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Sleep on Vacation: 5 Tips for Getting a Good Night Sleep

How do you sleep when you travel? (image via Mr. iMaxx on Flickr)

Summer is just around the corner and people everywhere are getting ready to embark on road trips, weekend outings, and long vacations.  Although vacations are meant to be relaxing, oftentimes we find ourselves losing sleep because of travel time and unfamiliar sleeping arrangements.  This summer, be ready to get the sleep you need without foregoing fun.  With a little planning and the right attitude, you can combat common travel related sleep disturbances.  Here are 5 tips you can use to keep up with your sleep no matter where you are resting your head.


1.     Sleeping on the Go

For most travelers, being able to sleep while you are in motion is crucial to being able to enjoy yourself when you are awake.  This holds true no matter which manner of travel you choose.  Make sure you pack things that will help you sleep when and where you want to, like sleep masks, earplugs, and pillows.


2.     Bring Familiarity

Many travelers struggle to get the sleep they need because they find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings.  Make the unfamiliar familiar by traveling with comforts like special blankets or your own pillow that can make any place you are feel like home.


3.     Find Your Noise Tolerance

It is a myth that everyone sleeps better in silence.  It is more accurate to say that people have specific “noise needs” that make it harder or easier to sleep.  If you live in a big city and are used to the sounds of sirens and traffic singing you to sleep at night, you may struggle to fall asleep in the silence of a national park.  Likewise, those who are used to falling asleep without any noise may find noisier locations make it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep all night.


4.     Beat Jet Lag

For those people who will be jetting off to exotic locations that require them to travel across two or more time zones, some jet lag is inevitable.  However, you can minimize the effect it has on your travel plans by taking small steps like setting your watch to the new time as soon as you step on the plane and operating as if you are already in the new time zone from that point on.


5.     Take Your Temperature

In addition to noise level, temperature can play a big part in keeping us from getting the sleep we need.  If you are more comfortable sleeping in a room that is on the cold side, you may struggle to sleep in a stuffy room where you cannot open a window or control the temperature.  If you are used to sleeping in a cocoon of warmth, sleeping in a tent under the stars, even on warm nights, may make it difficult to be warm enough to sleep. Plan ahead to make sure you can create the kind of sleep environment that supports the way you like to sleep.

Regardless of whether you are trying to sleep on a train, on a plane, or in a car, finding a comfortable spot to curl up is likely the most important thing you can do to secure a good night sleep.


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