When a major part of your life is getting on planes, trains or tuk tuks one thing you take for granted is your sleep. If I don’t sleep I am less productive. In fact I’m downright miserable. I am the worst company when I haven’t slept. No fun AT ALL. You get the picture?!
Sleep is integral to your well being. This is particularly so if you plan to be on the road for months. Your ”regular” sleep pattern is obliterated after your third flight. Late schedules, early flights, time zones, varying temperatures, crying babies and crying parents will all wreak havoc with your sleep.
In a recent interview, Arianna Huffington, author of “The Sleep Revolution”, offered some great advice on sleep and wellbeing for frequent travellers. It got me thinking about my own sleep hacks which I hope you too find useful in your travels:
1. Have a “sleep kit” at the ready.
I can never fall asleep if my toes aren’t toasty. So my sleep kit consists of a pair of socks, ear plugs and an eye mask. I roll everything up in my socks and have it in an outside pocket of my carry on luggage. This works well whether I’m on a plane, train or car. You can also add a neck pillow to yours.
2. Fill up your Kindle.
There are hundreds of great books available as downloads at a fraction of the cost of a paperback. Add them to your Kindle! It weighs nothing and can hold a library of books.
3. Take a packed lunch.
After your third fight on a single journey there’s only so much airline food you can stomach. I always carry my own snacks and where possible, water. Adjust your snack pack depending on the length of time you will be in the air; more snacks for a long haul and fewer for short haul. I rarely wait for meals to be served on a flight. I’d rather sleep instead. Inform the stewards that you do not want your meal, fasten your seatbelt and SLEEP!
4. Schedule a nap in to your day.
If you don’t manage your forty winks on the flight try to plan some sleepy time for when you arrive. Power naps are great for pacing yourself and slowing things down. Ask for a quiet room when you check in to your hotel. There’s nothing worse than a party next door when you’re exhausted and trying to rest. I’ve been there too many times to mention!
5. Put away your electronics!
I prefer not to wake up to an alarm when I’m travelling. I always book a wake up call if the service is available. It’s a much nicer way to wake up. So before I sleep, whether it’s a nap or I’m down for the night, I plug my phone and laptop away from my bed. This means I have no distractions while I’m trying to fall asleep.