There’s nothing more damaging to your overall well being than a lack of sleep. Once your sleep cycle gets off kilter, it can feel impossible to get it back on track, and traveling poses a huge risk to this precious balance.
Moving from one time zone to another is a shock to anyone’s system, especially if they’re not prepared for it. Without sleep, you won’t have the energy to be fully present during your visit. You’re more susceptible to diseases when you’re sleep deprived since your immune system is weakened. Getting sick while on a business trip or vacation will make any activities you have planned difficult and potentially unpleasant. Plus, irritability and daytime fatigue are common side effects of lack of sleep which will only further disrupt the enjoyment of your trip.
Knowing sleep deprivation is bad for traveling and preventing it are two very different situations. To actually ensure you’re fully rested before and during your trip, you have to put in a little effort.
The following are a few tips to help you sleep better while you’re abroad.
1 – Sleep strategically. Before you set off on your trip, start adapting to the time zone you’re traveling to at least three days before. Move your bedtime so you can go to sleep an hour earlier or later than you typically would. The next day, add or subtract another hour. It typically takes your body one day per time zone for your body to adjust, so plan your sleeping accordingly beforehand.
2 – Go with the local flow. Try to sync up your schedule to the locals as soon as you land. If you land in the middle of the day when people are wide awake, plan an activity to do to keep yourself wide awake. If you’re landing at night, try to avoid sleeping on the plane and sleep when you’re at your destination.
3 – Book your room carefully. You want to consider your regular sleeping patterns and habits when booking a hotel. Are you a light sleeper? Do you need heavy curtains? These are questions you should ask yourself when looking for a hotel room to help ensure you sleep well.
If you’re someone who wants to be in the center of town but wants a cozy home away from home, then a hotel like https://www.thesleepyowl.com/ is for you. Hotels like these are small enough to ensure that you won’t be disturbed by rowdy neighbors but still ensure a good place to eat down the street. Always bring a set of earplugs just in case no matter what atmosphere you like to sleep in.
4 – Get exercise. The more you do, the more your body will be able to properly fall asleep when you lay down at night. This is true no matter where you are. Being active while away from home doesn’t necessarily mean you have to find a gym. Instead, you can opt to walk to your destinations as opposed to calling a cab. You also can find fun physical activities to do as a part of the experience. While exercising is important, don’t do so right before bed. It will have the opposite effect on you.
5 – Keep a bedtime routine. While you may be tempted to stay out all hours of the night, soaking in new experiences and places, it’s important to keep to a routine. Going through the same motions at the same time every night will gear your body up for sleep. Give yourself time to unwind for the day. Read a book, take a bubble bath, or watch television. Whatever you do, stick to that routine as closely as possible so that you have a good night’s rest.
Sleep Tight No Matter Where You Are
You want to make the most of your time traveling, but you shouldn’t do it at the expense of sleep. Plus, protecting your sleep schedule will help you make the most of your trips abroad. So, pack your bags, sleeping masks, and earplugs and get ready for your next adventure!