Sleep is so important (and it’s one of my favorite things lol). Some people are lucky enough to be able to fall asleep anywhere and get a good night’s sleep. For the rest of us, it isn’t so easy. Traveling – especially as a woman or solo traveler – can be nerve wracking. It also takes us away from our usual routine which can make it more difficult to fall asleep or feel rested in the morning, even when jetlag isn’t a factor.
Nevertheless, it’s so important to make sure you find what works for you so that no matter where you are in the world, getting good sleep isn’t an issue. Follow these tips to get the best sleep possible when you’re away from home.
Make Your Room Secure
There’s an evolutionary reason that humans may find it difficult to sleep in a new place. Our ancestors needed to be on the lookout for unknown threats in new environments, so their brains remained on constant alert, even during the night. This is great for safety, but definitely not great for rest.
While you might not be able to turn off this instinct completely, making your surroundings as safe as possible can help tremendously when trying to get a good night’s sleep. No matter where you’re staying, whether it’s in budget hotels, 5-star resorts, a camper van or Airbnb, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the layout of your accommodation.
Check the location of elevators, stairwells and any emergency exits in the case of a fire alarm or other emergency during the night. Additionally, before going to sleep, make sure you lock and secure all of the doors and windows. You can even purchase a travel lock for extra security.
Stick To Your Usual Routine
Being away from home means that you’re going to be away from your familiar surroundings and routine. It’s important to do your best to replicate the things you usually do before going to bed. Some people have a bath, read a book or watch TV before turning off the lights.
The time you go to sleep is also important. Go to bed at around the same time you would usually. Whatever your normal routine is, stick to it as much as possible.
Create The Right Environment
The three factors that affect how well you sleep include temperature, light, and noise.
Sleeping in a room that is too hot can make it much more difficult to fall asleep and you’ll probably wake up feeling terrible too. Dehydration and headaches are common in these cases. Research has shown that sleeping in a cooler room is actually more beneficial to sleeping well. Therefore, try opening a window or using the air conditioning to cool your room before snuggling up under a cosy duvet. This is the best feeling!
I personally like to keep my room at around 67 degrees before falling asleep. This is within range of the optimal sleeping temperature for adults. I feel at this temperature that my body can regulate my internal temperature much easier and I sleep through the night more consistently as well. Try it and see how it works for you too!
When it comes to lighting, use blackout curtains or close the shades to block out any light getting into your room. If that isn’t possible then use a sleep mask. Make sure to turn off lamps and TVs too. Some people like to sleep with TVs or other things on, but that actually disrupts your sleep cycle, so try a few nights without it and see how you do.
You don’t know what noise is likely to occur in a new place. If you’re staying in a city center or a big hotel then there’s going to be some noise that you’ll experience. Even if the noise doesn’t wake you up entirely, it could prevent you from falling into a deep sleep.
Block this out by using a white noise app on your phone or using ear plugs when you sleep. There are actually a bunch of colors of noise such as pink noise, grey noise, blue noise and more. I personally like to use brown noise because the sound is very relaxing to me and even helps me focus when I’m working.
Poor sleep can affect every aspect of your life. While a good night’s sleep isn’t guaranteed when you are in a new place, there are many things that you can do to make it as restful as possible.
Making sure you feel safe, sticking to your normal routine as best as you can, and creating a relaxing environment is the best way to ensure that you’ll get a good night’s sleep when traveling. So the next time you’re in a hotel, why not try some of these tips out to see if they make a difference for you too!