The everyday realities of travel can be absolutely exhausting – a problem that is only compounded by how difficult it is to sleep well while traveling. Time zone changes, strange surroundings, and uncomfortable accommodations can all make it next to impossible to sleep like you would in your own comfy bed.
There are a few changes you can make on the road to prepare yourself for a decent night of sleep. The key is to make yourself as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Here are some ways to ensure that you’ll sleep like a log on your next trip.
Strange sounds and inconvenient light are two of the biggest sleep-robbing culprits. There are a few things you can pack to eliminate distractions and make your nights far more comfortable.
It’s worth investing in a decent light-eliminating eye mask–one that’s more heavy duty than the kind they pass out on the plane. Find one that suits your personal style and comfort level. You can use it to sleep on planes and trains, as well as hotel rooms.
Ambient noise is also a major sleep distraction, so bring along some earplugs as well. If noise is a huge issue for you, consider investing in a portable white noise machine to block out unwelcome sounds. If that’s too big of an investment, run the ventilation fan in the bathroom for a travel hacker replacement.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
It can be tempting to have a couple glasses of wine to help you fall asleep, but alcohol can actually disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you further exhausted in the morning. Using caffeine to stay awake during the day can make it much harder to sleep at night. Likewise, eating a big meal right before bed can leave your stomach churning while you try to sleep.
You may be tempted to turn to sleeping pills, but consider an herbal alternative. Chamomile tea right before bed can be an effective sleep aid and the scent of lavender is a natural sleep enhancer. Try carrying a lavender candle, a scented facemask, or some essential oil.
Fight Jet Lag
If you suffer from jet lag, take a natural supplement like melatonin to help your body regulate it’s internal clock. Drink lots of water and try to avoid long naps. General rule of thumb is to expect one day per every hour of time difference to get fully adjusted.
Pick A Quiet Room
Some parts of the hotel can be quieter than others. For a good nights sleep, try requesting a room on a higher floor, away from the elevators. This should help block out street noise and foot traffic. And don’t forget to put out the “Do Not Disturb” sign!
Trick Your Brain
The excitement and new experiences of travel can leave your mind buzzing when it’s time to go to sleep. Try developing a before-bed ritual to help your brain adjust and understand that it’s time for bed.
A ritual could be something as easy as reading a book, lighting a scented candle or meditating for 10 minutes. Whatever it is, do your ritual every night at home to help train your body. Once it becomes routine your brain will instinctively understand that it’s time to go to sleep.
Follow these tips on how to sleep well while traveling and we promise you’ll feel much better on your next trip!