Exploring new places can be an amazing experience. Stepping on an airplane and traveling to a foreign territory can be quite enjoyable, however, it can greatly disturb your sleep schedule. Whether you're staying in a resort or in a hotel, laying down on an adjustable bed frame in an unfamiliar location with irregular noise and light can all interfere with your good night’s sleep.
These sleep interruptions can be extremely frustrating when you just want to get some rest. Not only a lack of sleep can make you feel exhausted for the entire day, but it can also weaken the immune system that can put you in danger when you’re exposed to unfamiliar microbes.
We all have an ideal time called ‘circadian window' when our bodies want to sleep — usually around 11 p.m. By 7 a.m. Whenever you travel across two or more time zones, it might lead to causing confusion on your circadian window.
To enjoy a better sleep while traveling, here are five tips that you can do to maximize your time during your trip:
Plan a sleep schedule
Jet lag occurs when you have difficulty adjusting to fast changes in the daily cycles of light and darkness. If there are rapid changes in the regular morning and evening cycle, you may experience difficulty in adjusting to these which can lead to jet lag. Your inner clock solely depends on when to wake up or sleep on the amount of light. Changes in time zones for a few hours or more can trigger jet lag. However, traveling east can make the symptoms more visible.
If you’re going to the east, there will be a three-hour adjustment in your time zone. Thereby, it’s better to expose yourself to light between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and avoid it between 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. You can increase the hours of light exposure and avoidance for each additional time zone.
Three days before traveling, start shifting your bedtime an hour sooner (or later, if necessary) than you would usually do. You can add another hour on the second day and on the third. Create a plan because it takes a day for your body to adjust the time zone.
Book your hotel room strategically
While there are ways to hedge your odds, you can't always make sure that you’ll book a quiet hotel room. Hotels and resorts have always odd noises at all times such as closing neighboring doors, dinging of the elevator, visitors passing through and street noises.
When looking for a hotel room, ask a hotel attendant if you can avoid rooms at lower levels, near the elevator, and vending machines. By dodging these areas, you can reduce your chances of getting inadequate sleep.
While not everyone wants to sleep in complete silence, removing any distracting noises in your bedroom can get you to fall asleep faster and sleep firmer. You can try noise-canceling headphones or download a white noise app whichever suits your sleep environment. If you don’t have any of these, you can just let your ventilation fan in your bathroom run and drown out the distracting noise.
Furthermore, put your smartphone in Do Not Disturb mode, as well as in your hotel room, to turn off any incoming alerts that might wake you up in the middle of the night. If your bed is not comfortable, try to get some shut-eye on custom sofas usually available in hotel rooms.
Also, you can ask your hotel if they are offering a choice of firm or soft pillows. Sleeping with a plush high-quality pillow can make a difference when it comes to having a good night’s sleep. So, make sure that you should check out if your hotel has a pillow menu to ensure a rejuvenating sleep.
Work out to sleep
Even if you're on a family holiday, it's a must to make time for work out. During the day, being active will assist you to fall asleep more quickly at night. When you're prepared to start the day, take a warm bath and head out for exercise to send a signal to your body that it’s time to get going. To trigger your circadian rhythm, try to increase your core body temperature.
If you can, fit your workout schedule earlier during the day. You can consider strolling around the neighboring location instead of getting a taxi, putting on your sneakers and start hitting the gym or doing a few laps in the hotel pool. However, avoid exercising close to your bedtime for it will likely keep you awake.
Furthermore, working out can help you sleep soundly at night. Perhaps, you can do some yoga in hotel modern area rugs before going to sleep so you can relax a little without stimulating your heart rate going.
Bring your bedtime habit
Humans are fond of habits. The routine is totally desired by their body and mind. When you’re on the road, the greatest thing that you can do for your sleep is to stick to your bedtime routine.
If you go to bed and wake up at the same time of the day, it will be easier for you to fall asleep and get up faster. Keeping a regular routine can help you adjust to a different time zone and place. Therefore, you should bring your bedtime with you wherever you go.
Whether you're traveling alone or with friends, you're most likely to have a full itinerary. For sure, you will be tempted to stay out late and make the most of your time. Nevertheless, you should make sure that you’ll still have enough time to indulge in your regular evening routine. If you typically read on your luxury mattress or writing in your journal before going to sleep, stick to that sleeping habits as much as possible – even if you're on vacation. Since your body is used to your bedtime routine, changing it can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep.
Moreover, if you want to complete your sleep cycle, looking at your mobile phones while in your natural mattress can steal the hours that you should allot on sleep. Likewise, the blue light emitted from electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and TV can disrupt your circadian rhythm. If you need to use any digital devices before bed, you can download an application that can filter out the blue light radiated from the screens. Lessening the blue light can help you fall asleep faster by transforming your screen’s color to a warmer one.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the afternoon
Having a consistent bedtime is one of the aspects that can fall out of your usual and healthy routine when traveling. You may want to have a couple of glasses of wine before bed to make you sleepy. However, it can disturb your sleep cycle and make you feel exhausted in the morning.
Likewise, if you’re feeling drained in the morning, you may opt for a cup of coffee or a caffeinated drink to remain awake during the day. However, avoid consuming this kind of beverages in the afternoon for it can make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night. Thereby, it can make you stay up late browsing your Pinterest for new daily home products on your phone. Instead, having a cup of chamomile tea at night can help you drift off easily.