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70% of Brits struggle to get a good night’s sleep on holiday

Wednesday 18th September 2019, 9:24am

Research carried out on behalf of Princess Cruises has revealed that 70% of Brits say they frequently struggle to get a good night’s sleep while on holiday.

The most popular reason given was being too hot or cold, which affects over half (55%) of us. Meanwhile nearly 1 in 2 (45%) are unable to sleep due to an uncomfortable bed, which is common across all age groups and in particular the over 55s (55%).

Other causes were irregular bedtimes (27%), having an afternoon siesta or nap (15%) and jet lag (15%).

The findings also reveal that – despite holidays being the perfect time to unwind, sleep in and relax – almost 1 in 4 (23%) employees take at least a week off per year just to catch up on sleep. This equates to around a quarter of their paid leave.

And 1 in 5 (21%) employees don’t take their full annual leave entitlement. Heavy workloads (40%) and not being able to find time (31%) were the main causes.

The research also showed that Brits overall are more sleep-deprived than other countries surveyed. 66% of us are getting less sleep than required on an average night, which ranks the poorest when compared to the likes of the US, Australia and China.

To help combat substandard holiday snooze, Princess Cruises has collaborated with sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus. As well as providing hints, tips and guidance to guests on getting better sleep, Dr Breus has helped develop the Princess luxury bed, which combines his scientific knowledge with the latest comfort technology to ensure a good night’s rest.

The bed is available on all cruises and includes fine linens, enhanced mattress support and individually wrapped coils, as well as different types of king size pillows with feathers or anti-allergy microfiber.

Princess Cruises has also designed a range of facilities to improve wellbeing and relaxation onboard, including spas offering a range of treatments and designated adult-only areas. Sleep-friendly evening meals and snacks are available to order via the 24/7 complimentary room service. Guests who stay in the onboard suites receive a complimentary gift bag containing sleep-friendly items such as linen spray and an eye mask.

Dr Breus said: “Lack of sleep can really affect our mood and wellbeing on a day-to-day basis, whether at home or on holiday. That’s why it’s so important for us to be able to switch off our brains once our heads hit the pillow. When we’re away a comfortable bed and mattress are absolutely vital for a deep sleep. They’re often overlooked when we book a break but should clearly be considered alongside other holiday essentials.

“And don’t let jet lag hamper your holiday. There are many things you can do to sync your body when travelling across different time zones and to recover more quickly. I recommend staying active to energise the body as this will help adjust to the new bedtime and try to avoid that afternoon nap if you can.

“A restful holiday is an absolute must, so don’t leave sleeping arrangements to chance when you’re looking for your ideal getaway.”

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe, said: “Not getting enough sleep on holiday can be really problematic, especially when you’ve booked your getaway to spend quality time with a partner, friends or family.

“That is why we are focused on helping guests recharge and rejuvenate. Whether cruising the Mediterranean in the peak summer months or sailing the icy straits of Alaska, all staterooms temperatures can be adjusted, while the luxury bed is perfect for getting the best possible night’s sleep.”

Dr Breus’s top tips for a good night’s sleep on holiday:

  1. Stick to your normal bedtime if possible as consistency is key. When sleep has a regular rhythm, your biological clock will be in sync and your body will continue to operate normally.

2. If you’re in warmer climates give the sun a ‘high 5’ every morning. Getting outside in the sun for 15 minutes each morning – within 15-30 minutes of waking up – helps to regulate the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Your internal body clock (the circadian rhythm) runs on a 24-hour schedule and functions best when you are exposed to a regular pattern of light and dark.

3. No alcohol within three hours of bedtime. While alcohol can make you sleepy, it doesn’t help you achieve restful sleep. In fact, alcohol prevents you from reaching the deep stages of sleep, dehydrates you and awakens you in the middle of the night (usually to go to the bathroom).

4. Staying active can help speed the transition of your body clock and make you more prepared to sleep at your new bedtime. Whether that’s a brisk walk around the promenade, a tranquil yoga class, or a high-powered spin class. Avoid exercise within three to four hours before bedtime as it can stimulate the mind and energise the body in ways that interfere with sleep.

5. To unwind before bed, choose a relaxing activity such as taking a warm shower or reading a book to put you in sleep mode. If you do read, choose a paper book instead of an e-reader as they emit light that can stimulate your brain and keep you awake. Before bedtime, skip TV and computer games which can also be too stimulating.

Source: Princess Cruises

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