Whether youre a frequent business traveler, weekend adventurer, or find yourself away from home just once a year, its not easy to get your best nighttimes sleep when youre not in your own couch. And if youre in a different time zone, forget it. To help you catch more zzzs so you can induce the most of your waking day, here are tried-and-true tips from frequent travelers and sleep experts to set you up for slumber success.
How to Sleep Better and Skip the Jet Lag
1. Adjust to your new day zone before you arrive .
Jet lag tends to worsen with the number of time regions you traverse, so pre-planning your sleep schedule is crucial, tells Gary K. Zammit, PhD, executive director at the Sleep Disorders Institute in Manhattan. Try to get in sync with your new day zone as soon as possible.
I get the best nighttimes sleep when I adjust my body clock to the time zone of my destination a few periods prior to traveling, tells Bob Jacobs, vice president of brand management for Westin. If Im traveling West in a few periods after being on the East coast, Ill stay up an hour or so afterwards at night. And if Im going to the East coast after being out West, Ill start getting up a bit earlier every day. Then, keep your dozing schedule as stable as possible in your new destination. Dimming your illuminations in the evening hours and opening shades for some bright sunlight exposure in the early a.m. may also help, Zammit says.
2. Pack smart .
Make your destination feel like home to minimise the impact of sleeping in an unfamiliar surrounding, recommends Zammit. Bring your favorite pajamas and pack your pillow or pillowcase, too. Still cant unwind? Consider picking up a lavender-scented essential oil to spritz at night or to dab on your pillow. Research has found that lavender may have a positive effect on insomnia and depression.
For business traveler Christina Lampe, packing for maximum hotel chamber solace is her number one priority. You never know how loud, bright, warm or cold a hotel chamber is likely to be until you get there, she tells. I ever bring a blackout eye mask, earplugs or noise-canceling headphones, and two types of pajamas in case my chamber is too hot or too cold. I find that I sleep better when I control the environment to make it feel like it does at home, she says.
3. Stick to your usual routine .
Whether I arrive at my hotel at noon or midnight, I maintain my routine consistent so I seem decided and ready, tells Chelsea Kay Jones, of Forest Lake, Minn. Jones has worked as a Delta flight attendant for six years old. I iron and hang up my uniform for the next day, unpack my toiletries and lay them out by the sink, set up my hair products and makeup for the next day, then put anything back in my suitcase I wont be needing. Staying to your usual before-bed ritualslike readingcan help you feel more comfortable, too.
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4. Get moving .
Being active during the day and avoiding naps is helpful for most people, specially if you can get outside and benefit from sunlight exposure, tells Zammit. Taking a quick rain in his hotel chamber, then putting on fresh clothes and going outside helps James Shillinglaw, Editor-in-Chief of TravAlliance Media, adjust to his new surrounding and day zone. Running for a quick running when he arrives at his destination likewise keeps his energy levels high throughout the day, and enables him to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly that night.
5. Be mindful of your travelling diet .
Try not to fall into vacation feeing mode, chowing down on heavy, greasy meat, recommends Jones. If youre hungry, have a light snack before couch and make sure the snack doesnt contain caffeine or chocolate, which can hold you up at night, tells Zammit. Beware of meat and liquors that might induce acid reflux, like orange juice, tomato juice or spicy meat. Instead , nosh on something simple and light, like cereal and milk or applesauce. If youve got a few hours before couch, feeing high-glycemic carbs( like pasta or pretzels) may also help you fall asleep faster, according to research.
Take a hard look at your booze habits, too. Since shes constantly going from dehydrating airplanes to inns chambers that tend to circulate dry air, Jones tells she boozes a ton of sea on travelling periods and hop-skips caffeinated liquors later in the day so they dont hamper her slumber.
6. Get up if you cant was sleeping .
If I wake up in the middle of the night, I get up and do something, like read or watch Tv, tells Shillinglaw. I try not to only lie there when I find myself awake. I get out of couch, do something productive, and then go back to sleep in an hour. Most experts agree that if you wake up and cant fall back asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, you are able to get out of couch and do something else. Youll drift off again afterwards, and your body will thank you the next day.
Want more tips to avoid plane leg continuing it au natural? Check out this handy infographic from the team at Expedia .
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