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Top sleep tips for travellers

7th June 2024 • 4 min read
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Pack your bags and grab your pillow.

Anyone who lives in the southern hemisphere knows the middle of the year is the best time to plan a holiday. But going on vacation isn’t just about escaping the cold – it's also about getting a bit of R&R. 

So if you plan on jetting off to a sunny destination this winter, make sure you take the opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up on some much-needed sleep. After all, what’s a holiday without a decent lie-in?

Here’s how to get the rest you deserve and come back feeling refreshed. 

Choose your holiday accommodation wisely

If you’re as serious about sleep as we are, you might consider planning your entire holiday around it. While it may seem a little odd to go on holiday just to sleep, it’s not uncommon. Now more than ever, travellers are prioritising rest; in fact, in a recent survey, leading global hospitality company Hilton found that the number one reason people want to travel in 2024 is to recharge. 

Sleep tourism is a popular trend and multi-billion-dollar industry, with hotels and resorts around the world coming up with new and innovative ways to prioritise their guests’ slumber. Think multi-day sleep programs, cutting-edge suites with luxury mattresses, temperature-controlled beds and black-out blinds, sleep therapy sessions in the spa, and plenty more.

Of course, your holiday accommodation doesn’t need to be high-tech (or high price) for you to get a good night’s sleep. 

First, consider your location before booking – bypass the nightclub district and instead opt for a quieter or more remote part of town. Next, sneak a look at the online reviews to see if previous guests have left noise complaints. You may also be able to request a room away from the elevators or stairwells when you book or check in, so you’re not disturbed at night by foot traffic. 

What to pack

If you’re someone who has trouble sleeping in a different bed or room, pack things that will make you feel more at home. You might not need to go as far as bringing a white noise machine, but consider bringing your own pillow or blanket, especially if your trip includes a night on the trundle bed at a friend or relative’s house.

On the flip side, you might find you have a better night’s sleep while on holiday than you’ve ever had before. This is a good indication that it’s time to look for a new mattress when you get home. 

When you’re in the air

Realistically, the key to sleeping on a long-haul flight is ¾ preparation and ¼ luck.

Make yourself as comfortable as humanly possible with light layers and soft, breathable fabrics. Don’t be tempted to stay glued to your devices the whole flight (the blue light can make it difficult to drift off) and avoid caffeine, alcohol and overeating. You may also find it helpful to invest in long-haul flight essentials like a good-quality neck pillow, eye mask, noise-cancelling headphones or a decent pair of ear plugs. 

Beating jet lag is another kettle of fish. Changing time zones can send your sleep cycle sideways and upset your natural circadian rhythm, meaning your body isn’t sure when it should be asleep and when it should be awake. Some people bounce back pretty well, while others take a long time to recover. 

According to the Sleep Health Foundation, it takes around two or three days to adjust to a new time zone. While there are no miracle cures, there are strategies you can use to help get your body back on track: 

  • Adjust eating and sleeping times to the new time zone as soon as possible (i.e., on the flight over) 

  • When you arrive, get plenty of sunshine and exercise during the day

  • Don’t plan too many activities for your first couple of days – give yourself some breathing room to adjust

  • Avoid light (including blue light from electronic devices) at times when you’re supposed to be asleep

  • A short afternoon nap can help if you’re feeling drowsy, but avoid sleeping for periods of more than 30 minutes during the day (set an alarm). 

Make time for rest

As tempting as it may be to squeeze 15 European countries into a three-week trip, checking in and out of hotels every other day is exhausting. Plus, if you cram too much into your itinerary, you’ll spend more time on the road than you will exploring your holiday destinations. Be sure to factor in rest days where you get to sleep in, unwind and digest your experience before for the next leg of your journey. 

One final tip: we all tend to overindulge a little while we’re away – it’s a vacation, after all – but excess alcohol consumption can affect the quality of your sleep. While having a few cocktails at dinner might help you fall asleep initially, it can interrupt your slumber later on and cause night sweats, headaches and restlessness. Being mindful of your alcohol intake will help ensure you wake up every morning feeling fresh and ready to enjoy whatever activities you have planned.

Need a new mattress for when you get home? Explore our product range here.

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