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.
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.
- 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.
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.