We’ve all been there. After a long day of travel, you finally get to your hotel and crash onto your bed, ready to drift off to dreamland. Twenty minutes later, you find yourself staring at an unfamiliar ceiling, counting sheep until the sun comes up.
Don’t let poor sleep get in the way of your vacation! Here are six sleep tips you can incorporate into your travel routine!
1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Your first instinct after a long-haul flight might be to waddle over to the nearest airport coffee stand and order a latte but doing so can negatively affect your sleep later on. Caffeine blocks sleep-inducing chemicals and even a cup of coffee in the morning can negatively impact your sleep at night. Especially during flights, caffeine dehydrates your body which could lead to nausea or headaches when you’re up in the air.
Similarly, alcohol also dehydrates your body which can lead to amplified negative side effects in the air. Even a quick pit stop at the hotel bar after landing can lead to shallow, low-quality sleep. Alcohol consumption causes more abrupt transitions between sleep stages and reduces REM sleep, preventing you from waking up refreshed. Instead of coffee or alcohol, opt for a glass of water to prevent dehydration during your travels (Pro Tip: If you bring an empty water bottle through security, you can refill it at a water fountain before your flight).
2. Get up and move!
While exercise might seem like the catch-all solution to all your sleep woes, you don’t have to hit the weights to enjoy the benefits of exercise during your travels. As anyone with an AM exercise routine will tell you, working out in the morning signals to your body it’s time to get up and helps you get a longer, deeper sleep. Even if you can’t bring yourself to get moving the morning after a long trek, a little yoga before bed can help induce a deeper sleep. Try a ten-minute yoga sequence before going to bed to help you destress and calm your mind.
You don’t even have to get out of bed! See our post about bed yoga for a quick and easy yoga sequence to do in bed.
3. Hack the Sun
Light exposure can help reset your circadian rhythm after crossing multiple time zones. As tempting it may be to hit the snooze button during your travels, make sure you get outside in the morning to reset your body’s internal clock. Getting sunlight in the late morning and early afternoon helps reset your body to your destination’s timezone so you’re ready for a long day of sightseeing.
4. Stay consistent with your evening routine
When sleeping in an unfamiliar bed, staying consistent in your evening routine can help your body and mind wind down and prep for sleep. Whether it’s a little light reading, journaling, or some light aromatherapy, keeping up your nighttime habits from home can ease the transition during your travels.
5. Wear an Eyemask
An eye mask can block out residual light if your hotel room doesn’t have blackout curtains. When you wear an eye mask, your eyes sense total darkness, increasing melatonin production. A higher melatonin level can help you fall asleep faster and improves your sleep quality so you wake up refreshed the next morning. A silk eye mask can even help improve your skin. Eyemasks protect your delicate eye area, preventing fine wrinkles and crow’s feet. Try our 'Let Me Sleep' Sleeping Eyemask on your next vacation and see the benefits for yourself!
6. Be kind to yourself
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re still having trouble sleeping after following all these steps. Travel is tough on your body, and you won’t adjust to your new environment right away. Focus on quieting your mind and relaxing your body instead of getting to sleep. More often than not, you’ll be in a deep sleep before you know it.