Sleep can become a luxury when you’re away from home. Whether you’re planning a family camping trip, a long haul holiday or romantic city break for two, these simple tips will increase your chances of sleeping well and help you make the most of your time away.
Image Mr and Mrs Smith
We love them and need them, but even small changes to our routine and surroundings can impact on our much needed sleep.
Keep up a routine Banish jet lag by shunning cat naps and going to bed at a reasonable hour. It may take a little persistence but you’ll soon adjust to your holiday routine.
Take a pillow One pillow doesn’t suit all and your holiday pillow may not match the way you sleep. Pack a pillow you’re comfortable with into your suitcase or take a super-size travel pillow to help you sleep more soundly while you’re away.
Stick with familiar foods As tempting as it is to be adventurous with food on holiday, stick to foods you know. A dodgy tummy or indigestion could see you toss and turn all night.
Don’t drink before bedtime Drinking before bedtime will do nothing to aid a good night’s sleep. Give your body time to process the alcohol before bed by switching to water. On average it takes an hour to process one unit (76ml standard wine 13%).
Festivals and sleep don’t tend to go hand in hand, so if you’re sleeping under canvas rather than cool, crisp sheets, you’re going to have to work hard at getting a few z’s.
Pack an eye mask Take an eye mask and make your tent a den of darkness in order to stimulate melatonin production - that’s the hormone that promotes restful sleep. Make sure it fits well and keeps out even the teeniest rays of light.
Pitch away from toilets Pitching your tent near toilets is a mistake that few festival goers repeat. Aside from the unpleasant waft of smells and slapping sound of flip flops passing your tent, the constant hum of chatter will keep you wide awake.
Stay hydrated Staying hydrated at festivals is a common problem when there are so many opportunities to indulge. Don’t overdo the alcohol and avoid spicy and salty foods that can leave you feeling parched.
Take a pillow You’ll need full neck mobility to view all those live festival acts. Swap your inflatable pillow for a luxury travel pillow that’s light, snug and compact.
Image copyright Soho Farm House Cabin 2bed
A hotel stay should always meet your expectations. If it doesn’t, don’t keep schtum. Enlightened hoteliers need to know if there’s any element of their service they can improve. They want you back!
Minimise noise Noise is one of the most common complaints in hotel reviews. Request a corner room on a high floor so you’re further away from street noise and pop on noise-cancelling headphones if the walls are thin.
Check the temperature An ambient room temperature is essential for a good night’s sleep. If the room’s stuffy and it’s safe to open the window, let the outdoors in. You’ll sleep better in fresh air and wake ready for the day ahead.
Request an alternative If the bed is on the squishy side or the room’s not as described, ask for a refurbished room. These rooms will likely have newer and firmer mattresses and more wow factor than tired, older rooms.
Avoid the mini bar Resist the lure of the mini bar’s salty snacks late at night. Foods high in sodium disrupt the balance of fluid in your cells and could see you spend your sleeping hours reaching for something to quench your thirst.
Image Artist Residence Brighton
On The Move
Sleeping on a plane, train, coach or car can really suck. If you’re not one of the lucky ones that can nod off anywhere, these tips may increase your chances of a nap.
Avoid electronic devices The blue light that LED screens emit can slow or halt melatonin production – that’s the hormone that tells our brain it’s time for bed. Put down your device an hour before you nap or stick in your headphones and listen to relaxing music instead.
Drink herbal tea Caffeine-laced drinks can act as a diuretic and increase your need for the loo. Chamomile tea is seen as the superstar of night time drinks and may also help calm those with travel jitters.
Keep it loose Drift off in comfort by wearing non-constricting clothes (apart from compression stockings) during long journeys and snuggle up with a lightweight waffle robe you can rest your head on while attempting to sleep.
Take headphones If the constant low drone caused by plane or train engines makes it hard to sleep, use noise-cancelling earplugs to drown out the sound. They can also be a great way to deter conversation from your neighbour if you’re in no mood to chat.