Make sleeping well on the road a priority with these easy tips
Each month, the National Sleep Foundation is partnering with select bloggers and digital influencers for a new iteration of the #GoodNights challenge. We’ll explore new ways to get a good night’s rest by showcasing real life examples of how a good night’s sleep can positively impact your body, mind and spirit. We know that many of our readers want real life tips for sleeping better, so follow along and share your own #GoodNights stories by using hashtag across social media channels like Twitter and Instagram.
June’s Sleep Challenge
We know many of you are gearing up for summer vacations, so we asked three of our favorite travel bloggers for their best tips on how to get a good night’s sleep while away from home. Here’s what they had to say:
Robert Schrader, Leave Your Daily Hell
Robert shares more insights on jet lag here.
- Go to bed and wake up at your normal bed time the day you arrive – even if that means staying up all day without a nap, or getting up when you're still exhausted.
- If you feel tired on the plane drink water, not coffee, which dehydrates you and ultimately makes you feel more tired.
- Eat your meals at the same times you would at home, which will help your digestive system adjust to the time difference. No one likes to be woken up in the middle of the night when by nature calling.
Robert is a writer, photographer and editor. When he's not traveling the world – and perfecting remedies for jetlag – you can find him in Austin, TX, where he spends a lot of time, well, sleeping.
Emily Smith, The Best of this Life
See more of Emily's thoughts on traveling with family here.
- I always travel with a white noise machine. Whether to use in the car for the kids, or to buffer hotel hallway sounds, a noise machine can be a real lifesaver. Both my son and I choose the ocean waves to lull us into a peaceful sleep.
- As a creature of habit, sleep associate items are important for me to have when I travel. When possible, I bring my favorite pillow and vanilla scented candle, as they both remind me of home and good night’s rest.
- After a long day of traveling, sometimes your body can be restless and doesn’t settle into its temporary bedroom comfortably. If that is the case, try to relax with activities like dimming the lights, playing soothing music, and doing gentle stretches with deep breathing. As your body relaxes, you will be more prepared to fall into a restorative sleep.
Emily writes about whole food, family, fitness, fashion, and living an extraordinary life. Finding the beauty in the everyday is her passion and she hopes to inspire others to do the same in their lives. When she is not busy writing, creating, and taking pictures she’s spending time with her loving husband and two beautiful children.
Jordan Hamons, The Hungry Traveler
- When trying to sleep on a plane, always choose a window seat and bring your own travel pillow and blanket.
- The easiest way to fight jet lag is to stay busy. My foolproof method is to have a plan for the first day of the trip. If you arrive in a destination and have no clue as to what to do or how to get around, you may get overwhelmed and resort to spending the day in your hotel room. Go in with a plan. If you’ve already planned your day (and purchased tickets in advance) you will be motivated to get out and make the most of the day. I like to schedule a guided walking tour for my first day in a new city.
- Whatever you do, try to adjust to the local time on the day you arrive. After a red-eye flight, it’s tempting to crawl straight into bed once you check in at the hotel. However, this can set you up for a huge struggle for the rest of your trip. If you need to, take it easy or take a short nap, but do your best to stay up until the early evening, at least. Otherwise, you will just have to fight the same battle the next day. Also, never under estimate the power of a shower and a change of clothes. When you’re feeling fatigued and miserable, a shower can help wake up and refresh you to get through the rest of the day.
- Depending on the trip, it may take you a few days to adjust. It’s okay to listen to your body and get used to the new schedule gradually. You may find yourself waking up a little later or going to bed a little earlier than you do at home. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you need to take a short nap or rest in the afternoons, do so. It’s better to take it easy than to overdo it and end up sick and missing out on your trip.
When she’s not writing about food and travel, Jordan spends her days working as a professional chef and cooking teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio. Food has always been her destination and she believes in eating well and traveling often.