top of page

Why does the pleasant vacation feeling disappear so quickly?

During and shortly after vacation, most people usually feel more relaxed, sleep better and are upbeat. But that pleasant vacation feeling disappears quickly when you are back in normal life. Many people have almost forgotten that they went on vacation after one or two weeks. Sound familiar?

Vacation time is important for people to wind down, to forget the worries from daily life and to recharge the batteries. During vacation time, many people do other things than usual. You may like an active vacation like exploring other cultures, cities, countries, landscapes, hiking, biking, swimming, skiing or a more passive vacation like reading or relaxing at a beach. Most people spend much more time outdoors during vacation than during their normal life. After a couple of days, they feel less stressed, start sleeping better and deeper and even dream more. Dreaming more is interpreted as a sign of good quality sleep. They feel happier and in a better mood; they get a vacation feeling.

Unfortunately, that vacation feeling only lasts a short time after you readapt to your normal life. People almost forget that they went on vacation after one or two weeks. Do you recognize this yourself? Of course, an important reason is that the challenges, deadlines, time pressures etc. of daily life return. But there is another reason as well. Most people spend their normal lives indoors and indoors is biological darkness.

While on vacation, you spend much more time outdoors than normal. Your body gets the natural daylight it needs to synchronize your biological clock. Outdoors, the light intensity is strong enough to trigger special cells in the retinae of the eye. These cells transmit information about the time of day directly into the brain centres, and the brain sends this time information to all cells in the body. In this way, your body stays properly synchronized with the real time, the sun clock.

A well-synchronized biological clock has many advantages. The quality of sleep at night improves. During the daytime you feel less sleepy and are more focused, more alert, more creative. Your mood lifts. This is exactly what happens when you are on vacation.

Back in normal life, most people spend their time indoors. The light level is usually good enough to see, but it is far too low to support synchronizing the biological clock. Indoors means “biological darkness”. After a couple of days, your body gets out of sync with the real time. This is a very important reason why your nice relaxed feeling after vacation disappears so quickly.

Fortunately, with current LED technologies indoors, you can mimic the positive aspects of natural light. We call this good light. Good light indoors can give you that pleasant relaxed feeling all year round, and it improves your well-being and health. Happy people need good light!

If you want to learn more, please contact the Good Light Group.

Jan Denneman

Chair Good Light Group



bottom of page