Getting Good Sleep When You’re Traveling
How to Sleep Better During Your Travels
By Oscar Davis
Traveling is an excellent way to broaden your horizons, but you won’t have much fun if you are lacking in sleep.
Many people experience trouble sleeping when they travel and knowing how to get enough rest keeps you fueled for your big adventures.
Start Your Trip Well-Rested
Many travelers don’t worry much about sleep until fatigue rears its ugly head. Unfortunately, most people are already past the point of being able to catch up on their rest before the end of their trip by this time.
Instead, make sleep a priority during the week before your upcoming departure date. Try to maintain a consistent time for waking and going to bed so that you leave for your trip already rested up and ready for fun.
Hoping you get a good night’s rest once you lay your head down on a hotel pillow is a 50/50 proposition. Too hard, too soft, or just downright uncomfortable mattresses are a real possibility since each hotel furnishes its rooms with different mattresses and bedding.
Quite frankly some are better than others. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead by calling the hotels you’re interested in staying at to ask what kind of mattresses they use in their rooms.
Find a hotel that uses the same firmness and type of mattress you use at home. If you sleep on a memory foam mattress at home then find a hotel that uses those as well.
You can also purchase a few simple accessories to take with you on your travels. Eye masks are great for blocking out light during flights and in hotel rooms that are lit up all night from the street. Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs are other assets to have if you are trying to sleep in crowded spaces such as during international flights.
Many travelers also rely upon neck pillows to provide them with the support that prevents aches and pains when they wake up.
Play White Noise
You don’t have to lug around a bulky piece of electronic equipment anymore to enjoy the benefits of white noise for your sleep. Instead, try installing a white noise machine app on your smartphone so that you’ll have it handy wherever you try to fall asleep.
Many apps include other soothing sounds such as rain and waterfalls so that you can pick what works best for your needs. This strategy is perfect for drowning out sounds in noisy hotel rooms when you don’t want to be awakened doors closing or people talking on the other side of the wall.
Maintain a Normal Level of Physical Activity
Traveling often requires you to sit for long periods of time, and not expending enough energy can also ruin your sleep.
You need to be physically tired before bedtime, and this might require some extra effort on your part to make happen.
If getting to your travel destination requires long hours sitting in a plane, train, or car, then add some time into your itinerary to exercise when you arrive at your destination. Depending upon where you land, you can head to the hotel gym to squeeze in your normal workout, or you can go for a long walk as you check out the main parts of your new location.
Even doing a few bodyweight or resistance band exercises in your hotel room can prime your body for feeling tired at bedtime.
Try to Avoid Over-Stressing About Sleep
Everyone responds to sleeping in a new location differently. Some people fall fast asleep after the exhaustion of traveling but find it harder to sleep the next night.
Others may not be able to sleep well the first night in a hotel room but get more comfortable as the trip goes on.
As you learn your sleep style, try to give yourself a break when you struggle on a single night. Try meditating or doing something else that relaxes you until you fall asleep.
The secret to being an expert traveler is to learn how to get enough sleep during each trip. Being able to start and end your travels well-rested helps you get the most out of each item on your itinerary and look back at your trip fondly. With a little practice, you’ll quickly discover your tried and true methods for achieving restful sleep in any location.
Oscar Davis is a freelance writer who travels frequently to the Baltics, from his Liverpool home base.