We all know that lack of sleep can ruin travel. Whether you’re on vacation, a family holiday, or simply a work trip on the other side of the country, a poor night of sleep can kill your journey, and everything it was meant to accomplish. So how do we ensure that sleep on the road is as sound as home in our own bed? While there are no miracle cures, there are certain methods we can use to give ourselves some advantages.
- Sleep When The Locals Sleep, And Use a Face Mask. Here’s a common scenario: woman flies to Europe for a work trip. She gets a fitful 45 minutes of sleep on the overnight flight. She arrives in the morning, local time, and immediately crashes in the hotel room, but wakes up in the mid afternoon to hit her first conference, feeling like she got hit by a truck. She slept poorly the first night and feels jetlagged for the duration. The better option would have been to stay awake upon landing, and going to bed only when it’s dark in the local time. If this person had stayed awake with coffee, then used a facemask to block out all electric light come sundown, she would have woken up the next morning much more refreshed, and had far more energy for the duration of her trip.
- Take Something To Sleep Better. There are numerous sleep drugs and natural sleep-inducing substances. Narcotics are sometimes prescribed by physicians, and these can work well, but they can also be expensive, hangover-causing, and habit-forming. Natural alternatives like cordyceps and Sambucus Elderberry Syrup are more affordable, and won’t leave you feeling sluggish or loopy the morning after. To maximize the effects of herbal remedies like these, avoid substances which could counteract their effects, like caffeine and alcohol. Follow this regimen rigorously, especially at the beginning of your trip. Once your body has fallen into a rhythm, you’ll be more able to follow your at-home routine (but according to local time), without upsetting your sleep cycles.
- White Noise App/Maker Or Noise-Cancelling Headphones. The body is constantly on the alert, even when we’re sleeping. We’re always listening out for unusual noises, so that we can jump out of sleep to fight off a burglar or lion or something (our instincts are running on old-school software and haven’t been significantly updated since humans’ early days) attacks us. We’re used to the common sounds of our home, but when we travel there are many new noises that our brains have yet to ignore, having determined that they are harmless. At night, block out these noises with a white noise app, a noise producing machine, or noise cancelling headphones. This gives the part of your mind that’s alert to noise during sleep a “blank slate”, so to speak, one which will make it feel like nothing is wrong, allowing you to sleep through the night without interruption.
- Work Out Clothes. Still feel like you’ll have trouble sleeping on your first couple of nights? Why not work out to use up extra energy? Most hotels have a small fitness facility, and you can always take a long job around town (just be careful in unfamiliar places). You’ll burn some extra pep, and be ready for rest when it’s time for bed.
No one likes being exhausted during travel. Take along the above items when you go on your next journey, and you’ll be able to sleep through the night and accomplish everything you need to during the day.