Why do I sleep better on a beach vacation?

Here are a few of my ideas: 

1. The environment. Remember you are on vacation. This in and of itself is a time for relaxation. A change of sleep environment (one which lacks the reminders of your daily stress) certainly helps set the tone for more relaxation and usually better sleep.

2. The schedule. Many of my patients tell me that they have a tendency to sleep in on vacation, thus catching up on their much needed rest and reducing their sleep deprivation.

3. The heat. Being out in the sun all day always makes people sleepy, why? Well it may be because of the slight raise in core body temperature. Remember a raise in body temp will cause a subsequent fall and that can be a signal to the brain to release melatonin (the key that starts the engine for sleep).

4. The sounds. Remember, ocean sounds are the only documented sounds that have been shown to help with sleep. Try sleeping with the window slightly open to hear the waves.

5. The activity. Most people at the beach take time to engage in physical activities. I was inspired to go for an early morning run, not to mention lugging all the beach paraphernalia, setting up the umbrella, swimming, tennis, you name it. There are so many to choose from, it is great to be able to exercise, which we know can help promote better sleep.

6. The weather. Not only may the heat help with sleep, but the barometric pressure could be helpful as well. My theory is that the change to sea level does in fact help the body with sleep onset and sleep continuity.

7. The light. Let’s face it, being out in the sun during the day is one of the best ways to re-set your internal biological clock, which helps regulate your sleep cycle.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.