10 Great Tips for Better Sleep When You Travel

Getting sufficient sleep is important for good health and for optimal function. How do you sleep better when travelling? It is very easy to lose track of good sleep manners while travelling because of the journey, foods, time changes etc. Here are great tips for better sleep when you travel to you stay well rested.

Better Sleep When You Travel

As you may have noticed, sleeping away from home can be quite a challenge, more so when you are traveling. It may be because of the lack of comfort that usually comes with sleeping in your usual familiar place. Yet sometimes it is impossible to avoid such situations where you need to travel elsewhere and have to sleep in a place other than what you are used to.

A good night’s sleep is recommended for optimum performance, whether it is work you are going to do, or even just leisurely activities like hiking or sight-seeing. The recommended hours of sleep are 7 to 8 hours. Having enough sleep when you are travelling is also recommended. So, how do you ensure you get the rest you need while traveling, especially across different time zones?

10 Tips for better Sleep when you Travel

Let us examine the different ways you can achieve adequate sleep for those days when you are away from home, traveling. This way you can look forward to your travels instead of dreading them.

1. Change Sleep Routine

When you know the day of departure is near, and you are about to travel to a different time zone you can make a few preparations for the travel. Start by changing your sleep time gradually to match the time of the place you are going to visit.

One thing about our bodies is that they are habitual, which means that they take on habits and stick to them. So, if you start a few days before, changing the time you sleep, aligning it to the sleep time for the new country, your body will adjust. That way, when you get there, it will be easier to fit right in and have similar eating and sleeping times to those of the place.

2. Comfort is Key

Long flights are never fun, with the fatigue and lack of comfortability. That said, you can always make do with what you have and ensure that you are as comfortable as you can get in the situation.

Consider dressing comfortably. Avoid tight fitting clothes as good as they look and go for looser clothes that give you space to sleep in. In fact, the most comfortable clothes would be a pair of sweatpants, a nice t-shirt and maybe a hoodie. Your body will thank you for the sacrifice when you can sleep somewhat comfortably.

Also if possible, you can get a window seat in the flight or vehicle, where you can lean your head on and have some sleep while travelling.

Carry a travel pillow with you if possible as well. This only works when you are not the one driving of course. You can then put it around your neck and even prop your head to the side to get better sleep. Its comfort is not as good as that of an actual bed with your mattress but it is nice to use to sleep.

3. Drink Lots of Water

Hydration is an important factor to consider when you travel. The high altitude you are subjected to while on a flight may cause dehydration for your skin. This will then have you very tired and groggy. To avoid this, you need to drink water before and during the flight to keep your body hydrated.

4. Carry with you Something from Home

Sometimes the reason we can’t sleep once we travel to the new place is because of the new environment. We might be so use to our old environment that we find it hard to adjust. As you pack for departure, carry with you something from back home like your favorite pajamas or a scented candle you use.

Having such an object with you when you sleep will create a form of familiarity for you and possibly have you get some needed rest. Just have it in your hotel room or where you plan to sleep.

5. White Noise

If possible, have a white noise machine in your hotel room to have on when you sleep. There are even apps you can get on your smartphone for this effect, so you do not have to carry extra items. The white noise eliminates other sudden noises that would otherwise interrupt your sleep. Such noises as of hooting cars and such may give you trouble sleeping. Having one constant, monotonous noise may be what you need to get necessary shut eye without interruptions.

6. Foods and Drinks

Your eating habits may be causing you to have problems with sleep. Give yourself ample time between the last meal you have and your bedtime. Have at least an hour after eating then go to sleep. Sleeping right after a big meal may make you unable to have sleep. You will be awake for quite a while on the bed.

The problem with large meals that sit heavily on your stomach is that our body will be digesting the food instead of resting. Have a light snack if you must.

Drinking alcoholic beverages also interrupts your sleep routine, especially when you drink right before you sleep. Try to minimize on the drinking and avoid drinking right before sleeping time for good quality sleep while traveling.

Also avoid:

  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Sugary foods

7. Avoid Stimulating activities before Sleep

Keep your phone, computer, television or any other stimulating object away when it is time to sleep. When it is an hour or so from your sleep time, it is best that you avoid such objects that will keep your mind from having a rest. You can opt for a book or some light music to help you sleep instead.

8. Get a Fan

Is the place you traveled to an extremely hot and humid area? Such conditions are quite hard to get sleep in. It is very uncomfortable to sleep when you are sweaty the whole time. Cool temperatures are good for sleep.

To get cool temperatures in such an area, have a fan to reduce the temperature. The fan also doubles up as a white noise to distract you from other noises that may disrupt your sleep in a hotel.

9. Meditate

Set aside a few minutes each day of your travel to sit quietly in a calm environment and meditate. You can try breathing exercises that help you sleep easily and such.

10. Avoid red-eye flights

Red-eye flights may seem like a good idea so you use every minute of your travel to a new place, but it should be avoided if you are trying to get enough sleep. With all the activities you still need to do including travels to the hotel and baggage claim, you may not be able to get enough sleep, and may be fatigued throughout your travels.

Traveling does not have to be such a tiring activity, with hardly enough sleep. Next time you are traveling, follow these great tips for better sleep when you travel, and much more energy while carrying out activities on the trip. Enjoy your trip that much more before you go back home to the comfort of your bed.

14 Best Foods that Boost Serotonin

Mood is a very important aspect of our lives and personality. It can determine how we relate to others and how we are perceived and serotonin is at the heart of it. Here are the best foods that boost serotonin for better mood, sufficient sleep, and better gastrointestinal health. Include these foods in your diet to improve your health.

Best Foods

Serotonin is term refers to a chemical messenger that acts as a mood stabilizer. It helps in to boost healthy sleeping and mood. It is released by the pineal gland of the brain. It also helps in digestion regulation and body temperature. Health scientists say that there are specific foods that boost serotonin.

Serotonin affects both mood and behavior, the chemical is linked to long life and feeling good. Foods can increase the serotonin levels via amino acids tryptophan. Serotonin is a combination of amino acids and tryptophan. After it is synthesized from the food, tryptophan is transported to the brain cells where it is converted to serotonin.

Foods for serotonin do not contain serotonin directly but they contain tryptophan which serotonin is synthesized from. Eating tryptophan foods is the only natural way to increase serotonin levels.

Low levels of tryptophan can be evident in people suffering from mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.Low level of tryptophan in the body is followed by a drop-in brain serotonin levels. A proper diet that contains serotonin supplements is the only way to treat serotonin deficiency in the body.

Serotonin and mood

Serotonin has a positive effect on mood control. Low level of serotonin results in depression. Tryptophan efficiency may result in mood disorders, irritability, and aggressiveness.

Serotonin and cognition

Apart from mood, serotonin also has effects on other areas. Serotonin helps in preventing brain impairments. The brain has serotonin receptors that are involved in memory and learning.

Gastrointestinal regulation and serotonin

Most of the serotonin travels to the stomach and intestine walls, it controls the contraction of the digestive tract to push food through. Lack of serotonin balance can cause constipation and diarrhea.

Serotonin and sleep

Serotonin has an important role in controlling circadian rhythms. The levels of serotonin go low when asleep and high when awake. Therefore, sleep is not only about the comfort of your mattress and pillow.

Serotonin and diet

Foods do not contain serotonin, but they contain tryptophan, therefore, eating foods containing high tryptophan levels can boost serotonin levels. Tryptophan foods can be supplemented by foods containing iron, high protein, and vitamin B-6 and riboflavin to ensure efficiency of serotonin in the body. Foods for serotonin must, therefore, be foods that contain tryptophan.

Mixing carbs and high-tryptophan foods also boost serotonin levels. Carbs make the body to release high insulin, which absorbs amino acid while leaving tryptophan in the blood.

Tryptophan contained in the food competes with amino acids to be absorbed in the brain. Tryptophan found in foods has a little effect on serotonin levels as compared to tryptophan supplements. Tryptophan supplements contain purified tryptophan which has a high effect on serotonin levels.

Serotonin also has a role in other processes such as; breathing, heart rate regulation, blood clotting and libido. Any alteration on the level of serotonin may result in disrupted sleep.

The following are the best foods for serotonin:

 best foods for serotonin

1. Cheese- Cheese is a source of tryptophan. The most favorite is the cheese that combines eggs and milk with cheddar cheese. It also contains calcium which is good for bone strengthening and vitamin B-12 and protein. Vitamin B-12 helps in nerve system. Other dairy products such as milk, curd, and buttermilk are also a good source of serotonin.

2. Tofu- This is a soy product. It is rich in tryptophan and it is mostly preferred by vegetarians and vegans. It also very rich in vitamins and nutrients.

3. Turkey- It is a stuffed tryptophan. It is also another good source of tryptophan. Turkey is a relatively low saturated fat and cholesterol food. One can also substitute turkey with chicken. Chicken contains the same amount of serotonin as turkey.

4. Seeds and nuts- Almost all seeds and nuts contain tryptophan. Eating nuts and seeds lower respiratory problems and heart diseases. It is therefore advisable to a handful of nuts and seeds a day. Seeds that contain tryptophan include pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Nuts that contain serotonin include peanuts and cashew nuts.

5. Eggs- It contains high protein levels which boost blood plasma levels of tryptophan. The York is highly rich in tryptophan and tyrosine and other many nutrients which are beneficial to the health. The white part of the health also contain serotonin; however, excessive consumption of egg yolk is harmful to the heart health.

6. Pineapples- Pineapples contain bromelain which helps to reduce the side’s effects of chemotherapy and also helps to eradicate coughs. It also contains tryptophan that helps to boost serotonin in the brain.

7. Salmon- It is a good source of tryptophan, you can mix it with milk and eggs to produce smoked salmon frittata which very rich in tryptophan. Salmon is also rich in nutrients that help in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

8. Seafood- Seafood such as fish contains high levels of serotonin. Fatty fishes such as clams, crabs, tuna, and oysters are the most preferred. Fish oil is also a good supplement of serotonin. Seafood also has omega-3 and vitamins that are good for the health.

9. Beans- Beans such as kidney beans, black beans, and split beans contain serotonin. They also have high proteins and fiber.

10. Oats- Oats contain serotonin

11. Vegetables- Vegetables are easily available in the market. Vegetables such as; cabbage, garlic, carrots, potatoes, spinach, onions, green beans, and tomatoes contain high levels of serotonin.

12. Beverages- Beverages contain a small amount of serotonin but the level is enough for the body. However, beverages must be taken in small quantities because of it contains caffeine.

13. Popcorn- Popcorn helps to keep you happy and relaxed. It is one of the foods that contain serotonin.

14. Meat- Apart from protein, meat also contains serotonin. Beef, pork, and liver contain serotonin and can help to correct serotonin deficiency in the body.

Other alternatives

Foods are not enough to boost the levels of serotonin in the body. There are also other alternatives that one can use to boost serotonin in the body. These alternatives include;

1. Exercise- Regular exercise helps to control depression and stress.

2. Sunshine- Being exposed to bright light help to boost serotonin in the body. It also helps to control seasonal depression. It will help one get a better sleep and boost mood.

3. Positivity- It is good to face day to day activities with a positive outlook. Positivity helps boost serotonin levels. Being positive in life is very important.

4. Gut bacteria- high fiber diet helps in healthy bacteria gut. Gut bacteria play a significant role in boosting serotonin levels.

It is also important to note the following:

a. Avoid consuming excess serotonin because it can be dangerous when in excess.

b. Excess serotonin can result in a risk of heart attack, vascular diseases, and weakening of the bones

c. Low levels of serotonin can also lead to loss of appetite, anemia, depression and lower immune system.

d. Serotonin symptoms include; sweating, nausea, headache, unconsciousness, irregular heartbeat and high fever.

Conclusion

To solve serotonin deficiency in the body, you should consider eating foods that boost serotonin. You should aim for low-protein and high-carbohydrate foods.