Travel is back! Whether you’re able to once again visit to your favorite Parisian bistro or your elderly grandparents’ home in Florida, you are overjoyed to be able to pack up and be on the move again. After a year of staying at home and being isolated, it is a wonderful feeling to travel again. Of course, all of the “safer at home” did have a huge benefit- you got night after night on your premium PranaSleep mattress! Now that you’re traveling again, it is back to hotel suites and guest rooms. For many people, this also means a major disruption in their quality and quantity of sleep. It’s more than just where you are sleeping; it’s also when you are sleeping. Particularly if you travel far from home to a different time zone, your circadian rhythm is really thrown for a loop.
It doesn’t have to be this way, thankfully. By following some expert tips and advice, you can sleep well even when traveling.
#1 Plan for your trip ahead of time. No, this doesn’t mean get a base tan and put together a great mix of road trip songs. All of us have an optimal period when our bodies want to sleep, typically around 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. This is called your “circadian window” and is largely dependent on your sleep chronotype. Three days before you’re scheduled to travel, begin moving your bedtime an hour earlier (or later if you’re going West) than you normally would. Add another hour the second evening, and a third hour on the third day. Doing so will greatly reduce the dreaded feelings of jet lag and being awake in the middle of the night.
#2 Go by the “Two Day Rule.” If you’re in a different time zone for less than two days, there’s no purpose in trying to adapt to the schedule of the locals around you. By the time you adjust, you’ll be back home in your own bedroom and off again! Because a short trip like this is often for work purposes, experts recommend that you request any obligations or meetings happen during the equivalent of your peak waking hours at home. You’ll be at your best and ready to head home basking in your success.
#3 Expose yourself to light and heat. If you have to wake up far earlier than your body wants to, expose yourself to light as soon as you wake up. This triggers your body to know it is daytime, even if your circadian rhythm thinks it is 3 am. Increasing your core body temperature is another trigger for your circadian rhythm. Try taking a warm shower and heading outside for brisk exercise to signal your body that it’s time to get up and get going.
#4 Avoid naps. We know, it’s tough! If you continue to let yourself sleep during the day, you’re only prolonging your body’s ability to adjust to the new time zone. If you absolutely must sleep, like say after your plane touches down but before your big meeting, limit yourself to 20 or 30 minutes. This should be long enough to recharge the batteries but not so long you won’t be able to sleep later.
#5 Pack sleep-focused travel accessories. Packing a few sleep accessories can relieve some of the nightmares of sleeping on an airplane, as well as ensure you stay well-rested and ready to fully enjoy your time away from home. What works best for you will be a personal decision. Many people like warm socks, noise canceling headphones, a book to read in bed, calming music, and a sleep mask. Don’t forget your favorite luxury pillow! If you already have the PranaSleep Latex Queen Pillow or PranaSleep Organic Queen Pillow, these pillows are mold resistant, mildew resistant, and dust mite resistant, plus they come with a convenient travel carry bag. It’s the perfect way to take a bit of the comfort of home along with you.You won't absolutely love your trip if you sleep terribly while you’re there. We don’t want this to happen to you. While you can’t take your luxury mattress with you, there are several things you can do to ensure you get the rest and rejuvenation you need. We encourage you to follow this list so you don’t risk your health and happiness while you are out of town.