The importance of quality rest and full sleep cycles becomes increasingly important as we age. Sometimes your whole day can seem a bit “off” just because you slept on the wrong side of bed. This is because your sleep routine and patterns are directly related to your energy and productivity levels, ability to focus and the overall feeling of well-being.
Experts claim that quality of sleep and rest are equally relevant for your health as exercise and healthy diet. For this reason we have dedicated this article to sleeping safe and sound even while traveling. Numerous other obstacles are added to the equation, such as jet lag, changing beds and pillows often, as well as changing the usual environment in general.
Paying special attention to stimulants
Our bodies are meant to operate within the circadian rhythm and this is why the production of the sleep hormone – melatonin increases with the darkness of evening. This is a natural hormone that is released into the bloodstream helping us synchronize our bodies to have consistency in quality rest and REM sleep in cycles.
These benefits can be neutralized by various stimulants, and as a consequence, our internal clocks altered. Top two most damaging stimulants are a big part of our modern and fast-paced lives – coffee and artificial light from technological devices. The problem is, most people will only increase the use of the two while traveling, but you need to trust us on this one, as more coffee will not help with your jet lag, but rather make you feel anxious and irritated, making it even harder to fall asleep.
We understand you want to feel wake while on the trip, whether it is for business, or to have more energy for sightseeing. But you will gain more if you let yourself feel a bit drowsy for the first day, and get that quality sleep during the first night. We are not saying to cut coffee out of your routine completely, just to try to avoid it after 4 pm, and if changing time zones, to avoid it completely during the arrival day. You will feel that extra energy the day after, and your vacation can really begin!
Or in case of a business trip, just schedule your transport to arrive the day before that important presentation. Consequences of sleep deprivation or deficiency can only get worse if combined with caffeine, so this should be your first rule while traveling.
The second one is pretty much self-explanatory – no smart devices a couple of hours before bed. The artificial light they create will reduce the quality of your sleep. So bring a book or several, and create a habit of it. Your mornings will gradually start to feel like the beginning of a new day, with you actually feeling the full capacity of energy.
Several pro tips
You need to feel comfortable sleeping on a different bed, and you probably won’t be able to bring your own memory-foam pillow on the trip. But there are some things you can use to improve the quality of your sleep regardless.
First of all, since the melatonin release is connected with darkness, a pro tip is to always use a sleep mask to block all the incoming light (even when taking a nap!) What you can bring anywhere you go is your own silk pillowcase, as the material will provide the best comfort, and you will create a similar environment no matter where you are. If you still have troubles falling asleep, perhaps it is sound-related, so try using the earplugs!
We’ve all heard the expression “you are what you eat” and we do understand fast food Guide to Quality Sleep: Travel EditionGuide to Quality Sleep: Travel EditionGuide to Quality Sleep: Travel Editionis the easiest to get while travelling. But if you ingest all that sugar and saturated fat, you are making it even harder for your body to process it, making it harder to rest. Instead you should rely on some healthy snacks between your regular meals, such as various nuts.
Another important aspect of travelling is to try to keep your meals schedule as if you are in your own time-zone, at least for the first couple of days, and gradually adapt to the new one. And the most important rule (even when you are not traveling) is to stay hydrated! Pay special attention when you’re drinking alcohol, coffee and sugary drinks, and make it up to your body by drinking the appropriate amount of water in accordance.
The most important thing is to fully understand which changes are happening and try to adapt them to your own schedule as much as possible. Being aware of what your body needs to adjust to is the first step in staying in sync with your internal clock. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you feel tired even if you’ve tried all of the mentioned and still have troubles falling asleep.
Our bodies are dealing with psychological issues as well, so perhaps you are simply experiencing too much stress. Try taking a warm bath or drinking a cup of tea while playing your favourite soothing playlist to help you relax before going to bed. Our recommendation is slow-paced jazz!Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Life