While counting down to a holiday away is great, the excitement, anxiety and stress of jetting off on a long-awaited break can take its toll on your sleep – especially the night before.
When you’re stressed or excited your body produces more cortisol and adrenaline which raises heart rate meaning you may find it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Here are some top hacks for sleeping well the night before you go on holiday:
Getting a good night’s kip is essential so make sure you go to bed at your normal bed time, rather than stay up late because you’re in holiday mode! A good night’s sleep will make sure you have a clear head for the morning.
Make sure everything is ready for the following day, so you don’t go to bed with a to-do list buzzing round your head. Take a preventative approach and aim to get all chores completed (cleaning, changing beds etc) before you head to bed. Finish packing suitcases and put tickets/currency/confirmation letters in your bag.
If you’re stressing out that everything won’t go to plan or just plain too excited, try to relax and insist on some ‘me time’. Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet music or practise deep breathing exercises, and do some yoga – all help to relax both the mind and body.
Make sure your bedroom environment is conducive to sleeping well. It needs to be cool, quiet and dark.
Switch off your phone, iPad etc and avoid using social networks at least an hour before bedtime. As much as people want to wish you a happy holiday on Facebook or Twitter, or by texting/emailing, using technology before bed is proven to hinder sleep. Instead read a book, concentrate on relaxing and enjoy the start of a break away.
As tempting as it might be, don’t end up having too many glasses of your favourite tipple! Remember, while alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, it does disrupt your night time sleep with more frequent wakings for the loo and dehydration. You also don’t get the deep sleep you need for feeling refreshed.
If you’ve got children, keep them busy during the day so they’re more likely to fall asleep when it comes to bedtime. Give them a warm bath before bed and read a bedtime story and stick to their regular bedtime too!
If you’re spending the night in a hotel near an airport, or an unfamiliar environment, do your best to anticipate what sort of conditions you’ll be sleeping in ahead of time, then plan or pack accordingly. You might not be able to entirely eliminate sleep disturbances such as noise and bright lights, but being well-prepared can help you combat them (think ear plugs and eye masks).
Lastly, if you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something to distract you – but make sure it’s relaxing. When you start to feel sleepy, head back to bed.