Do you find it hard to get to sleep when you’re staying at a hotel or friend’s house, then end up feeling sluggish the next day? It’s probably down to the unfamiliar bed and surroundings which can throw you completely off-kilter and result in a lot of tossing and turning throughout the night. We tend to get used to a new bed after a couple of nights (if we’re lucky), but there’s still plenty you can do to get through those rough first couple of days. Try some of these tips out and see if you sleep better on your next vacation or business trip:
1. Pack Sleeping Aids
The first and most obvious step you can take is to bring an eye mask and earplugs. They don’t have to be particularly fancy or high-tech, but make sure they are comfortable and the mask doesn’t put too much pressure on your eyes. Blocking out light and sound will eliminate most distractions and help you settle down.
2. Bring Your Own Pillow
Resting your head on your own pillow can instantly transport you to your bed at home (not literally), and you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it can make to your sleep. If you don’t have space to pack a full pillow, just bring the pillowcase along on its own for the familiar feel and scent.
3. Set Boundaries
Beds are for sleeping or playtime with your partner, and that’s it. If you want to work, read or watch a movie, get up and sit in a chair or go to the hotel lobby. When you condition yourself to see bed as a place of activity, you’re less likely to go straight to sleep. So set clear boundaries and be strict about maintaining them.
A light workout can often help you get rid of any anxious energy that might be keeping you awake, and you don’t necessarily need gym equipment to do it. Get up, move to the foot of the bed and do a few gentle sets of pushups, squats or burpees to see if helps you sleep better.
5. Create Associations
Sights, sounds, smells and other sensations that remind you of home can make you feel more comfortable and lull you into a deep slumber. As well as your own pillow, try bringing a scented candle or your favourite movies and music on your next trip to amplify the sense of familiarity.
6. Stick To Your Routine
This is easier said than done when you’re away, but maintaining your nighttime ritual (assuming you have one) will go a long way toward helping you sleep better. What do you do before bed at home, and in what order? Replicate the timing and sequence of events as closely as possible.
7. Have a Snack
A light snack (150-200 calories) can help you wind down, provided it’s not full of sugar and other stimulants. If you’re OK with dairy, a glass of warm milk could be just the thing to get you nice and drowsy. Don’t be shy about asking for this at reception—it’s actually a pretty common request.
Q: Which of these tips do you think would help you sleep better on a trip? Share your thoughts in the comments below.