Whether you’re on a vacation or a business trip, lack of proper sleep can mess things up. It will rob you out of your functional potential as well as the joys of travel. You’ll feel drained and cranky all the time.
So, here are 7 effective tips to help you tackle (and even avoid) sleeping issues when traveling.
Being anxious about your trip can lead to increased stress levels. If you keep thinking about what will happen or how it will all turn out, you will have trouble falling asleep even before you leave for the trip. As a result, you’ll either be too sleepy or unable to sleep for sufficient hours by the time you’re traveling.
To avoid this, it’s best to begin preparing yourself mentally at least three days before leaving. Plan your trip strategically on a piece of paper. Conduct necessary research to visualize what each day will look like. Figure the new things you will be dealing with and determine your line of action for them.
Here’s a comprehensive guide that can help you plan for all necessary aspects of travel.
When you proceed to travel with an informed mind, you’ll be able to relax and sleep properly — both at home and during your journey.
Carry sleep accessories
Sleep accessories help you sleep quicker and better. They can range from medical equipment like a travel CPAP machine to general things like comfortable neck pillows
The type and severity of your sleeping issue will determine the sleeping accessories you should carry.
Here are a few handy and lightweight sleep accessories you should consider taking with you:
- Eye masks – These block out light to create a calm, dark environment so your brain can perceive it as nighttime and sleep better.
- Noise-canceling earbuds – These block out external noise. They also let you listen to your favorite music to soothe yourself.
- Travel pillows – These support your neck and allow for comfortable sleep as you sit upright during travel.
- Travel weighted blankets – They can calm your nerves and lower your heart rate so you can sleep better and longer.
- Portable CPAP machine – The device maintains a constant and healthy air pressure in your breathing passages. It’s extremely useful for travelers with obstructive sleep apnea.
Turn off your devices
It’s best to switch off phones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices when traveling. That’s because excessive notifications add to the existing stress and divide your focus. Plus, the blue light from screens can disrupt your sleeping cycle.
That’s because it reduces melatonin production in the body, which is a hormone responsible for making you asleep at night.
Also, Harvard states that exposing yourself to 6.5 hours of blue light can cause a 3-hour shift in your biological clock. So make sure you don’t fall for those anxiety-controlling apps. Instead, switch off your devices for good.
Avoid caffeinated drinks
Caffeine is a stimulant. It increases the circulation of chemicals (like cortisol and adrenaline) in your system, which increases your brain activity. Although this enhances focus and can make you feel temporarily refreshed, it will disrupt your sleeping patterns in the long run.
So, it’s best to avoid all caffeinated drinks like coffee, energy drinks, tea, and sodas when traveling with sleeping issues. If you really want to get a drink, opt for a drink with less than 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is the recommended dose for a healthy adult.
Dress to relax
Starting a trip in fancy or formal clothing is not a good idea, especially when you’re expecting sleep issues. Suits, tight pants, ornate dresses, and dress shirts will have you sitting upright and alert all the time. Your body will find it difficult to let loose and relax.
For that reason, it’s important to opt for simple, comfortable clothing when traveling. You can go with loose shirts, a t-shirt, loose trousers, jackets, scarves, sneakers, etc.
You should also pay attention to the material of the clothes you choose. Silk, satin, organza, velvet, chiffon, and brocade are not recommendable for travel clothing. They’re difficult to manage and have a fancy and formal feel.
Sync with the local routine
Once you’re at your destination, it’s best to sync your sleeping schedule with the locals. It will help you adjust to the place quickly and fix your disturbed circadian rhythm.
We also recommend adding exercise to your routine. It will help release endorphins in your body, which reduce stress.
Try sleep supplements
If all else fails, you can try sleep supplements to help yourself. They often contain:
- Vitamin B6
- Extracts of Passionflower
These ingredients increase the production of serotonin in your body, which helps you feel calm enough to sleep. You can also try CBD products for good sleep.
Remember, to be a good traveler, you must actively address your sleeping issues and plan for them in advance instead of ignoring them (under the take-it-easy cover). Happy traveling!