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Ideally, you want to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. However, in a world that is always connected, it can be difficult to turn your mind off during the overnight hours. And sleeping while you travel only compounds the problem, especially when you travel across time zones, and sleeping in a different bed than the one you’re used to.Luckily, there are ways that you can calm your excited mind and that help you fall asleep in a matter of minutes regardless of where you happen to be in the world.
Here are some ways that help you fall asleep anywhere:
Make Sure That Your Sleeping Area Is Completely Dark
Whether you are sleeping in an office, an airplane or in your bedroom, sleeping is easier when your environment is devoid of light. If you’re in a bedroom, it may be possible to turn off the lights, close the blinds and shut off your devices to meet this goal. If you are in a public setting, an eye mask will help you block out any light that you may encounter. If you’re on an overnight flight or train ride, make sure to have an eye mask with you.
Turn Down the Thermostat
Our bodies naturally get colder a few hours before it is time to go to sleep. In fact, research has shown that an inability to moderate your core body temperature could play a role in not being able to sleep well at night. Studies show that sleeping in colder temperatures can help you sleep better and longer. Ideally, you will set the thermostat to about 65 degrees before attempting to fall asleep. It may also be a good idea to wear as few clothes to bed as possible as doing so can further help your body cool off. Airplanes are usually a little cooler, which helps you sleep on a long flight. If you are traveling to a tropical destination where it doesn’t get much cooler at night (anywhere around the equator, for example), and you have trouble sleeping, you’ll want to make sure you book a hotel that has air conditioning.
Convince Your Mind That You Want to Stay Awake
In some cases, you may be able to make yourself sleepy by convincing your brain that it needs to stay awake. Furthermore, trying to force yourself to go to sleep may actually result in spending less time snoozing. If you are experiencing insomnia, focusing too hard on falling asleep can cause anxiety, and it can be difficult to accomplish a task when you’re stressed or nervous. It may be a good idea to listen to calming sounds or focus on your breathing in an effort to calm your mind and make it easier to get the rest that you need. Bedtime yoga is also something that you can easily do while you’re traveling – there are plenty of routines available for free on Youtube, and you can do them in you hotel room.
Targeted Meal Planning
Eating carbohydrates four hours before going to bed has been linked with falling asleep faster and staying asleep through the night. It is also important to eat reasonable portions in the evening as overindulging in your favorite foods can cause digestion issues. Foods such as pasta, bread and rice are both easy to make and contain enough carbohydrates to aid in falling asleep later in the evening. There are foods that can potentially help you sleep. While traveling, it pays off to carry some foods with you that you know will make you sleepy – like Chrissy Teigen’s infamous ‘night eggs’. If you have a food that you routinely eat before bed, make sure you have it while on a trip.
Is Your Mattress Making It Difficult to Sleep?
If your mattress is old or otherwise worn out, it may be a good idea to buy a new one. It is a good idea to test out a variety of mattress types to determine whether you’ll sleep better on a hard or soft surface. Your sleep style, age and activity level will all influence which product best meets your needs. If you have a hard time sleeping at home, you’ll want to make sure to book accommodation that is known to use great mattresses. An Airbnb apartment can be hit or miss, for example – you may arrive at a place that has a terrible mattress. Splurging on a hotel that uses fantastic mattresses will pay off. Westin Hotels for example was the first hotel chain to create their famous signature beds – they even sell them, that’s how popular they are. Other hotel chains followed suit – W Hotels have their “The Do Not Disturb Mattresses”, Hilton and Marriott are also known to use excellent mattresses. Some hotel chains even let you choose the firmness of the mattress – so if you can sleep better on a certain type of mattress, you will appreciate those hotels.
If you are having trouble sleeping at night, there are many adjustments that you should consider making. Your doctor may be able to give you additional guidance as to the specific steps that you can take to make falling asleep and staying asleep easier. If you are planning a trip halfway around the world or to a different timezone and you plan to take sleeping pills to help you sleep, consult your doctor to find out which are the best ones for you, instead of just going for any over-the-counter pills. Natural sleeping aids such as melatonin or lavender are always better than artificial sleep medication.