Have you ever noticed that you sleep better at the beach? It’s not just a coincidence. There are several reasons why sleeping by the ocean is good for your sleep health. In this post, we’ll explore some of those reasons and tell you how to recreate that beach sleep experience at home.
Lots of people tend to sleep better at the beach because of the sounds of the waves rolling in, the fresh salty air and cooler coastal temperatures. Breathing air containing negative ions is probably the number one reason why people sleep better at the beach.
Do people sleep better at the beach?
There’s something about the sound of waves crashing against the shore that makes us feel more relaxed. Maybe it’s the sound of nature or the lack of city noise. Either way, this natural white noise can help us fall asleep and stay asleep.
There haven’t been many studies on whether people sleep better at the beach, but one study by the National Trust in the UK showed that walking by the sea aided feelings of relaxation and even resulted in people sleeping deeper and longer at night.
The smell of salt water is also known to be relaxing and has even been used in aromatherapy to promote sleep. And who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh ocean breeze?
The air by the ocean is also cooler and more humid than inland air. This combination can be helpful for people who have trouble sleeping due to hot flashes or night sweats.
Finally, there’s the Vitamin D. Spending time in the sun helps our bodies produce this essential nutrient, which has been linked to better sleep.
Why do I feel sleepy at the beach?
There are a few scientific explanations for why the sound of waves crashing on the shore can be so soothing. One theory is that the steady rhythm of the waves can help to slow down our brainwaves, inducing a state of relaxation.
Another explanation is that being in nature can help to reduce stress levels. When we’re stressed, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. But spending time in nature has been shown to lower cortisol levels and improve sleep quality.
So if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, heading to the beach might just be the answer. And there’s nothing better than waking up refreshed and ready to start your day with a walk along the sand and a dip in the sea.
You may also like our post on Why does fresh air make you tired?
Why is the beach so calming?
There’s no doubt about it, being at the beach means feeling calmer and more relaxed.
There are lots of reasons why being at the beach is calming:
Sound of the waves
The sound of waves crashing against the shore is known to be soothing and can help us relax and fall asleep.
Smell of salt water
The smell of salt water is also known to be relaxing and has even been used in aromatherapy to promote sleep.
Feel of sand underfoot
There is something really soothing about putting your feet in warm sand. In fact, people have been conditioned by movies and TV to expect to feel relaxed at the beach, and often associate the feel of sand with the process of relaxation.
View of the sea
Similarly, a view of the sea is relaxing because it is largely uninterrupted and only changes gently and slowly.
There is also evidence to suggest that looking at the ocean actually puts us into a kind of meditative state because of the gently rolling waves. This is helped by the fact that the sea is blue, as the color blue is associated with calmness and relaxation.
Increased field of vision
Because the ocean beach environment is not a cluttered or crowded visual landscape, there is no focal point out at sea to focus the mind. This means your eyes can wander over an increased field of vision and your brain does not have to deal with sensory overload.
Lack of technology
Reduced screen time often accompanies a trip to the beach. Getting away from your screens and the constant buzz of connectivity that our devices offer means that your brain can ‘switch off’ from every day pressures and enjoy true calm.
Why do I sleep better at the beach?
Breathing fresh air, and particularly sea air, can have health benefits for your sleep. The negative ions are present in sea air, and are breathed in when you are at the beach. Research has shown that breathing air with negative ions has a positive effect on sleep quality. This may be the number one reason why you sleep better at the beach!
Ocean sounds, such as gentle waves, sea birds and children’s laughter, provide us with a relaxing environment to sleep in. Waves rolling are particularly relaxing as they are repetitive non-specific sounds similar to ‘white noise’.
The temperature at the beach is usually cooler than the temperature inland, which can be beneficial for sleeping. cooler temperatures have been shown to improve sleep quality. A nice cool breeze from the wind coming in off the sea will help lower your body temperature and lead to improved sleep.
Mental health boost
Sleeping at the beach can have benefits for your mental health. Being in nature has been linked with lower stress levels and improved mental wellbeing. This reason can also influence you to feel sleepy around your partner.
Lack of stress
Part of the reason why you sleep better at the beach is because the factors that generally prevent good sleep are not present. Taking a trip to the beach means leaving the stresses of everyday life such as work and home making behind. This in itself gives a better sleep environment than you will get in your normal day-to-day.
Often a trip to the beach involves a gentle stroll and maybe even some swimming or beach games. As exercise, particularly outdoor exercise, promotes sleep, being at the beach will give you enough exercise to help you feel tired and aid in sleep onset.
Read also: Does walking in the cold make you tired?
Is sleeping on sand good?
There is no good or bad answer to this question as it depends on the person. Some people find that sleeping on sand helps them sleep better as it provides a more comfortable and supportive surface than a regular mattress. However, other people find that the sand is too warm and uncomfortable, leading to poor sleep. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether sleeping on sand is good or bad for them.
Read also: Is it healthy to sleep outside?
Why do you sleep better after going to the beach?
There are a number of reasons why you might sleep better after going to the beach. These include: the relaxing environment, the lack of technology, the increased field of vision, the ocean air and the sound of the waves. All of these factors work together to create an environment that is conducive to sleep and are also reasons why you sleep more on vacation.
What can I do to make sleeping at home like sleeping at the beach?
So, how can you recreate the beach sleep experience at home?
If you live far from the ocean, don’t worry. You can still enjoy many of the benefits of sleeping by the sea. Here are a few tips:
Create a natural white noise machine by recording the sound of waves crashing or using a fan to create a similar sound.
To replicate breathing in salty sea air you can try sleeping with a Himalayan salt lamp on.
Place a diffuser with essential oils near your bed and add a few drops of lavender oil, which is known for its relaxation properties.
Keep your bedroom cool and comfy with air conditioning or a fan. Going to bed with your window slightly open may also help, as you will benefit from fresh air during the night.
Daily sun exposure
Get some sun during the day to help produce Vitamin D. If you can’t get outside, try taking a supplement.
With these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of sleeping by the ocean – even if you’re nowhere near the beach. Sweet dreams!
Conclusion: Why do I sleep better at the beach?
A beach vacation often helps regulate your sleep and just spending a day at the coast will help relieve the daily stress which often affects our sleep. Usually better sleep happens as a result of long term changes in our habits, but spending time next to the sea can be a short cut to better rest.