Better Sleep for Travelers

Better Sleep for Travelers

Did you know that getting as little as 30 minutes less sleep a night can reduce daytime attentiveness by 30%? Combined with the demands of business or leisure travel, it can increase to mood-altering levels. In order to be productive, alert, and “on” amid the stress of a busy schedule and late nights, getting a full night’s sleep is critical…and possible.

The main cue for setting our internal clocks is light. Plane trips that cross time zones cause our body’s natural circadian rhythms to become off kilter. This is especially true if we ‘lose’ time, rather than gain it. Exposing yourself to sunlight during the day and avoiding bright lights in the evening is key in re-balancing your day/night cycles. Use the blackout curtains in your hotel room to block out exterior light in the evening. Exercise is beneficial and can increase daytime productivity significantly. Don’t use caffeine excessively for staying awake and alcohol for falling asleep. Be kind to your body. You’ll need it to get you through long hours at business meetings or sightseeing. If you can, plan your meetings or excursions at times that are in your ‘home’ time zone, where you’ll be functioning your best.

When checking in at your hotel, ask for a quiet floor. Most hotels have such areas set aside for those who value better sleep. Ask that your room face away from the pool area or street, where is can be noisy. To be prepared, travel with earplugs and an eye mask. It can be a wise decision that comes in handy in both the hotel room and the airplane. The more rested you are while traveling, the better you’ll feel around business customers or your family on vacation.