Area Guides

How To Spend A Weekend Without Social Jet Lag

Weekends are the time to getaway, see friends and enjoy dinner dates with loved ones, but why is it we’re often left feeling drained, exhausted and unproductive on Monday morning.

This is the concept of social jet lag; where spontaneous late nights and lie-ins are misaligned with our regular sleep pattern, disrupting our natural circadian rhythm, not only causing tiredness but directly effecting mental and physical health and wellbeing…

So how do you spend a weekend away without social jet lag?

Imagine if you could go away for a weekend and actually return feeling rested and renewed. It’s time to experience a retreat in the New Forest, a chance for a digital detox and relaxation whilst maintaining your natural rhythm. Our Hampshire hotel will be your tranquil base whether you seek a quiet weekend away or a rejuvenating spa break.

Keep to your rhythm

The key to protecting your sleep schedule is consistency. Rather than disrupting your routine with the sudden introduction of late weekend nights, try to stick to a similar sleep-wake pattern which will help you to avoid that lethargic, drained return to the week.

Check-in at our New Forest hotel is from 3pm. Plan a walk or book a spa treatment and then head to dinner before heading back to wind down at a time that suits you. Aim for an earlier booking so you can enjoy a relaxed meal without the worry of being over-tired; and still have time to seek sanctuary and enjoy the home comforts of your room, inviting you to sleep peacefully and wake to birdsong in the middle of an ancient woodland.

Healthy sleep habits

It is possible to maintain good sleep habits when you’re away. There’s nothing stopping you from creating your optimum sleep environment. If you prefer a cooler temperature when you sleep, turn down the thermostat and open the window; avoid distractions before sleep, turn off all screens, dim the lights and lie down to read or listen to an audiobook. Or perhaps you’ve been dreaming of a soothing and relaxing bath – put your phone on silent, have those essential oils at the ready and enjoy a guilt-free bath.

Get outside

Studies have shown that regular exposure to natural light and sunlight improves sleep duration and quality, assisting in the regulation of hormones such as sleep-inducing melatonin, directly effecting our circadian rhythm.

“Forest bathing” has also proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels, in turn, aiding better sleep. Our hotel is in the heart of the New Forest; simply step outside, breathe in the fresh forest air and wander through the trees for a peaceful, restorative break from scrolling, emails and to do lists.

Stay active

Regular exercise has shown to improve the amount of deep sleep or ‘slow-wave’ sleep we get, which is important for our cognitive processes, supporting memory, growth, and cell regeneration.

Choose lighter, less intense exercise during your spa break, such as swimming, walking, yoga or cycling. Get out into the forest for a cycle ride, with miles of waymarked routes to explore, surround yourself with nature and reconnect with your natural rhythm. You can hire bikes in the village and simply walk back at the end of your day in time for a rest and delicious food in one of our three hotel restaurants. Or head to the spa for a gentle swim or simply to lie next to the pool with a good book.

Maintain your eating and drinking habits

Practicing good eating and drinking habits can often fall by the wayside when the weekend arrives especially when you’re away on a weekend break, with later nights demanding more caffeine, alcohol becoming more appealing and later meals and snacking more likely.

But, if you’re keen for a digital detox and a truly restorative break, you can continue your good sleep-promoting habits by making some simple switches; decaf coffee after dinner, alcohol-free cocktails, no snacks after dinner, that way, you can enjoy the whole experience without any negative effects on your sleep.

Plan to feast a little earlier, sit down to a long, relaxing meal without the stress of eating too late. The Zen Garden Restaurant opens for dinner from 6pm or Cambium from 5.30pm.


It can be easy to fill every moment of your weekend break, but sometimes you need to simply slow down, not commit to doing too much and make time to truly relax. This might be taking the chance to nap when you feel you need one, perhaps in one of SenSpa’s Relaxation Rooms or take advantage of our award-winning spa by booking a massage and time to ease tension in the Hydrotherapy Suite.

If social jet lag is impacting your life, don’t let it stop you from enjoying your weekends, try making small changes to restore healthy sleep patterns. Aim for a balanced sleep-wake cycle, not eating too close to bedtime, practicing relaxing sleep-promoting habits and spending time in nature and in natural light.

Here in the New Forest National Park, you can escape and feel renewed and ready to face the week ahead, feeling empowered and back in control.