Welcome to New Zealand, to uncrowded highways under blue skies. May your journeys, short or long, excite you and delight you, and may your holidays be truly relaxing.
The New Zealand Transport Agency highlights driver fatigue as an area of concern. In the modern world, we tend to delay our holiday break until long after we need it. Chronic fatigue, or “sleep debt”, can catch up with us, whether we realise it or not. Sleep debt does not go away.
What’s more, if you flew in to New Zealand from overseas, your internal clock requires time outdoors to match your body to the local morning, noon and night.
If your holiday plans include driving a vehicle some distance, perhaps you should not do so at the very first opportunity. Take a day off instead. Then, refreshed, you can hit the highway after a good night’s sleep.
On the first day of your well-deserved break from work, put your feet up, soak up a bit of sun in the daytime, and as evening approaches, pull the plug on all those flickering screens, welcome the darkness, and go to bed early.
You may well drop off, dream good dreams, and sleep ten hours. That’s a good start. On the other hand, one sign of needing a holiday is to lie awake worrying.
To get on top of night-time niggles, keep a pen and paper by the bed. Before you drop off, make a list of stuff to do tomorrow.
It could be that your mind needs only your permission to relax! Tomorrow, when you’ve slept well, you’ll smile, and so will the people who love you. However, one or two unhelpful behaviours might still need attention.
Avoid coffee, tobacco, noise, and light. They all keep you awake.
After that list of things to avoid, here’s the good news.
- one glass of red wine will do you no harm as a nightcap, and
- dark chocolate is okay at any time, and
- once you’re in sleep balance, not sleep deficit, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep so much that you’ll make a habit of it.
Take all these steps and you’ll be on the right track to making the most of your well deserved holiday!
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