16-18 degrees.
4. Getting the light and noise right
Like at home, you want to create an environment that blocks out distracting lights to ensure your brains knows it is time to sleep. Bring an eye mask with you for a long-haul flight and for the hotel. Unless you’re staying on the beach and are lucky enough to have the natural sounds of waves crashing, listening to a “white noise” playlist will give you a better chance of an undisturbed night of sleep.
5. Lay back, Relax & Sleep
To ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, make the hotel bed a ‘sleep only zone’. This will ensure that your body will associate the area for sleeping and allow you to fall asleep a lot quicker. It is important to wind down before closing your eyes to sleep, make sure you spend at least 15 minutes relaxing. If you need familiarity to sleep, bring your own pillow with you, as this may give you the right comfort and support. In turn, this will give you a better night’s sleep.