Experiences 24 May 2024

4 Ways Being Near The Sea Improves Your Sleep & Overall Wellbeing

We all know and feel that being near the sea makes us feel calmer. It’s often why we choose the coast as our holiday destination.

Recent ‘Blue Health’ studies, with heavy investment from large organisations such the EU and across the world have been looking into the positive impact that time spent near the ‘blue spaces’ like the sea has on wellbeing and mental health. And for years, the results have consistently shown the benefits.

On the Islands of Guernsey, many locals credit their daily trips to the beach for a walk or sea swim as the reason they feel calmer and ‘reset’ after a long day at work and many holidaymakers feel like they can switch off and have a wellbeing reset with even just a short trip to our Islands.

1. Waves are proven to lower stress levels

The calming impact of the sea on our stress levels are well documented. Many of us will note that we feel calmer, but may not realise that it actually has a physical impact on our bodies. It is often referred to as ‘the blue space effect’ and refers to the combination of the rhythm and sound of the waves alongside the horizon stretching out in front of us working to regulate our nervous system and lower cortisol levels and even blood pressure, which in turn makes us breathe slower and feel less anxious.

For an alternative evening in Guernsey to hitting the bars & restaurants, why not enjoy a sunset walk on the west coast, even a beach barbecue or fish and chips as the sun goes down to set you up for a truly restorative night’s sleep.

2. Sea air is fresher and less polluted

It goes hand in hand with that holiday feeling: breathing in that fresh sea air. And science can tell us why. The air along the coast is charged with negative ions, proven to help us breathe more deeply as they not only improve lung function but they also increase the absorption of oxygen. Plus, plants and trees near the coast also emit immune-boosting phytoncides, proven to increase our body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells.

Here on the Islands of Guernsey, we have the added advantage of being on islands surrounded by sea and open spaces (not to mention lower light pollution levels much fewer street lights than many places in the UK) so on your next trip here, make sure you take advantage and spend time hiking, cycling & swimming to enjoy that island feeling and the fresh sea air.

3. Spending time on the beach is mood boosting

Those negative ions we talked about also elevate your serotonin levels, which in turn improves not only our mood but also our energy levels. Beach time is often also associated with time in the sun and boost of vitamin D, low levels of which in the body often lead to not only deficiencies, but also hormone regulation and low mood.

Dr Matthew White told the Guardian that water has a 'psychologically restorative effect'. “What we find is that spending time walking on the beach, there’s a transition towards thinking outwards towards the environment, thinking about those patterns – putting your life in perspective, if you like.” 

This is why we will often feel as if our worries float away when walking on a beach or swimming in the sea. There are many wellness activities to be enjoyed on Guernsey, from beach yoga to cliff walks, as well as many hidden bays to explore and discover for some peace and quiet or a dip in the sea. A short trip to our Islands is the perfect way to escape the day to day, rest and reset.

4. You will sleep better.

Spending time outside at the beach or near the sea instead of in front of the blue light of a screen means we will drift off to sleep more easily. This works in a couple of ways from a scientific standpoint. Firstly, exposure to natural light helps to regulate our body’s circadian rhythm & hormones, putting us more in tune with nature and feeling alert during the day and tired at night. And secondly, the cadence of the waves in terms of both sound and repetitive flow was a key factor in showing that those who spend time walking by the sea slept for longer than those hiking inland according to a recent National Trust study.

Plus, all of the mental and physical health benefits mentioned above contribute to a much better quality sleep, leaving us more rested and more likely to feel rejuvenated the next day, which is a huge contributing factor to our overall wellbeing. 

You can book a wellbeing trip to our Islands today. Browse our special offer packages or plan your own trip to a coastal retreat. 

See you soon!








Exclusive Offers

Exclusive Offers

Offers, just for you. Island Insider is our club, and the only place you’ll get exclusive offers for the best accommodation and travel packages for your visit to the Islands of Guernsey. Sign up now to start your journey and find your perfect escape.