How to Sleep Better When You Travel
If you struggle to get a good night's sleep while away from your own bed, you are not alone:
According to a study conducted by Wakefield Research, more than 60% of Americans do not get good sleep while on vacation -- no matter how comfy the guest room or how soft the bedsheets.
Sleep is a rhythmic, habitual activity, and consistency is one of the best ways to promote good sleep. Therefore, travel can easily disrupt our natural rhythms. The body looks for what it is used to -- i.e., your usual sleep environment with the sounds, scents,, temperature and sleep surface you're used to.
In a new environment, it can become a struggle to fall asleep -- or get back to sleep -- especially that first night.
Combine sleep deprivation from your journey with possible Jet Lag, and you have a recipe that could ruin more than just your slumber. Lack of sleep at night will leave you tired and groggy during the day, not functioning well or enjoying yourself, and that can put a damper on your whole trip!
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can improve the quality and duration of your sleep, wherever you are. To help you reach peak performance and get the most out of your travels, we've compiled a series of tips and tricks for how to sleep better while away from home.
Here's what to do before the trip, during travel and after arriving at your destination.
Before Your Trip
- Adjust Your Sleep Cycle
Shifting your schedule to match the time zone of your planned destination prior to leaving will make the transition easier. Try pushing or pulling your sleep-wake patterns to adjust to the new cycle a few days before your trip, if possible. This may mean going to bed earlier or staying up later.
- Do Your Research
Choose your accommodations properly! Find a room that promotes relaxation and get to know the location. Is it in the busy part of the city on a noisy street? Being close to the action can be part of the tourist experience, but may make sleep difficult. Many hotels and rentals are in the thick of the city's hustle and bustle. Before booking your accommodations, read the reviews. Watch out for red flags that could disrupt your slumber.
- Pack Sleep Essentials
Obtain and pack a few comfort items that will promote your sleep en route and/or at your destination. We suggest, such as an eye mask, lap blanket and earplugs. You can also pack a Majestic Pillow and Majestic Fusion topper for when you arrive.
- Sleep Well the Night Before
While you may have multiple tasks and last-minute to-do's to accomplish for your trip, it is essential to rest the night before departure. Avoid alcohol or caffeine! Make sure you are well-rested and well-prepared so you don't find yourself rushing off to your trip.
During Your Journey
Undoubtedly, sleeping en route is a massive challenge to many. It can be uncomfortable, crowded and loud, especially when traveling by plane, train or bus. However, it's not impossible to get in some much-needed shut-eye while on the move.
Here are some essentials that can help you be the person who's asleep before the flight attendant even makes their rounds:
- An Eye Mask & Earplugs
These simple aids can assist in you blocking out, or at least minimizing, unfamiliar noise and light during travel. You can also use headphones and check out white noise apps or other audio that can help drown out unwanted sounds.
- Neck Pillow
Since you will likely have to sleep sitting upright, a neck pillow can provide added comfort. These U-shaped pillows are designed to support one's head and neck in a seated position, and fill options include memory foam, natural buckwheat husks or even air you inflate yourself so it can pack flat.
At Your Destination
So you've gotten through the travel phase and checked in your hotel or other digs -- now you can finally get some quality zzz's… right?
...or maybe not. A Brown University study reports that the majority of people have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep outside of their own bed, whether in a campsite, hotel, rental or someone's else's home.
As mentioned, jet lag and stress can compound the problem of unfamiliarity and other comfort issues, along with changing daylight cues from crossing time zones severely disrupting one's circadian rhythm.
Making your new space more consistent and comfortable goes a long way to improve your sleep at your travel destination:
- Get Sunlight
Help your circadian rhythm reset by getting exposure to natural light as soon as you reach your destination. Try to get at least 4 hours of daylight to allow your body to get accustomed to your new location quickly.
- Take Melatonin
Natural levels of the hormone melatonin naturally increase two hours before bedtime, preparing your body for rest. However, if you're traveling, your body might need a little nudge. Some over-the-counter melatonin before your new bedtime can aid in falling asleep.
- Keep the Room Quiet, Cool and Dark
When it's time to relax, block out daylight by drawing the curtains or using an eye mask. Minimize noise by using ear plugs or employing white noise (even if it's from the air conditioner). Air conditioning will also help you cool at night, helping you stay in the restorative deep sleep stage. The ideal temperature is 65 to 75 degrees.
- Prioritize Comfort!
If space allows, having your own pillow, blanket and topper will help you get relaxed and adjust to a non-familiar mattress or pillow in a breeze. You'll feel much more at home!
The Majestic Fusion topper and pillow are built for easy transport, using patented technologies that will eliminate counter pressure, enhance spinal support and absorb heat, so you can keep your body comfortable and cool all night long.
Our Sleep Experts would be more than happy to advise you about relieving pain, discomfort or night sweats and getting a better night's sleep -- at home or on the road!
Invest in rest. A better sleep means a better life. To get the latest information on sleep science and other interesting info, click below to get notified about new blog updates!
Enter your name and email and we'll send you the latest deals and discounts right away!