How to Get the Most Out of Your Summer Break Sleep

Written by Allison Bordewick on

There are a few different types of a spring break getaway. One includes fruity drinks and tiny umbrellas, while another includes chaperoning kids as they explore a new city. Or maybe what you really need is a few good books and some sunshine.

You'd think these three types of spring break vacations would have nothing in common, right? Wrong, there's at least one thing we all need to do while on vacation, and that's sleep!

Here are a few tips on getting the most of your shuteye while jet-setting for a week.

Utilize Your Air Time

Summer break starts the moment you leave work on the last day before your trip, meaning your 3-hour flight should be included in what you consider vacation. Pack ear plugs in your carry-on and wear comfortable clothing. Taking the time in the air to stock up on a little sleep will ensure you land in your destination feeling fresh. This will be especially helpful with jet lag if you're flying through 3 or more time zones.

Bring Familiar Items

You have a great bedtime routine at home that includes a certain sleep mask, listening to a certain song, and winding down a certain amount of time before jumping into bed. Make sure to bring the sleep mask, upload the song to your phone, and give yourself enough time in your new location to settle your body at night. A perfect travel companion is the Transcend® miniCPAP™. It's about the size of a soda can so it'll easily fit into your carry-on, and it's FAA compliant so you can use it on the plane. Keeping a routine that closely resembles the routine you follow at home will help you get plenty of sleep.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

It's likely the destination you're in has a different "local flavor" than your home town. Take advantage of it by trying the fresh produce and meats available. Near an ocean? Opt for fresh fish. In the Midwest a staple is wild rice and seasonal veggies. Heavy, spicy, high-fat foods can disrupt sleep cycles, kick-start digestion, and give you heartburn.1 Caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep, and alcohol can make it difficult to stay asleep, so be careful what you consume before bedtime.

Stick to Your Exercise Routine

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep."2 If you go for a walk a few days each week while you're at home, keep up with the routine and use your walk as an excuse to check out the city you're visiting. Doing some stretches after your plane ride will help your body stretch out and relax for sleep.

No matter what kind of spring break you have planned, make sure to put sleep at the top of your priorities and you'll return refreshed and relaxed.

1Zelman, Kathleen M., MPH, RD, LD. "Foods That Help or Harm Your Sleep With Pictures." WebMD. WebMD, 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
2Mayo Clinic Staff. "Fitness." Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity. Mayo Clinic, 5 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

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