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.

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

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

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.

10 Sleep Tips for Traveling with Children

Traveling with children can be a fun and rewarding experience. You get to take the chance to show them things they have never seen and watch their eyes fill up with wonder.

You get to watch as they try new foods, meet new people and gain experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?

Most of the time, it is a blast. However, there is one area that can sour your entire travel experience, sleeping.

Most children like consistency. They do best when they are tucked into their beds, perhaps with a favorite stuffed animal and are sleeping on a consistent schedule. Therefore, travel can really upset their routine.

However, this upset does not mean that you can’t travel with your children. You simply need a few tips to make things smoother.

In this article, we will give you eleven such tips, ensuring that both you and your children can sleep peacefully.

1) Be Well-Rested

Babies and children can accrue sleep debt very quickly. For that reason, it is important to make sure your kiddos are well-rested before you begin your journey.

Those children who are well-rested tend to adapt far more easily to losing a bit of sleep here and their than their non-rested counterparts.

2) Plan Around Sleep

Most children are excited or stimulated by travel of any kind. For that reason, it is important to plan your departure and arrival times around their naps.

If your little one happens to nap in the morning, leave after that morning nap and not before. Always try to arrive at your destination by their typical bedtime. Naps on the road are always less restorative.

If the child’s nap was shorter than normal, plan for an earlier bedtime.

 3) Think Ahead

Going from their own bedroom to being crammed into a room with you can be difficult for everyone involved, not just the children. For that reason, a little planning can save your sanity.

If you are intending to stay in a hotel, splurging on a suite can be a good idea. That way, you can have more living space.

You can even save on food costs if you have a kitchenette. You can store your own milk and snacks which has the bonus benefit of making feeding your children more convenient.

However, sometimes you will wind up in one room. Rearrange the furniture, and hang a sheet from the ceiling to create a physical separation between you and the children.

A small crib or portable camping bed can be either brought from home or provided by the hotel. Tuck this into a bathroom, hallway or open closet, and your child can have a great sleep without winding up in your bed.

If the child does wind up in your bed, remind them that it is only a temporary arrangement and normal sleeping patterns will resume when you’re back home. Make sure to remind them often of the sleep rules.

4) Pack a Portable Bed

Sometimes, you need to bring a bed with you. In these situations, it is best to pack a camping air mattress.

These mattresses deflate and fold flat, making them ideal for tucking into your luggage. They can then be inflated either in the car as you travel or once you reach your destination.

5) Practice Makes Perfect

If you intend on bringing a portable bed or air mattress, let your child sleep on it for a few nights before the trip. That way, they will become familiar with the feel of it.

They will also likely think this is very exciting. After all, it isn’t every day you get to sleep on a portable mattress.

It’s also a great idea to talk to them about the plans that concern them. This way, they know what to expect, and melt-downs are less likely.

6) Sleep Accessories

There are a few essentials you need to pack beyond just the mattress. For example, packing your own sheets can go a long way in transitioning your child to a nice night’s sleep.

Children need familiarity, and the patterns, feels and smell can help them transition more smoothly.

Another thing that is necessary to bring is a few portable stuffed animals or security blankets. Whatever it is that your child won’t sleep without.

Though the temptation may be to pack all the toys ever, that’s not a good idea. Stick with just two or three.

A stroller can also be useful, even for children that can walk fine on their own. Pushing a stroller carrying a sleepy toddler is much easier than giving shoulder rides through the airport.

7) Keep the Routine

When traveling with children, it’s important to keep the same routines you would at home. Babies and toddlers thrive on the consistency of a solid routine.

For that reason, it’s important to make sure that your child’s meals are served at the same time each day and that they don’t sleep in. Sleeping in can throw off the rest of the day and lead to a sleepless toddler that night.

 8) Youngest First

If you have two or more kids, and they have to share a room on vacation, try putting the youngest child to bed first. That way, you avoid any late-night rough-housing between your children.

Once the youngest child has been asleep for twenty or thirty minutes, you can send the oldest up to bed. Make sure to explain to them, however, that staying up late is a privilege, not a right.

 9) Avoid the Sugar

It’s natural to want to indulge a bit when traveling. However, you should try to avoid sugar before naps or bedtime. Sugar can make your children excited, and ensure they have trouble sleeping.

10) Patience is a Virtue

When you are a parent, you likely know that patience is necessary. This rule does not change while you are on vacation.

It is likely that your children will act out or have temper tantrums while traveling. Remind yourself that they are only acting out because their routine has been shaken up.

However, being angry with the children will not help in this situation. Be patient and gentle with them, and it will make the whole situation a lot more smooth.

Conclusion

Despite popular beliefs, traveling with your kids doesn’t have to be a disaster of kicking, screaming and nightly melt-downs.

Instead, you can have children who go to sleep on time and wake up refreshed and excited for each new adventure.

Remember, patience and routine are key. Planning ahead will also ensure that things go as smoothly as they possibly can.

It is also important to make sure you have the proper sleep accessories, such as sheets from home, favorite stuffed animals and dolls, and perhaps even a white noise app to block out sounds that are unavoidable.

Finally, remember to pack your best inflatable bed. That way, your child can sleep anywhere you happen to be.

Vacations don’t have to be a stressful mess. If you follow the tips in this article, your child will have a wonderful time, and transition properly back to home life.

How to Avoid Fatigue and Jet Lag

It is not a secret that frequent travelers are at some point affected by the rigors of travel and will have to deal with the after-effects like jet lag and fatigue. If not checked, these issues can affect your health and performance levels. Every traveler needs to know how to avoid fatigue and jet lag.

For those who travel frequently and especially through different times zones the symptoms of jet lag are all too familiar. Fortunately, for those who take long flights frequently, there are ways to subdue or even prevent the effects of jet lag by employing some simple but effective strategies.

You can experience jet lag any time you travel suddenly across time zones; the more time zones you cross, the higher the likelihood of getting sleepy and sluggish. Jet lag disrupts sleep patterns and other circadian rhythms due to sudden time zones changes. It can leave one with problems like insomnia, diminished physical and mental performance and indigestion, etc.

How to Avoid Fatigue and Jet Lag

A study by Mark Rosekind, Ph.D. of Alertness Solutions, on travelers crossing more than two, time zones confirmed that they were affected by fatigue which lowered their productivity and performance levels. People who are affected by jetlag were shown to be less productive because of a general malaise resulting from the journey, and there was diminished mental alertness in virtually all those tracked for the study.

It is important to know that the longer your flight, the worse the fatigue you will feel and the worse the effects of jet lag you will experience. Crossing time zones interfere with and throw off your internal rhythms especially the internal clock.

There are so many things on a flight which contributes to travel fatigue to intensify jetlag problems. You will have to deal with a cramped space which limits movement, restricted food choices which must be eaten with caution to avoid intestinal issues, dehydration from recycled dry cabin air, limited oxygen (hypoxia) and sleep disruption.

So, Do You Avoid Fatigue And Jet Lag?

The good news is that there are simple steps and changes you can make to deal with and prevent the effects of frequent or long-distance flights.

Pre-flight preparations

Preparing for your journey before you get on the plane is just as important as the steps during and after to keep you comfortable.

  • Planning helps greatly by eliminating stress which would otherwise arise from last minute preparations. Confirm flight and hotel reservations early enough, printing out your boarding pass a day to, and driving to the airport in time. Booking flights which touch down in the morning will help re-set your internal clock much more efficiently.
  • Prepare for sleep in the plane by packing a sleep kit in your carry-on bag. Have earplugs, eye masks, soothing music, and essential oils like lavender oil which you can even use in your hotel.
  • Sleep well and sufficiently before you travel; ensure that you are well rested before your trip and will negate the effects of fatigue. Sleep deficiency and disruption are a significant problem for frequent travelers.
  • Dress comfortably do not put on tight fitting clothes- wear comfortable and loose-fitting yet warm clothing for your flight.
  • Prepare mentally for unforeseen eventualities like travel delays. Set realistic expectations and allow room for the unexpected so that you will be less frustrated and upset if they occur.

Pre-flight

In-flight practices

There are certain things which you can do to improve your in-flight experience for more comfort and to avoid fatigue while traveling.

  • Make your flight comfortable by packing an in-flight pillow and a light blanket to help you get well rested and sleep. A C-shaped pillow to fit around your neck will keep your head moving around or suffering a stiff neck and take off your shoes or loosen shoe for improved circulation.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water will help counter to deal with the effects of the dry recycled cabin air. Stay away from carbonated beverages which may leave you with excess stomach gas.
  • Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics which will make you take frequent toilet trips. The less you leave your seat, the higher the likely hood of falling asleep and getting the much need rest. Do not drink a lot of fluids, a unit on the ground acts like two in the air.
  • Relieve ear pressure by chewing gum through the flight and do not fly if you are suffering from a serious ear or sinus congestion because you may experience severe pain or even damage your eardrums.

Accommodation best practices

The effects of long travel do not end with the arrival at your destination. There are things you will need to do in your hotel or any other accommodation to keep you in tiptop shape mentally and physically.

  • Do not book a room close to the ballroom bar, nightclub or restaurant so that the noise is not a distraction. If your room has an alarm clock, ensure that it is set to go off when you want it to, not the previous guest’s time.
  • Some hotels have designated quiet areas with rooms or floors explicitly reserved for customers who want quiet and uninterrupted rest and sleep.
  • Make use of the gym facilities to exercise or spa facilities for massages to relax and help keep away physical and mental stress.

Conclusion

With these tips, you should be able to counter the effects of long and frequent travel and know how to avoid fatigue and jet lag. Adopt some or all of these tips to make your next trip much more comfortable and less tiring so that your performance levels remain at peak levels and you stay healthy in the long run especially those who travel frequently.