Holidays, work even a weekend away, travel has become integral to many of our lives. Finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory at bedtime can be extremely unsettling and disruptive to our sleep patterns. If you are heading to the coast for a weekend, the hills for the holidays or planning an interstate or overseas jaunt, try these simple tips for enjoying your sleep wherever you travel.
Set the scene for sleep. While it can be difficult to sleep in an unfamiliar environment, take the time to close the blinds and turn on the air conditioner. Experts recommend a room temperature of approximately 18oC as ideal for sleep. Many travellers find earplugs or eye masks particularly useful for undisturbed rest.
Maintain regular sleeping patterns. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, it is a great idea to stick to your usual sleep/wake routine, even on the weekends. For those changing time zones, change your clock to your destination time as soon as you depart to assist your body’s adjustment.
Remain hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is a good for you at any time but the air-conditioning in cars, planes and hotel rooms can leave you dehydrated, with a headache and unable to sleep. Caffeine and alcohol will further dehydrate you, so avoid coffee and the minibar, particularly later in the day.
Get outside. Sunshine helps to reset your circadian rhythm, particularly important if you are travelling to a different time zone. Head out for a brisk walk, however you may be feeling. Bright light tells your body it is daytime, reinforcing your need to be awake and the exercise will improve your sleep once bedtime arrives.