Survey Says Vacation Doesn't Make You Better Rested

Compiled By Jill Jusko If you return from vacation more tired than when you left, you're not alone. A recent survey by the Gallup Organization shows that a majority of Americans return from vacation feeling tired. Some 54% of survey respondents reported feeling tired, including 19% who said they came back from vacation feeling either "very tired" or "exhausted." Poor planning, later bed times and unfamiliar or uncomfortable accommodations were cited as key reasons why people arrive home from vacation feeling tired. The Gallup telephone survey of 1,000 Americans who traveled on vacation within the past year was conducted in May. Results show that many of the factors that contribute to feeling tired following a vacation actually have their roots in pre-vacation behaviors. For example:

  • 56% of respondents pack the night before or the day of the trip, with about one-third of those losing at least two hours of sleep to accommodate this task.
  • 54% of survey respondents say they wake up earlier than normal on the day of the trip to get an early start.
  • Of vacationers who have a job, 36% say they worked harder or stayed at the office later in advance of their vacation, and 26% of those reported losing sleep due to the increased job pressure. As a result of the sleep deficit incurred prior to their vacations, Americans "make it much more difficult to recharge their depleted batteries in the course of a single vacation," says Dr. Roger Cadieux, clinical professor of psychiatry at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine.
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