Do you spend a lot of time on the road? Do you feel unrested? Perhaps you’ve just switched jobs and you’re looking to overcome the inevitable strain that traveling has on your mind and body.
These tips can be used no matter where you’re going (or how you’re getting there) to help you get more shut-eye.
Adjust Your Sleep Habits Before Traveling
Finding the time to get high-quality sleep can be tricky when you’re constantly on the road for business reasons. Naps have been shown to help some people increase their alertness and productivity. But if that’s not an option, there’s also sleep banking.
Adding two hours of additional sleep to your regular nightly amount for six days before heading off to travel, can improve your performance as it decreases the brain’s perceived exertion thanks to the additional sleep you enjoy. Essentially this method ‘deepens the reserves’ you have to function on.
Get Yourself Comfortable
You might think this is obvious, but to sleep well you need to be able to find an element of comfort. A prime example is that if the train you’re on is heavily air-conditioned, remember to carry a couple of extra layers or take a scarf with you. Alternatively, you can also reserve a seat in the quiet carriage, to reduce noise disruption.
At the end of the day, comfort is king, so if you’re sleeping in a hotel room or on a plane, consider packing a familiar-smelling pillow from home. This has been proven to relax people and help them off to sleep, which you might find helpful.
Block Out Light
When you’re not using the travel time to get some extra work done, you can adopt this time to get some rest. If you’re on the road during the day, the light flooding through the windows could hinder your sleep as it suppresses melatonin release.
On planes, you just have to pull the blind down, however, on trains and buses, it can be harder to shut the light out. Pack an eye mask, scarf, or pair of sunglasses to block out the light and create a more optimal setting for sleep.
Regulate the Noise
Even if you consider yourself to be a heavy sleeper, sudden noises can disrupt your rest, especially in uncontrollable environments like road travel. During sleep, your brain will always continue to register and process sounds, but on an elementary level. Noises have the capability to throw your slumber off-track, causing you to wake and shift between the stages of sleep.
Noises are most likely to wake you from light sleep—stages one and two—than from the deeper sleep—stages three and four.
An easy solution is to invest in a pair of quality earplugs that will effectively drown out any residual noise. Good noise-canceling headphones will also help you to avoid sleep disruption.
Sarah Cummings has dedicated herself to producing helpful guides for people to benefit from for over half a decade. Helping others enjoy a better quality of sleep, and life in general, was the main reason she started publishing her reviews and guides.