Is your motto in life, “Eat. Pray. Travel. Repeat.”?
Then, you will be glad you came across this useful traveler’s sleep guide.
Yes, traveling is a delight. That one I cannot argue with. But, as much as I do not wish to admit it, traveling is also very taxing.
You know what I mean – the stress of meeting your itinerary for the day, worrying about the possibility of getting lost, even taking photos can prove to be a tiring task. But above all, the most common complaint travelers experience when out and about in a foreign land is the difficulty of getting sufficient rest.
Let’s be honest. You need to be well-rested to fully enjoy the best places to travel in the world. Otherwise, all your recollection about your supposed dream getaway will easily fade into a distant memory.
So, how do we address this issue in lack of balance between travel and sleep?
Understanding The Effects Traveling Have On Sleep
Most people find it difficult to fall asleep when traveling (even when staying in a nice hotel room) because of having separation anxiety with their favorite pillow. However, experts suggest that the reason why sleep quality becomes shallow is backed up scientifically.
When sleeping in a different environment, the brain is trying to cope up with the unfamiliar. It continuously searches for a safety guarantee just to calm your mind. This normally lasts for up to two days.
One study conducted by an Ivy League institution indicates that our brain gets divided into two opposite when sleeping. This is the same for birds, and dolphins and other sea mammals. As one side of the brain sleeps, the other side is alert and cautious because of the new environment. This is the reason why a resting traveler does not feel fully rested because one side of the brain has less sleep than the other.
Being sleep deprived has unhealthy effects not only on the physical state but also on mental aspects, as well. You do not want to get sick while having your dream vacation, right?
How To Get Some Sleep When Traveling In A Car
It is nearly impossible to be super comfortable when sleeping in a car, but these tips will certainly help you squeeze in some zzz’s inside a moving car.
- Bring a blanket of cotton or a wool with you. The temperature inside the car can be too cold, so you will need extra protection than just polyester.
- Opt for comfortable clothing. Slip on shoes can also make it easier for you to put your feet up when feeling tensed.
- Using a travel sleep mask is helpful for those who can not sleep when it is too bright out.
- Earplugs can block out the noise, and so does noise-canceling headphones.
- Use a small pillow around the neck, preferably one that is made of memory foam. Add more support by subtly leaning into a car window.
- If you are taking turns on driving, try your best to stay awake and alert. If ever, you feel sleepy, take a quick nap. In just 20 to 30 minutes, you will be refueled and back on the road.
How To Get Some Sleep When Traveling On A Bus
Most people travel via bus because it can save more money. It also helps you escape the stress caused by driving. But it is not without any downside. After all, you are traveling with a couple of strangers. Here are a couple of things to do make your trip more pleasant:
- Do not go for overnight rides. These may be cheaper, but they make use of older models, which are a lot less safe.
- Be wise in selecting your seat. Some buses do not allow seat selection, so if you have to pick a random seat, choose one besides a child or a woman. Also, do not choose one at the end of the bus, if you do not want a bumpy ride.
How To Get Some Sleep When Traveling On A Train
Traveling via train was regarded as an easy and glamorous way of going to your destination of choice. Also, it is a perfect way to doze off while on the road. Do not forget to do the following:
- Trains can get really loud. Also, when near the station, the lights can be bothersome. An eye mask and earplugs can be very helpful.
- Place your ticket somewhere you can easily access. Conductors always check it along the way.
- Train temperatures vary from time to time. Dressing in layers will make it easy for you to remove when it is too hot. Having a blanket beside you, so you can easily keep warm may be a good idea.
How To Get Some Sleep When Traveling On A Plane
Traveling by plane is now made affordable. It is also one of the two ways to get overseas. However, traveling by plane has hurdles of its own. If you want optimal comfort, you should bump up to first class if you can afford it. Otherwise, make do with the following tips for your flight:
- If you want to get the quietest spot in the plane, go for the end of the aircraft.
- Get the best sleep by choosing a spot in the window seat. Use a small pillow, so you can lean against it comfortably.
- If you have no choice but to take the middle seat or the aisle seat, bring a C-shaped head pillow to avoid your neck from straining,
- Use comfortable shoes. Shoes can restrict circulation, making the whole trip stressful.
How To Get Some Sleep When Stuck At An Airport
Yes, canceled or delayed flights are the worst! The waiting game is strong and it can get so cruel. Of course, this is a very unpredictable event, but it is something to be prepared for, especially by those who have connecting flights.
- Always prepare an emergency kit in your carry-on. For instance, keep a spare set of clothes and toiletries. Always have a snack handy, like a granola bar. Earplugs, a small travel pillow, a small blanket, and eye masks are also very helpful.
- Not all airports are the same, so finding the perfect spot can be hard. There are some airports that have lounges, so better ask someone from the airport about it. If not, start walking around the airport. Look for seats without armchairs or clean carpeted rugs. Avoid high traffic spots and look for a place with an outlet.
- Take good care of your belongings. Keep your wallets and passport right next to you. For more expensive gadgets, put on an in a small carry-on and put a lock on it.
How To Get Some Sleep When Traveling With Your Children
If it is hard for you to sleep when traveling, it will be a lot more difficult for your child. These tips can help you and your child get the quality sleep needed for your adventure.
- Plan the travel time with your kid’s sleep schedule. Avoid disrupting their sleep schedule, so work around it, instead.
- Squeeze in some time for naps.
- Bring the accessories your kids need to make their sleeping conditions bearable.
Additional Tips On How To Sleep Well When Traveling
Always prepare for your trip. To make sure you get the best rest possible, you need to take action even before your trip started.
- Plan ahead. Prepare all your belongings.
- When making reservations for your hotel, be sure to book a room that is away from high traffic areas. Also, ask for pillows with different firm levels.
- Prepare a sleep kit, consisting of eye cover, earplug, a small pillow, and a blanket.
- Dress comfortably when traveling.
- Try to lessen caffeine and alcohol intake prior to your trip.
- Get yourself tired. Hit the gym, so it will be easier to fall asleep once you reach your destination.
- Readjust your body clock. If you are going to a different time zone, jet lag is inevitable.
- Take natural travel sleep aid such as melatonin.
- Expose yourself to sunlight.
- Try to stay awake until bedtime.
- Drink plenty of water and make sure you are hydrated all throughout.
- Place some lavender scent on the pillow. The scent can help slow down the heart rate and relaxes the mind.
- When traveling in a colder climate, keep your head and toes covered when sleeping. It is also advised to keep yourself insulated at all times.
- Use proper sheets when going to an area with the warmer climate. When setting your room for sleep, draw in the shade to reduce heat from coming in and turn on the fan to get adequate ventilation.
- For a humid environment, keep the window open and sleep eagle style.
- If you are having trouble falling asleep, having a book with you can really come in handy.
Sleeping when traveling is necessary to keep your spirits and energy up the rest of your trip. While the circumstances can sometimes be less than ideal, there are certain ways to make your situation more bearable. Geared up with these tips, you are sure to enjoy traveling a bit more.