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Unfamiliar beds, tents and soaring temperatures can all make it tricky to nod off – but our tips will help you up your zzz factor
The biggest threats to slumber here? Unsurprisingly, it’s light and noise. Not all hotels have blackout curtains, so pack an EcoTools Sustainable Sleep Mask, £4.99/499 points. Or get creative – you could use a hair clip (such as Boots Black Jaw Clip Boots Exclusive, £2.50/250 points) to keep curtains together if light is peeking through. And don’t forget Boots Pharmaceuticals Muffles Wax Earplugs Boots Exclusive, £2.69/269 points (5 pairs). They block out noise by moulding to fit your ears – perfect if your hotel has more slamming doors than an episode of EastEnders.
If you’re staying with friends or family, an uncomfortable sofa bed might be your fate. ‘A hard sofa bed is actually better than a soft one, as it will help support your back,’ says physiotherapist and sleep expert Sammy Margo. ‘It might be difficult to get comfy, though, so try lying on top of a duvet or sleeping bag.’ And if it’s too soft? ‘A pillow popped between your knees (if you sleep on your side), or under your knees (if you’re a back sleeper), can help support your spine and prevent unwanted twisting and back pain.’
If your home or holiday villa lacks air-con, don’t despair. ‘Although it can be more difficult to sleep in the heat, as your body temperature has to drop first, a few tweaks can make your boudoir more snooze-friendly,’ says Sammy. At night, hang a damp towel over an open window – the water will evaporate and help to cool the air as it flows in. And before bed, splash the tops of your feet and wrists with cold water – pulse points such as these are more sensitive to temperature, as blood vessels are closer to the surface. Finally, sleeping spread-eagled (if your partner doesn’t object!) will allow air to circulate around your body.
Remember these words: pitch perfect. That means clearing your camping area of twigs and stones before you start, and avoiding slopes – otherwise blood will rush either to your head (hello, morning headache) or to your feet (greetings, swollen ankles). Come bedtime, keep your routine similar to when you’re at home, so you feel more relaxed. Camping with children? A familiar item, such as a teddy or pillowcase, can help reassure them that they’re OK, despite the unusual sounds around them – such as foxes getting, ahem, ‘amorous’.
‘Bag a window seat on the side you’d sleep on at home, as leaning against the wall in that direction will feel more natural,’ suggests Sammy. ‘Don’t rest on the tray table, as this can put pressure on your spinal discs. Instead, recline your seat and use the armrests for support.’ You could also try wearing a travel pillow, such as Boots Travel Memory Foam Pillow Boots Exclusive, £14/1,400 points, the ‘wrong’ way round (with the opening at the back). Doing this means that when your head inevitably droops forward, it will still be supported. Sweet dreams!
Time for an ice cream?
Have your sensitive teeth been stopping you enjoying chilled treats this summer? Well, good news! Unlike most sensitive toothpastes, which work by numbing pain, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, £4 (75ml), has been clinically proven to address the cause of sensitivity. Its Pro-Argin formula plugs channels that lead to sensitive nerves, helping to block pain and provide instant and lasting relief.
Words Charlotte Grant-West Photography Getty Images