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Exercise regularly, but not too close to bedtime.
The best part of waking up - a good night's sleep
Don't Let Summer Vacation Ruin Your Sleep Habits

Summer travel can present challenges to a good night’s sleep. Jet lag, strange hotel rooms and changes in daily schedule all conspire to disrupt sleeping patterns. This can lead to irritability and fatigue during the vacation itself and can also make re-entry into a work routine harder at vacation’s end.

According to Dr. Carol Ash, medical director of Sleep for Life and board-certified sleep medicine physician, even brief changes in lifestyle brought about by travel can create a man-made sleep disorder.

"It’s great to travel to a new location and rejuvenate yourself—but not at the expense of restful sleep,” says Dr. Ash. “You wouldn’t deprive yourself of food or water while you are traveling, and depriving yourself of sleep has equally harmful effects on the body.”

Dr. Ash offers the following tip to protect your sleep while traveling during the summer:

  • Whether you are at home or on vacation, you still need the same amount of sleep. Make sure not to short-change yourself on sleep to fit more into your days.
  • Avoid the temptation to stay up too late.
  • If you are traveling to a new time zone, your body’s natural rhythm, called the “circadian rhythm” will be thrown off. Allow several days for it to re-adjust.
  • Try to select a flight that arrives in a new time zone in the early evening, and stay up until 10 p.m. local time.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol when you are on the plane and for your first day or two in a new time zone. Both will make it harder for your circadian rhythms to reset.
  • If you have a hard time sleeping a in a new environment, bring a familiar object, such as a pillow or blanket with you to help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
  • Earplugs and blindfolds can block out noise on plane flights and in hotel rooms.
  • Keep up with exercise routines on vacation. If there’s no gym available, take a brisk walk every day. Exercise four to six hours before sleep results in a deeper and more restful sleep.