How To Stay Well-Rested While Traveling
When you finally have the time for your well-earned vacation, you’re probably more than ready to hop into the closest vehicle and leave your daily life far behind to embark on an exciting journey. Despite being on a time limit, you may want to discover all the charming nooks and crannies of your destination, so you prepare a long list of attractions to see. Unfortunately, with such a busy itinerary, you might face problems getting a sufficient amount of rest.
You’ll quickly realize that fatigue dampens your enthusiasm for any further exploration of your travel destination. Sleep deprivation leads to drowsiness, lack of focus, and irritability, preventing you from fully enjoying your trip. That’s why you should pay attention to your sleep hygiene while traveling. You might try using natural sleep remedies, planning a sleep schedule, mimicking your sleep environment, and preparing for distractions at night.
After months of hard work, you deserve a fantastic vacation. Below, you’ll find tips on how to stay well-rested while traveling, so you can make the most of your trip.
Use Natural Remedies
As sleeping pills might make it difficult to stay energized during the day, you can check out some natural remedies instead. Drinking herbal tea before bedtime is a good idea as some herbs are known for their soothing properties and can help you relax and sleep better. Chamomile, valerian root, passionflower, lavender, lemon balm, and hops are great options for natural remedies that can help you relax, fall asleep faster and improve your overall sleeping quality.
If you don’t like herbal tea, try adding these herbs to bathwater – they will work just as well! Another great alternative is CBD, a cannabis compound, which is free of THC (the psychoactive substance in marijuana). A high-quality CBD for sleep will clear your mind and soothe your body, allowing for a peaceful sleep.
Make a Sleep Schedule
When you travel long distances, you are likely to experience jet lag. After flying across time zones and/or crossing many geographical areas, your body clock will be confused, and you’ll find it hard to fall asleep at the usual time. However, even if you go only hours away from your home, you might find that excitement and other emotions prevent you from sleeping. That’s why you should try to stick to your regular sleep schedule as much as possible.
For example, if you usually go to bed at 11 PM and wake up at 7 AM, don’t go to bed too late on your first evening at your destination. If you can’t fall asleep, don’t force it, as it will only make you more agitated and irritated. Instead, try some of the natural remedies mentioned above or anything that might help you relax. And even if you fall asleep a bit later than usual, still try to wake up at the regular hour. Let your circadian rhythm adjust to the new situation.
Mimic Your Sleep Environment
When you travel, you have to adjust to many changes. You stay in an unknown place, meet new people, try different foods or see new things. To make yourself feel more at home and, as such, sleep better, you can try making the new space and routine feel as familiar as possible.
For example, if an air conditioning unit makes noise when you’re at home, you can try turning on the one in your hotel. If you usually drink a cup of tea before going to sleep, look for the same or similar brand at your destination. Also, pack your favorite pajamas or even the preferred pillow.
Prepare for Nighttime Distractions
While away from the comfort of your home, you may face unexpected disruptions during the night. Loud parties, traffic noise, or crying children can easily ruin your sleep schedule. If you want to avoid being woken up by unpleasant sounds and noises, then prepare for them in advance.
One way to do this is to ask for a quiet room away from noisy areas in the hotel or book an Airbnb in a quiet neighborhood. You can also bring earplugs or an eye mask to cover your ears or eyes when necessary. This way, you won’t be distracted by any sudden noises or lights that can wake you up during the night.
Turn Off Electronics
The light from your smartphone, computer, or tablet might disrupt your circadian rhythm. The development of technology has brought us access to information and a possibility to stay in touch or work around the clock, but the constant state of alertness makes it more difficult for people to relax and fall asleep. On top of that, these devices can seriously affect our sleeping quality, as the blue light they emit inhibits the release of melatonin – a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
As excessive screen time is linked to drowsiness and fatigue, you should try turning off electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime. In addition, if you want to avoid being woken up by your own phone, turn it off and put it away from your bed, so you’re not tempted to check your emails and social media accounts when you’re supposed to be asleep.
Don’t Eat Right Before Bedtime
One of the highlights of vacation is tasting the exquisite local cuisine. While enjoying a night out, you’ll probably visit some restaurant to replenish yourself. Still, you should take into consideration whether it’s not too late for a hearty meal.
Eating right before bedtime is a widespread mistake. While you’re digesting your meal, your body is not able to relax and get sufficient rest. That’s why you should try to eat your last meal 2-3 hours before going to bed.
Traveling can be both exciting and exhausting at the same time. To make sure fatigue doesn’t spoil your vacation and to avoid sleep deprivation, you should pay attention to your sleep hygiene.
If you don’t want to disrupt your circadian rhythm, you should try to stick to your usual sleep schedule as much as possible. You should also try to recreate your usual sleeping environment and bring anything you find necessary for a good night’s rest. Also, it’s essential to plan for potential distractions as well as avoid eating right before bedtime.
If you try these tips while traveling, you will make the most of your trip and have a better chance of relaxing and sleeping well at night.