Sleeping while traveling is tricky. We all know that sleep is a huge influencer of our health and jet setting can often take its toll on our oh so precious ZZZs. It is impossible to maintain a busy travel schedule without getting deep and valuable sleep. I have rested my head down under the stars in the Sahara Desert, in the mountains of Patagonia and in a treehouse in the Amazon Rainforest. And while these places are amazing, they don't always lend themselves to deep and uninterrupted sleep. I have slept in more hotels, hostels, airports and airplanes than I will ever be able to count. Whether it's for fun, for work or even for love since a date night with my boyfriend means a 10 hour flight to a different country, I am constantly trotting around the globe. Given the fact that some months I only spend one or two nights asleep in my own bed, I have had to come up with a steadfast routine to help me get those valuable hours of shut eye. Ready for my tips on how to be able to sleep just about anywhere and in any time zone? Here goes...
1. Eye Mask:
This is my number one go to for sleep. Whether I'm on a plane with all the lights and monitors shining or I'm in a hotel room where the outside lamps are still shining through the curtains, a good eye mask saves me every time. Light tells your body to be awake and indicates that it is day time. Blinking lights in a room that might come from alarm clocks or other electronics never allow your body to fully relax. An eye mask blocks this all out and allows you to rest easy. Wearing one may take a little getting used to, but once you do you won't want to be without it! Check this one out on Amazon.
2. Pillow Case:
I suggest traveling with a silk pillow case. When traveling, your hair and skin tend to dry out from all the recycled air and changes in climates. A silk pillow case helps to keep your hair from being frizzy and is known to help with preventing wrinkles and dryness in your skin. If you don't like silk then I still suggest you traveling with your own pillow case and make sure it is one that you LOVE the material of. There is something so comforting about resting your head down and feeling something soft and recognizable on your face. It makes your mind and body feel like its home even if the rest of the bed is foreign to you. Check this one out on Amazon.
3. Essential Oils:
If you're starting to sense a trend (get it?) you're on the right track. The key to sleeping better is making your surroundings feel, and even smell, like home so that your senses trigger your brain that it is time to go to sleep. Using essential oils are so great because you can change them up depending on if you are feeling stressed, have a headache, have an upset stomach due to uncommon food or just need to feel more relaxed. I find that an essential oil is a great tool to have on the go for all different needs and they help calm my nervous system which leads to better sleep. A few different oils that I love and use are Artnaturals and Saje.
I started traveling with a mini humidifier just about a year ago when I was tired of getting sinus infections just about every month and feeling like my skin was turning into scales. The little humidifier helps rehydrate my skin and I haven't had a single sinus infection since I started using it. Plus you can also put a little bit of essential oil into most humidifiers and then the oil fills the air as you sleep. This is one of my favorite duos to help send me straight into my beauty rest.
5. Nightly Routine:
Establishing a nightly routine is really essential for helping your body and mind gear down and prepare for a solid nights sleep. I love to wash my face, take off my make up, brush my teeth and put on a really moisturizing sleep mask like this one. It is like a big drink of water for my skin. Once I have done my nightly routine, even if I'm on a completely different time zone or its only 5:30 pm but need to get to bed for a 2:00 am alarm, my body and brain are able to shift into sleep mode. For you this might be a nice warm shower or a bath. Whatever makes you feel pampered and prepped for bed is what you should do when you travel too, even if the time and environment are completely foreign.
6. No Electronics:
Now I know this one is a hard one and I can't say that I always stick to it but when I do, I definitely reap the benefits. Scrolling through Instagram or texting friends while traveling is a common and understandable way to keep in touch with loved ones while on the road. However, if at all possible I recommend doing this earlier in the day so that when you have done your nightly routine and are ready to go to bed, your brain doesn't get switched back on by computers or phones. Try reading a book if need be or listening to a podcast. Something that is enjoyable but not as stimulating as that blue light in front of your tired traveling eyes.
A lot of people like a glass of wine or a night cap to help them go to sleep. I enjoy a drink sometimes as much as anyone else. However, this can be dehydrating and actually interrupt your sleep throughout the night. I must prefer a calming camomile or decaffeinated to sip on while I'm winding down for bed. The warmth of the tea is soothing and comforting which calms down my body and allows it to drift off into peaceful slumber soon after I'm finished with it. One tea company I love is Vadham tea...they work directly with the farmers and a portion of your purchase goes to educating the farmer's children. Getting sleepy while giving back! :)
8. Sleep Meditations:
A guided sleep meditation is a great way to let someone else help you drift off into dreamland. Usually if my mind won't quiet and I'm just laying somewhere else in the world and can't shut up the random thoughts darting around my mind, I turn on a guided sleep meditation and it usually does the trick. There are many on Youtube for free if you just search sleep meditation and find one that is a length you're comfortable with. I usually pick one that is 20-30 minutes so that I can fully drift off into sleep before it turns off. Also there are great ones on Audible and Aaptiv both apps on your phone that you can download a variety of sleep meditations. Honestly there are A LOT of different apps that you can use so try them out and see which ones work for you, many of them even have free trials. Just remember, when you turn on the video don't get tempted to start looking through the rest of your phone. I've been guilty of that before and 45 minutes later I'm watching some random cat video on Youtube instead and catching up on my much needed sleep.
9. Sleep Aids:
I personally don't like using sleep aids. I don't really like how they make me feel and I don't like being dependent on a substance to help me sleep. But if I am completely desperate, have tried EVERYTHING else and am still losing hours and hours of sleep due to crazy jet lag, I have found just a couple natural sleep aids that I trust. But again, this is just a last resort after doing all my other tips and tricks. I do find that Instasleep knocks me out and doesn't make me feel drowsy or weird in the morning. It also doesn't give me weird dreams like some natural sleep aids do. Calm is also one that I like but since you mix it with water, you may end up needing to get up in the night from it.
So there you have it...rest assured I have done the leg work for you and have conquered insomnia throughout many different time zones and sleeping patterns. Follow these tips and tricks and you will be sleeping like a baby no matter where you are or what crazy schedule you're on. And yes, your suitcase might be a liiiiiitle bit heavier from these new gadgets and gizmos but I assure you, it is so worth it! You'll know that you can travel and enjoy your trip without needing a vacation from your vacation due to all the lack of sleep. You'll be able to nail those meetings and conferences when you travel for work because you won't be so sleep deprived. So enjoy your beauty rest and go shine all over the world!
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