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Why You Don’t Sleep as Well on Vacation—Plus, What to Do About It

By Krissy Brady, Updated: July 16, 2019

Because sleep is such a rhythmic activity, travel can easily send our natural rhythms off the rails, says Alex Dimitriu, MD, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in California. And this is true even if you’re not switching time zones in the process.

The combination of being in a new environment and the disruption to your go-to routines can make chilling out in general a challenge, but especially at night—changes in ambient temperature, bedding, noises, and even smells tend to keep us alert instead of sleeping easy.

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