When traveling, sleep is one of those things that is crucial to the experiences you have when starting out on your trip. If you don’t get enough sleep, especially when switching time zones, you will find that your sleep will be out of whack and you will end up yawning all day during hiking trip, while feeling restless in the dead of night. Today, we will discuss six important steps to take when attempting to have better sleep while traveling.
Modify your sleep
It’s important to ensure that you tailor your sleep a couple of days before leaving to prepare yourself for the impact of a new timezone. This includes tailoring your bedtime, a couple of days before departure, to that of your new location. Doing this will shift your eating habits and ensure that once you get to your hotel or hostel, you will be ready to tackle the new time. Once there, you can simply keep the blinds cracked and wake up naturally to get yourself acclimated fully with the new timezone.
In high altitudes, along with the air purification, your body and skin will likely get dehydrated. Because of this, it is important to ensure that you increase your liquid intake about 24–48 hours before departure. During your flight, don’t depend on the beverage carts for water. Bring a large water bottle of your own to stay hydrated. This will prevent grogginess when you awaken from rest on the plane.
Avoid red-eye flights
Red-eye flights may seem like something that is only partaken by those who are on international flights. However, there are many individuals who even go on moderate length domestic flights who make use of red eye flights to ensure that they make the most of their time out of town. However, unless you truly have to for international travel, it’s highly recommended not to take red-eye flights. They disrupt your sleep because the air flight is only a small portion of your travels. You’ll also have to deal with baggage claim, transfer to the hotel, and getting allocated there. In the end, this disturbs how you sleep for most of the trip.
When attempting to sleep, albeit on the plane or in your hotel on the first night, it’s best to try and reduce the amount of stimuli that you have while attempting to sleep. This includes restricting your use of television, computers, or doing a smartphone detox about an hour to an hour and a half before going to bed. It’s fine to go to sleep to music, but it’s best to play music that isn’t distracting or loud. Rock music, for example, may not be the best music to go to sleep to because it will activate a certain aspect of your brain that will prevent you from knowing it’s time to rest.
Dress the part
When traveling and attempting to sleep on the plane, it’s best to dress for the part before departure. Whenever I have an air flight that I know will be longer than two and a half hours, I will ensure that I dress in sweatpants, short sleeves, and a hoodie or sweatshirt. Comfort over fashion, or even a happy medium of both, is important to ensure that your body is comfortable enough for you to get some shut eye.
Focus on what you eat
Lastly, what you eat will largely influence how you are feeling during the flight and how you will be able to sleep. If you are eating foods that will weigh heavily on your stomach, you will find that because your body is attempting to digest the food, you will feel a bit more tired, but you may not find it easier to get some sleep if your body isn’t ready. Instead, eat a decent sized meal before your long flight, and simply snack during the flight until in-flight meals are provided. This will ensure that if you do get some sleep, you will be able to awaken refreshed.
Woman sleeping on a pillow on a plane
This is one thing we all dearly miss while traveling, for it is rather difficult to carry a pillow along with your luggage! Some alternatives to a pillow include an inflatable pillow. All you have to do is blow it up! One more option could be to use a soft handbag stuffed with clothes that you don’t mind getting crumpled. You could also roll a bedspread into a makeshift pillow.
Music and/or Books
Woman reading book in plane
Many people have the habit of reading books or listening to music before they go to sleep. It would be a good idea to carry the same with you while traveling. If you are used to reading some spiritual book before sleeping, nothing like it. That kind of stuff soothes the mind and calms you down and helps you relax before you go to bed. Same effect can be brought upon by some good soothing music, especially instrumental songs. You might be required to switch your phones off, so it would be advisable not to carry your music on the phone. If your phone is equipped with the facility of turning it onto the airplane mode, you are good to go.
Meditation and Deep Breathing
Meditation is probably one of the best things you can ever do to your mind and body. Many people like to meditate before they go to bed; it helps them feel rejuvenated when hey get up. Meditation can also give you worry-free, peaceful sleep. If you are a light sleeper, this can be very important. Deep breathing also works wonders – I speak from personal experience. Deep breathing is when you block out all thoughts, and concentrate only and only on your breathing. You observe your breathing pattern, listen to the air enter and leave your body. It has an amazing effect. If you are not very fond of meditation, deep breathing may serve the same purpose.
With these tips, you will be able to fully enjoy your flight well rested. Let us know in the comments below which tip works best for you and if you have any tips for us.