You might sleep like a baby when you're in your home, but catching 40 winks on a business trip? That's another matter entirely.
Jumping time zones and jetlag wreak havoc on our sleep schedules, which in turn affects our mood and our physical well-being. When you're on a long business trip, try out these four tips, and put your insomnia to bed!
Pack a "Sleep Kit"
Prepare a small toiletry bag with everything you need to get a good night's rest—ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones, eye covers, or perhaps some soothing music. When you're feeling restless and sleep-deprived on your plane or in your hotel room, this kit might save you.
We can't all afford to fly first class, but that doesn't mean you can't make the most of your trip! If you're on an overnight flight, try to book a window seat so that you can snooze without being disturbed by the other people in your row. Wear comfortable clothing to avoid deep vein thrombosis and ask your flight attendant for a pillow.
In your hotel room, make use of the bedside alarm clock and hang your Do Not Disturb Sign on the door. Then, make sure the thermostat is set to a temperature you're comfortable with. Finally, bring any homey touches that help you sleep—such as a favorite pair of nightgown or a travel pillow.
Obviously you shouldn't guzzle a big cup of coffee or black tea before bed, but you should also avoid watching TV (or any screens for that matter) and drinking alcohol. Alcohol is an REM sleep inhibitor, meaning it won't do you any favors if you aim to feel well rested. As Rebecca Robbins, author of Sleep for Success, says, "The term nightcap drives me crazy! It`s the worst thing you can do before bed."
Plan a Sleep-Friendly Itinerary
The red eye might be cheaper, but it's one of the worst things you can do to your body. If you're planning to fly to a different time zone, try to gradually adjust your sleeping schedule by going to bed 15 minutes earlier, beginning about a week before you leave. If possible, try to schedule flights that arrive by 6 a.m. and try to avoid departures that leave before 10 a.m., or you'll wind up feeling stressed.
Rest is its Own Reward
Sleep affects every aspect of our lives, from our behaviour to our performance at work. When we rest well, we feel better. Don't let your good sleeping habits fall by the wayside just because you're travelling.