How to Sleep Better: 10 Tips for the Frequent Traveler

A Shangri-La room

A Shangri-La room

By Jeremy Del Nero on 13 February 2014
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All humans, even the frequent business travelers who persevere through the night only to awaken thousands of miles away from home, need a place to rest their heads at the end of the day.  Adequate sleep is essential to maintain normal energy and mood levels throughout the day, and has a profound effect on one’s ability to function both physically and mentally.

Sticking to a healthy sleep schedule can be a challenge for many road warriors, given that a good number of their nights may be spent in beds of varying sizes and consistencies, or even in a lie-flat seat on a long-haul flight. Many also travel to destinations in a different time zone and need to adjust for jet lag.

Still, there are strategies that all can use to maintain better sleep habits in order to achieve a good night’s rest, and we’d like to share some of those tips.

1.)  Establish Consistent Sleep and Wake Times

While it may be hard to get into a rhythm whilst traveling, a consistent sleep schedule will help the body and mind fall asleep and wake up with greater ease.   If possible, include weekends into this routine and avoid staying out too late or sleeping in.  When traveling, acclimate to a new time zone incrementally ahead of time to ameliorate the jarring effect on your sleep schedule and internal clock.

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2.)  Get Seven to Nine Hours of Sleep

No matter when or where you sleep, it’s important to obtain a sufficient number of hours of rest.  There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sleep time, but adults need on average between seven and nine hours.  It’s best to get your rest in one uninterrupted cycle, but understandably some will need to take naps on flights or in hotel rooms to adjust to new sleeping accommodations and schedules.

3.)  Create a Bedtime Routine

To reiterate: consistency is key.  In addition to having a consistent time for sleeping and waking up, it is helpful to prepare your body and mind by adopting a routine or ritual before bed each night.  Whether it involves soaking in a hot bath, reading a book, or listening to music, a regular pre-bed time activity will properly prepare you for an easy transition into dream-land.

4.)  Disconnect

Although it may be hard in today’s screen-filled lifestyle, aim to end the use of electronic devices at least an hour before heading to bed.  Turn off the TV, power down your laptop, stow your tablet, and put your phone to sleep.  Better yet, put your phone in another room or at least not within reach of the bed to better resist temptation when the lights go out.  Electronic use stimulates the brain and makes it harder to attain sleep, even if you are physically fatigued.

Click here to continue to Page 2More Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

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