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
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.

17 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
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
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.


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.

The Health Benefits of Calories in Grapes

Grapes are highly nutritional and should be included in your diet. Eat as a snack, in salads or wine, get the value and health benefits of calories in grapes.

Calories in Grapes
Calories in Grapes

Grapes are a very tasty treat to have at any time of the day. If you are on a low-calorie diet then you are probably keen to know the nutritional value of the fruit. We are going to look at the health benefits of calories in grapes and why it should be eaten regularly.

People consume grapes in many different forms such as the whole fruit or in wine as grapes are used to make so many different types of wine. Grapes are also great as they come in different flavors from sour grapes to sweet ones.

Nutritional value of grapes

There is a lot of sugar and carbohydrate content in grapes which is something that anyone who is on a low carbohydrate diet must take into consideration. One grape is known to contain about 1 gram of carbohydrate which demands that you limit the quantity of grapes you eat to about 15 grapes, medium sized.

However, grapes are a great source of vitamin C which helps to repair worn out body tissues as well as increasing your body’s immunity. B-vitamins in grapes help with regulating metabolism as well as strengthening nails and hair.

Vitamin K which is very important in helping to keep bones strong and also helps your blood to clot in the event that you are bleeding.

What are the health benefits of grapes?

The following are just some of the health benefits that you get from consuming grapes:

benefits of grapes
benefits of grapes
  • They reduce your risk of getting cancer

Grapes contain a number of antioxidants and one of them is polyphenols which has the properties of an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that is found in grapes skins and it acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Studies have shown that resveratrol helps to slow down the growth of tumors or even prevent tumor growth in certain areas of the body such as stomach, liver, lymph, skin, and colon and even prevent leukemia.

Taking red wine in moderation can also help prevent cancer as it has been proven to contain resveratrol. Women are advised to take one glass of red wine per day while men should drink only two glasses in a day.

  • Grapes help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels

Grapes contain a lot of potassium which helps to reduce the negative effects brought about by consuming too much salt. As you well know by now, salt is one of the factors that increase your blood pressure and thus the potassium in the grapes will ensure that your blood pressure remains normal.

The fiber in the grapes is also great at ensuring that your heart remains healthy and thus prevent an increase in blood pressure.

  • They keep your heart healthy

Studies have proven that resveratrol and quercetin contained in grapes help prevent atherosclerosis and it also prevents damage to the heart caused by cholesterol. Take care of your heart with grapes and live an active, long and healthy life.

  • They help prevent constipation

Grapes are high in fiber which helps in preventing constipation. Grapes also help to keep your body hydrated which is also very important in maintaining healthy bowel movement.

  • Helps prevent Type II diabetes

Eating grapefruits helps to prevent adults from getting Type II diabetes. This is because they contain high fibers, vitamins, and minerals which help you satisfy your sweet tooth in a much healthier way. Please, ensure that you consume a moderate amount of grapes as they contain a lot of sugar.

  • They help reduce allergy symptoms

The resveratrol and quercetin contained in grapes have anti-inflammatory properties which enable them to reduce the effect of allergy symptoms. They alleviate symptoms such as watery eyes, hives, and runny nose.

  • It is used in acne treatment

Studies have shown that grapes can be used as a topical treatment of acne when used together with benzoyl peroxide.

Drinking red wine has also been shown to help keep your skin looking younger and more vibrant.

  • Keeping your eyes healthy

The lutein and zeaxanthin contained in grapes help maintain the health of your eyes. These antioxidants are said to have the ability to neutralize free radicals which can cause damage or stress to the retina of your eyes. They also help prevent the formation of cataracts.

Resveratrol helps to protect you from getting a number of different eye problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration related to aging, cataracts etc.


It is clear that grapes have very many benefits to one’s health. The calories in grapes make it necessary for you to limit the number of grapes you consume in a day.

The sugar and carbohydrate content in grapes is really high especially if you are on a low carbohydrate diet and thus you should take half a cup of grapes a day so as to gain the most benefits from these fruits.

Grapes have anti-inflammatory properties which help to keep your blood pressure normal as well as reducing allergic reactions. This is very important in ensuring that you get sufficient quality sleep during the night. High blood pressure and allergic symptoms are known causes of insomnia and getting rid of them will help you sleep better.

Red wine is another form in which grapes come in and can help the person consuming with losing weight because it is rich in antioxidants. Drinking red wine is also good for the skin but like any alcoholic drink, must be in moderation otherwise it can cause health problems and make sleeping disorders worse.

You can consume grapes on a daily basis by adding them to your diet either slicing them and adding to your salad or making fruit cocktails that contain grapes and any other fruits you like for example strawberries and peaches.

I hope you will include grapes in your diet so that you may enjoy the great nutritional benefits of grapes.

The Benefits Of Working Out Before Bed

Exercise is a means through which humans exert themselves to keep fit. With our busy lives because of work and many other things we have to do, getting time to exercise can be a difficult affair. How about working out before bed?

Most people have suffered chronic diseases due to a sedentary lifestyle; intentional and targeted exercises have been one of the solutions developed to keep us healthy.

Getting in some exercise before retiring to bed is an option which works for the not so early birds who generally have more energy in the late afternoon and early evening periods.

What are the preferred types of exercises before bed?

There are so many types of exercises that can be incorporated into your daily workout routine. Some examples are kickboxing, jogging, running, swimming, cross-fit, yoga, HIIT, and weightlifting just to name a few.

The recommended exercises can be categorized into strength training and cardio training workouts. Strength training focuses on building muscle size and strength by employing the use of resistance equipment such as barbell and dumbbell weights. Cardio involves high repetitions and sets of exercises that are practiced for longer periods of time such as jogging for a marathon.

Types of exercises before bed
Types of exercises before bed

The different types of exercises are ideally made to suit your preferences and your fitness goals. For instance a middle-aged mad will gain much more from strength training as opposed to an overweight teenager who does cardio to slim down.

What are the benefits of working out before bed?

Exercise not only improves your physical health but your mental health as well. It acts as a stress reliever to help you cope with pent up frustrations you might be facing at the workplace. The endorphins released after a rigorous workout helps you to cope with stress better. Yoga could be the best known exercise that works by connecting the mind and the body through meditation.

Yoga dissipates muscle and joint tension leading up to more relaxed sleep. The cat-cow, child pose, and downward-dog poses do wonders to relieve soreness and stiffness.

Most early birds will swarm the gym during the morning hours making it almost impossible to maneuver the rooms and get access to equipment. Well, you can get away from all this human traffic by frequenting the gym during the evening. There is more privacy and more time to use all the fancy gadgets you need for your workout regimen. It will also guarantee you one on one contact with your personal trainer.

General exercise will raise your body’s metabolism during the duration of activity.  This enables you to burn more calories than while you are at rest. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to burn calories post workout. It involves alternating between high impact exercising like sprinting for 2 minutes then jogging for another 2 minutes for 40 minutes in total. Doing these kinds of exercises will have the same effect on your fitness regardless of the time.

Raise your body’s metabolism
Raise your body’s metabolism

Studies have shown that increased activity before bed can actually raise cortisol and adrenalin in your blood making it harder to sleep. However more extensive research has shown that evening weightlifting in particular will put you to sleep faster. You will also experience deeper sleep as opposed to someone who did the same workout in the morning.

Doing an exercise before going to bed will keep you motivated to stay healthy. It will increase your productivity and alertness. This will prevent you from giving into midnight snacks and treats that may add inches to your waistline in the long run.

Hitting the gym in the afternoon or evening will expose you to a friendlier chattier bunch of gym mates. On average, morning gym rats are always in a rush to exercise and get to school or work with minimal interruptions.

However, evening gym goers are more laid back and more interested to engage you in conversations about their day. So, if you are looking for a more stimulating gym experience, try the evening classes and you just might make a new friend.

When is the best workout time?

It is important to note when your body seems to have the most energy. This is known as your body’s peak-time. It is characterized by warm muscles, tolerance to physical discomfort and optimal lung performance which is typically during the late afternoon or early evening periods. If this describes you, it would be best for you to exercise between 2 and 6p.m describes Phyllis Zee MD. of Northwestern University. You can improve your sleep by giving your body 3 hours to cool off before bed.

If you feel as though your energy levels are fairly constant during the entire day please don’t constrict yourself to one workout schedule. Try to shake things up by experimenting on different times to see what works best for your body.

Keep in mind that whatever time you ultimately choose will not affect the amount of calories burned. It boils down to your dedication and consistency if you want to see results.

When it comes to starting a new exercise routine, make sure to do the scheduling and planning that works for you. Remember that a little exercise goes a long way, no matter when you choose to allocate the time. At the end of the day, the kind of exercises that you perform should be geared to meeting a certain end goal. Although a personal trainer and gym friends will support you along the way, you should be your own cheerleader.

In summary, working out before going to bed is a great idea. It has been proven to have several benefits, oftentimes surpassing the usual morning workouts. It has been shown to alleviate tress, improve moods and keep us healthy and fit. It works best for today’s fast-paced world that is forever changing and advancing. When accompanied with the right diet and mentality, working out before bed can be the magic bullet for your fitness and health goals.