Summertime holidays mean rest, relaxation, and lots and lots of sun. An hour of swimming and fun in the sun can be pretty tiring. You might start feeling sleepy as you lay down to rest on your towel. This might prompt you to start weighing the pros and cons of falling asleep on the beach. But why spend time doing that when someone else has already done it for you?
Here are the pros and cons of falling asleep on the beach, and ways to make sure your nap is a safe one!
The beach is pretty heavenly and falling asleep can be really tempting. Luckily there are some benefits to napping in the sun. Here are a few reasons why falling asleep on the beach can be awesome!
It’s The Beach!
For those of us that do not live near a beach, anytime we are there, we are on holiday. When one goes on the holiday, the whole point is to get some rest and enjoy many hours of relaxation. So, taking a nice nap fits in with this agenda perfectly! When you have been working hard all year, making the most of this opportunity to rest up just makes sense.
The Waves Are Music To Your Ears.
The many sleeping devices available mimic the sound of waves for a reason. Waves gently lapping at the shore and the occasional cry of a seagull in the distance would put almost anybody to sleep faster than you could say “one sheep, two sheep”.
Research shows that brain wave patterns are altered by the sound of waves. These changes allow you to be lulled into a deeply relaxed state. Relaxing at a level this deep is extremely rejuvenating for both your body and your mind.
While there may be the odd person or two that decide to blast the latest pop music at full volume, most beach goers are also there to relax. If you encounter this problem, you can always move to the other end of the beach. Just about any beach will have a peaceful spot available.
There Is Magic In The Air.
You will probably find that you sleep more soundly at the beach. This is because sea air is charged with negative ions. As a result, your ability to absorb oxygen speeds up. Negative ions also help reduce stress and improve your mood by balancing seratonin levels. Napping on the beach should leave you more alert, energised and relaxed than before.
Sunny Feel Good Chemicals.
By sleeping on the beach, you already reap many benefits from balanced seratonin levels, altered brain waves and lots of rest. On top of that, the heat of the sun also affects your endocrine system. Your endocrine system is the part of your body which releases endorphines, a hormone that makes us feel happier and more relaxed. With the build up of all these feel good chemicals, you are bound to feel your stress wash away with the waves.
While there are great benefits to napping in the sun, there are pretty dangerous things that come hand in hand. Here are the three main dangers of falling asleep in the sun.
You might be hoping for a golden tan when you wake up. However, if you do not take the proper precautions, you might wake up looking like a lobster instead. Aside from the pain that sunburn causes, there can also be longterm damage.
The sun emits three kinds of rays: UVA rays, UVB rays and UVC rays. Thankfully, UVC rays do not reach the Earth’s surface. However, UVA and UVB rays not only reach the Earth’s surface, they also penetrate your skin.
Sunburn is a visible sign that you have been in the sun for too long. However, damage from the sun is not always visible. Beneath the surface of your skin, ultraviolet rays can age your skin by altering your DNA. Ultimately, repeated DNA damage can play a part in the development of skin cancer.
How soon a sunburn develops depends on the intensity of the sun at any given moment, your skin type and for how long you are in the sun. Being aware of your body’s tendencies with regards to sunburn can help you gauge how long is safe for you. If you are blonde-haired and blue-eyed you might want to escape to the shade sooner than your olive-skinned friends.
Spending time in the sun is healthy and relaxing. Nevertheless, too much of a good thing can be bad. Or in this case, dangerous. Being in the hot sun for too long can result in dehydration.
When your body’s temperature rises, it will try to cool itself by sweating. Maintaining a healthy level of water and salts in the body is crucial. However, prolonged periods of high temperatures will make your body lose an unhealthy amount of water and salts in the form of sweat. If this loss of water and salts is paired with extended time in the sun, you can even experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
If, like most people, you prefer going to the beach during the summer, you should remain aware of the possibility of heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when your body becomes so hot that it can no longer regulate its temperature properly. If left untreated, heat stroke can damage your liver, kidneys, brain and muscles, according to Mayo Clinic.
With high temperatures and humidity levels, napping on the beach can leave you at risk. When the temperature hits 40 degrees or more, it becomes a real danger. Know when it is time to move your nap indoors and don’t spend more than twenty minutes in the sun if the temperature is too high.
How To Enjoy Your Nap Safely
Now you are aware of the pros and cons of falling asleep on the beach. Here are some ways to nap safely while still enjoying the benefits of the sun.
Leave the napping for mornings or late afternoons.
Keep in mind that the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest from ten in the morning to four in the afternoon. The sun’s intensity gradually increases as the day progresses. So, falling asleep on the beach for a refreshing morning nap or a late afternoon nap is best.
Be sure to protect your head, face and eyes from the sun when you fall asleep on the beach. Wear sunglasses or a hat with a hat or drape a light scarf over your head and face while you nap. Make sure to at least wear light, airy pants while you nap to further protect yourself.
Slather On The Sunscreen
Remember to slather on the sunscreen before laying back for a snooze. The sun’s rays can cause damage even if it is overcast, therefore, you should never neglect this step.
Have A Friend Near-By
While no one wants to be disturbed during a nap, you may want the help of a friend at this time. Once you are asleep, you aren’t very likely to wake up voluntarily for another hour or two. By that time it may already be too late . When you eventually wake up, you might find a nasty burn developing, even if you have put on sunscreen. If you don’t have a friend near-by, make sure your phone is properly charged and set an alarm for twenty minutes.
Drink Your Water
Drink plenty of water. As a rule, if you are going to be spending an extended period in the hot sun, you should keep a full water bottle nearby at all times. Through the day you should drink at least the minimal eight glasses of water.
In the end, there is nothing wrong with a short nap by the seaside. As long is it is done wisely, falling asleep on the beach will help you feel relaxed, refreshed and less stressed. So slather on the sunscreen, cover up and start counting sheep!