This must-pack list will help you snooze well the entire time you’re away.
The next time that you pack up your suitcase for a trip, make sure that you throw some (or all!) of these accessories in your bag. They will help you overcome unfamiliar environments, noisy situations, and uncomfortable arrangements so that you can drift off more easily and get the zzz's that you need.
- An E-Reader: You might not think that this falls under the category of “sleep aids,” but being able to wind down while reading your favorite book can be key to fighting on-the-road insomnia. Extra bonus: E-readers are light, so they won’t make your suitcase or purse too heavy. Use a non-backlit one like an Amazon Kindle or a Barnes and Noble Nook (each start at $119), as opposed to a bright tablet, so that you aren’t staring at a lit screen, which can actually keep you awake.
- An Eye Mask: When too much light reaches your eyes, your body won’t produce as much melatonin, which can make it harder to sleep. Pick up a mask that blocks out all of the light both around and in front of your eyes. We’d suggest trying masks on at the store instead of purchasing one online, so that you can test fit. Most masks start at around $10.
- Earplugs: Noisy neighbors at a hotel can keep you tossing and turning. Slip some earplugs in and you won’t be so bothered. For example, Go Travel’s Quiet Zone earplugs ($12.95) are made of comfortable silicone and have different filters depending on the type of noise that you’re filtering out (snoring, for example). Want something simpler? Eagle Creek makes a pack of three easy-to-use earplugs for just $8.00.
- Noise-Canceling Earphones: If small earplugs aren’t doing the trick, go high-tech with a pair of pricier-but-powerful noise-canceling headphones. Bose makes a whole line of them, as does Sony ($49.99 and up).
- Neck Pillow: Nothing is more annoying than trying to sleep and having your head bob up and down because it isn’t supported. A simple C-shaped neck pillow can solve this problem, although we do prefer the memory foam versions to the cheap blowup kinds you often find in airline comfort packs. Comfy Commuter and Brookstone are both good places to find one ($29.99 and up).
- A White Noise Machine: If you are a very light sleeper, you might want to pick up a travel-sized white noise machine (like the Marpac Dohm, for $64.95).
Please note that the National Sleep Foundation does not endorse specific products.