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Sleep well to make the best of your holiday

If you are serious about a pleasant vacation, sleep should be a top priority on the agenda you plan

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Dr Irshaad Ebrahim consultant neuropsychiatrist and medical director at London Sleep Centre in Dubai

Dubai: Summer holidays are here and everyone is whisking themselves to scenic places, tropical resorts or even woody cabin adventures in cooler climes. Wherever your holiday destination maybe, uprooting yourself from your familiar surroundings and taking time off from routine means tossing the hard earned sleep patterns to the winds. But following some simple tips can address the issue.

Stick to sleep routines: We know holidays mean cramming up a lot of action. No matter how upbeat you may feel, it helps to stay tuned to your usual sleep-wake timings to avoid a disturbance in your sleep schedules.

Tackle jet lag with planning: A good way to cope with jet lag is to advance or delay your sleep-wake pattern depending on the direction of your travel, a little ahead of your vacation. This will help the body adjust easily.

Carry your sleep buddies: Make some space in your suitcase for some of your sleep buddies like your comfortable neck pillow and blind. Don’t forget to load that instrumental or any of your ‘wind-me-down’ music on your phone.

Choose your sleep environment: Pitch-black darkness may be foreign to us by virtue of living in dazzling metropolitans but that’s just another way to ensure sound sleep in new environments.

Check your room temperature: Most hotel rooms are chilly and that’s optimal for insomniacs because our body rests best in lower temperatures. It’s a good idea to adjust the air conditioners to suit your comfort levels to sleep better. A quick way to reduce your body heat and adjust to the room temperature is to have a shower right before you go to sleep.

Ditch the tech addiction: A vacation should ideally be a complete holiday from your daily routine which also means leaving behind your go-to gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, laptops and the usual. Screen lights disturb sleep and checking your emails definitely doesn’t help in any way to your circadian rhythms.

Get enough exercise: You are on vacation we know but no excuses when it comes to exercise. Even 20-30 minutes of workout reduces the time taken to fall asleep and helps you sleep better.

The author is consultant neuropsychiatrist and medical director at London Sleep Centre in Dubai


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