Sleeping on holiday is always a challenge. You're somewhere unfamiliar, jetlagged, or you're just too damn excited about finally arriving that you can't seem to shut your eyes. Not sleeping, however, can leave you feeling spacey and disorientated - meaning you're less likely to have the energy for a day filled with activities.
These 8 simple tips are here to help you combat the dreaded travel insomnia...
Bring a sleep spray
If you struggle to wind down on your travels, a sleep spray could be an easy solution. All it takes is a spritz of the lavender scented sprays on your pillow and you’ll feel instantly relaxed. If you’re staying in a hostel or hotel, it can also take away that ‘hotel’ pillow smell of new sheets and make for a more inviting smell to lay down on.
You can even buy travel size sleep sprays for shorter journeys. Alternatively, you can make up your own blend of essential oils and dab them anywhere in the room – or on your clothes. For best results, opt for calming scents like lavender, chamomile and Ylang Ylang.
Bring a pillow from home
Bringing a pillow or pillowcase from home can provide you with that sense of familiarity that will help you to drift off – making you feel like, despite being miles away from home, you’re still sleeping in your own bed. And it doesn’t just have to be a pillow; a blanket, dressing gown or a pair of your favourite house socks are equally effective.
Download something familiar to watch before bed
If, like me, you require some level of white noise to able to sleep then this tip is a must do. If you’re feeling particularly home sick, watching your favourite TV show before bed can remind you that a sense of home is never too far away. If you’re going somewhere without internet, pre-download a bunch a movies or tv shows onto your phone, laptop or tablet, so no matter what you’re conditions are, or how uncomfortable you feel, you’ll always be entertained.
Try an Eye mask & ear plugs
This is an obvious one, but boy is it worth mentioning. Ear plugs and an eye mask can do the trick if you require absolute silence and pitch black darkness while you sleep. If you’re staying somewhere particularly busy, feeling more alert by the sounds and sights around you can prevent you from dozing off.
There are tons of eye masks out there, from lavender scented ones to fluffy ones to black out ones – so put a bit of time into researching which one will make you feel most comfortable, and allow you to get your uninterrupted 8 hours with no distractions.
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Drink Herbal Tea
If you’re a hot drink addict, sipping on a herbal tea before bedtime can be a huge help. Chamomile and Valerian teas are both known for having naturally sedative properties, making them the ideal sleepy tea. Any herbal tea, however will do the trick, including mint or ginger. FYI, avoid caffeine in black or green tea as they’ll have the adverse effect!
As your body sleeps for longer when it’s fully hydrated, staying hydrated is absolutely essential while travelling as it can stop you from waking up in the middle of the night to drink water. If you’re in a hotter climate than you’re used to, drinking water can also cool you down and save you from a restless night.
Even adjusting to a new type of cuisine can keep you awake by your stomach trying to digest new food and a new eating pattern. Water can help calm your body and keep everything regulated, as well as alleviating the symptoms of jet lag that throw your body off balance.
Breathing exercises and meditation can help combat any feels of stress or anxiety that may be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. Alongside finding mindfulness and focusing your brain when it’s in information overload in a new place, it’s also an opportunity to listen to your body and process how you’re feeling, and what you need. If you’re unsure of how to go about meditating, download a meditation audio book or podcast before your trip.
Establish a clear routine
Travelling can throw your entire routine out of wack. Try and introduce an adapted version of the same pre-bedtime routine that you do at home – be it watching Netflix for 2 hours and falling asleep mid episode, listening to a sleep playlist, or following your six-step face care system complete with face massage. You’ll sleep more soundly with a regulated sleeping pattern.