Every year billions of people are travelling and each trip they take the risk of bringing home a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs love to hitchhike on luggage.
Found worldwide and an increasing problem in Australia and New Zealand, be sure to know what to look for these holidays or whenever travelling to ensure you and your family are protected from their nasty bites.
Small in size, they are attracted to warmth, and are most active at night biting areas of exposed skin while sleeping. Their bite causing an allergic reaction which is displayed on the skin as itchy red welts usually not felt until some minutes or hours after the bite.
Bed bugs have small, flat oval bodies. Adults are brown in colour, reddening after feeding. Despite common misconceptions that they are too small to see, fully grown they are about 4-5mm in length, small but visible to the naked eye.
Hiding in nooks and crannies they are primarily nocturnal, emerging in the middle of the night to feed on those sleeping. It is therefore, often not the bed bugs, but tell-tale signs of their infestation that may be seen first. Little brown or black dots found on linens or the mattress itself.
When booking a hotel room, you can:
If you have discovered bed bugs or evidence that would lead you to suspect their presence, alert the hotel staff immediately, do not stay in that room, and strongly consider finding a new hotel all together.
There have been reported cases of Bed Bugs in transit. After all they love to hitchhike on luggage and clothing. Having a hard shell suitcase can assist in eliminating the areas in which a bed bug can hide and it can easily be cleaned with an alcohol wipe after your flight. If you do see any signs of bed bugs while travelling let the flight attendant on your plane or tour guide know as soon as possible.
When you get home wash all clothes you took on the trip in hot water including the ones that might be clean or you have worn on the way home. Vacuum and check your luggage for any signs of bed bugs and then store them safely away from your bed.
Not only providing peace of mind against bed bugs and dust mite allergens they help protect your mattress investment from everyday spills and stains.
The Protect-A-Bed® BugLock® system has a dust-proof flap and tamper-proof SecureSeal® making the mattress or pillow bed bug entry and escape proof, whilst also ensuring allergens can’t become airborne. Simply Fit'n'Forget® by laying a Protect-A-Bed® fitted mattress protector on the top for easy removal and regular washing with other bedding.
Sleep Well, Live Well
Jet lag occurs when you fly across one or more time zones.
Daylight plays an important role in our body’s natural biological clock or circadian rhythm, affecting the release of Melatonin which tells us when we should go to sleep and wake up. Jet lag occurs because our body's circadian rhythm has not had time to synchronise to the change in time zones.
The result, our body is telling us to stay awake when it’s late at night, or telling us it’s time to sleep when it is the only the middle of the afternoon.
Jet lag, affects different people differently, and can happen to anyone regardless of their age or level of fitness.
As recognised by betterhealth.vic.gov.au it is also often worse if you are travelling in an easterly direction
Your circadian rhythm (body clock) is less confused if you travel westward. This is because travelling west ‘prolongs’ the body clock’s experience of its normal day-night cycle (the normal tendency of the body clock in most of us is slightly longer than 24 hours). Travelling eastwards, however, runs in direct opposition to the body clock. If you suffer badly from jet lag, it may be worthwhile considering a westerly travel route if possible.
The symptoms of Jet Lag vary between people. They may include:
Jet lag generally lasts for 2-3 days and although there is no cure there are things that you can do before, during and after travel to help.
During the Flight
After the Flight
“It is important that you sleep for no longer than 30 minutes and that you are awake for at least 4 hours before you go to bed.”
Most importantly be prepared to give yourself the time to adjust. It will often take at least 2-3 days.
School holiday’s are here again and along with keeping your little one’s occupied with activities and play dates it can be tempting to let them stay up that little bit later.
And as tempting as it is, remember that whether you are staying at home or going away it is important that you try to maintain a regular sleep pattern for your children. Without it they will become tired and grumpy, making your days more difficult and when the holiday’s are over you will have to battle to get them back into their bedtime routine.
As recommended by the Sleep Health Organisation “Bed time should not vary by more than an hour between school and non-school nights” and “the same goes for the time your child wakes up”
To help with this in the holiday’s ensure that you give your children time to relax before bed. Put away toys and turn of screens. Anything stimulating. Try reading a favourite book or listening to some calming music.
If you are travelling and away from home, a different environment can make it difficult for them to settle. Take with you a toy, pillow or blanket that your child associates with sleep. It will make them more comfortable and assist in them getting to sleep.
When travelling also ensure that where you are staying has Protect-A-Bed® Mattress and Pillow Protectors. An unprotected mattress or pillow is home to millions of dust mites, mould and bacteria which may cause allergens, asthma and eczema.
30% of us are allergic to dust mites so chances are if you or your family are sleeping on an unprotected mattress while away asthma and allergies are more likely to occur. None of us want to get sick, or have sick children, when away on holidays!
And for those of you who have children still bedwetting, consider taking an extra mattress protector or linen protector of your own with you. Pop it on the bed and if an accident occurs you can easily remove it in the night, getting back to sleep quickly with the knowledge that the mattress your child is sleeping won’t become wet or stained.
With the holiday’s coming to a close, if you have not been able to maintain the consistent bedtime at the start of the holidays, get back to a normal routine before school starts. If bedtime has become later than usual, slowly push it back by about 15 minutes or so a night until it is where it should be.
A fun holiday activity that encourages children to keep to their bedtime is making a Sleep Clock. Head to the Sleep Health Foundations website and download a easy to use template created by Professor Kurt Lushington from the University of South Australia.
Everyone deserves the simple pleasure of a good night’s sleep.