When you're on vacation, you're the most relaxed version of yourself, right?
If you're doing it right, you've taken your work email off your phone and all the stresses of your daily life are the furthest things from your brain.
So why, without fail, when you crawl under the covers on the first night of vacation, can you not fall asleep? And if you do, why don't you feel well-rested the next day?
According to new research published in the journal Current Biology, it's because one hemisphere of your brain is staying awake to "night watch." In other words, our brains are kind of sketched out by sleeping in an unfamiliar place, so they're staying awake just in case something weird goes on.
I get it. In fact, this phenomenon is called "first-night effect," and when scientists do studies, they generally don't count the first nights participants sleep in labs because their sleep is so wonky.
While it's always good to get a scientific explanation for our weird habits, this doesn't change the fact not sleeping well on vacation blows. To reduce this effect, Yuka Sasaki, a researcher on the study, suggests bringing something familiar with you, like a pillow from home.
If you still have trouble sleeping on vacation beyond the first night, consider taking action by working to get more exercise (hey, that hotel gym is there for a reason!), having a solid 30 minutes of wind-down time and not drinking alcohol too close to bedtime.