Jet-lag, fatigue, noisy hallways, unfamiliar settings, and a strange bed when travelling all add up to one thing – a lousy night of sleep. Lack of sleep can make a family vacation miserable, and a business trip unbearable. So, what can you do to offset the distractions and discomfort in order to get the best sleep possible? Consider these five tips to if you’re looking to get the best sleep possible when you’re away from home.
Bring a Bit of Home Along with You
It may not be practical to bring along your entire set of linens, but you can bring a few items from home to make your hotel room a bit more familiar. Sometime I bring a pillow case, freshly washed in the laundry detergent I am familiar with, the best part is that it is easy to bring along. You’ll appreciate having it when you lay your head down at night. Do you sleep with scents? Take along a few of your favorite scented oils. The familiar smells and textures that you bring with you will help you doze off. Some people also like the noise that a fan makes.
Don’t Overindulge on Your First Night
After a long day of traveling, it’s tempting to spend a couple of hours blowing off steam in the hotel lounge, or enjoying a big meal. Yep I’m guilty of this one, however, if you want to get a good sleep your first night, you’ll fare much better having a light meal and skipping the alcohol altogether which I never do, but do as I say and not as I do. Alcohol may take the edge off and help you fall asleep, but you won’t get the deep sleep required to feel well rested. A heavy meal may just give you indigestion, and that’s certainly not going to help you sleep.
Resist the Temptation to Nap or Oversleep
This is especially true if you are crossing more than one time zone. The more quickly you can become acclimated to your time zone the better. Taking daytime naps, or sleeping more than six to eight hours at a time will sabotage your body’s attempts to adjust its circadian rhythms. If you want to get adjusted to a new time zone quickly, spend as many daytime hours in the sun as possible.
Get the Right Hotel Room
Whenever possible, book your room away from the noisiest areas of the hotel like the ice and soda machines. Avoid rooms near the pool, rec rooms, or courtyards. These are gathering places, and things are sure to be a little on the loud side and sometimes even cater to private parties that can go late into the night as I experience on my honeymoon in Florida. NOTE: If you are staying in a hotel with a restaurant, bar, or nightclub ask for a room on an upper floor away from all of the action. Finally, a centrally located room is usually far enough away from laundry facilities, vending and ice machines that foot traffic is not a problem. Did I mention staying away from ice machines?
Set Yourself up for Comfort
Picture this. It’s late at night, you’re exhausted, and you’ve just walked into your hotel room. You drop your suitcases on the floor and collapse onto the bed. You’ve never felt more comfortable. You make the decision to just fall asleep right then and there, because it feels like you could sleep for hours. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. This is a classic formula for a restless and sleepless night. Always take a little time to unwind and settle in. Adjust the thermostat and create a little white noise from the furnace or air conditioner or do like my wife and I do bring your own white noise maker, they are compact and fit in a suitcase. Next turn down the bed, and finally change into something comfortable let sleep come naturally.