10 Ways to Sleep Better When You Travel
Going travelling used to be something people would describe as a once in a lifetime experience, but thanks to changes in perception, norms and accessibility, travelling can be something that people enjoy more than once, while it still holds its ability to create everlasting memories.
If you are making a trip with friends or flying solo, you will want to make sure that you get some good sleep in among the exploring and perhaps crazy nights out in some of the best places on the planet too, otherwise, you won’t be able to get the most from these experiences.
In some instances, it can become quite tricky to get the sound slumber you’re searching for when you’re travelling, and this is chiefly down to the fact that you don’t have a structured routine that you had with you at home.
Then there are the issues such as strange beds, temperatures you’re not used to and the dreaded jet lag. But, that’s not to say that there isn’t anything you can do to get a good night’s sleep while travelling, so don’t go cancelling your plans just yet!
Why don’t we take a look and see what you can be doing to safeguard your zzzs?
1. Modify your sleep-based habits before your travels
We begin with one of the most important tips. Time in the Land of Nod can be scarce when you’re travelling, but naps are here to help you out with this. However, you can try sleep banking and this will help you modify your sleep habits in the run-up to your trip.
2. Use short naps to tide you over
Taking the time to allow yourself a little snooze is a super way to help get in sync with the local time, wherever you’ve arrived. Just bear in mind that you should be keeping your naps to a time-limit of half an hour or you can risk prolonging your feelings of jetlag.
3. Soak up some essential vitamin D in the day
This shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish; after all, it was probably high on the list of reasons why you went travelling in the first place, but a healthy dose of sunshine on your (sun lotion-covered) skin will go a long way toward resetting your body clock so you achieve improved sleep at night.
4. Stay physically active
For some, this will be easier than others, but if you want to have a better night’s sleep, then even doing some light forms of exercise will assist you in making sound slumber a reality.
Also, you can think of a workout as a great way to stretch and rejuvenate your mind and body following on from long journeys; not just the initial flight.
For those who are going away so they can party hard, don’t fear just yet and think you need to be out doing triathlons and 6-hour hikes; just getting out for a stroll and doing some sightseeing can be sufficient, just as long as it isn’t too close to bedtime or you’ll be full of beans when you should be winding down.
5. Choose the right accommodation for you
Aim to do some research on where you want to stay to suit the type of travelling you are embarking on before you set off. You don’t want to be in the middle of party town when you’re planning to jump up at the crack of dawn to enjoy an all-day hike.
Part of the accommodation search should include the style of abode too. Do you want a cosy private dorm in a hostel, or a beach hut, or hotel, for example? If you have particular requirements, such as a medium-firm mattress to help facilitate better sleep, then a hotel or similar standard of accommodation might be the best choice for you.
6. Do some room prep
Moving on from the last point, if you’re staying for a few days, you can think about moving your room space around to make it suit your needs. Don’t go totally redecorating, just move the bed, etc., if you’d like to, and make good use the of the ‘do not disturb’ sign in order to avert undesired interruptions.
7. Reshuffle your time with tech
If you like to do all of your uploading of an evening when you’re settled in bed then think again. To get high-quality sleep you must avoid stimulation, and looking at screens and using tech does just that. What’s more, the blue-light-emitting screens block the melatonin release in the brain, making it even harder to doze off.
Aim to use your smartphones and laptops, etc., when you have time in the day and try to keep tech use to around an hour before bedtime whenever possible.
8. Assess your alcohol consumption
While we might sound like your parents, and this could also be the hardest point to adhere to, apart from maybe the previous tip, it is best that you avoid alcohol for at least four hours prior to bed.
Alcohol is great at disrupting your sleep during the night as your body goes into overdrive to process the toxins and get you sober. It also prevents you from venturing into deeper stages of sleep and this is one of the reasons why you wake up feeling tired.
9. Try a sleep supplement
Constant travel can leave you with depleted energy levels, particularly when early flights and late-night arrivals are involved.
Without sleep, your body can’t recover properly and you’ll feel tired when you should be full of excitement, so give a sleep supplements a whirl.
You can try valerian or melatonin, as two effective examples.
10. Creature comforts
Just like a security blanket for children, and in the same way that it can help make a child feel safe, you can pack a blanket to travel with that will have the same effect.
Smells from home have been proven to help people fall asleep quicker, and what’s more, you can utilise the blanket and its versatility to get comfy in a range of places; from the aeroplane to the beach, dorm room and more.