Studies show that adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep each night to operate at an optimal level, when you are on the road and away from your own bed it can be hard to get restful sleep. Especially if you are crossing time zones and having to adjust your sleep schedule. Symptoms of sleep deprivation can include body fatigue, headaches, digestive problems and trouble staying awake during the day, not ideal for a time when you’d like to be out and exploring or are expected to be productive if you are on a business trip. However, there are certain techniques and sleep aids that can work to your benefit so you don’t have to compromise sleep on your holiday. Use these strategies to get the restful sleep you need while travelling to your destination and once you arrive.

While In Transit

Sleeping can be uncomfortable and near impossible if you are travelling on a bus, plane, train or car for a long period of time. In these situations, try to use these sleep aids to get some rest during your travels.

  • Reduce noise – Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones will help you block out the sounds of the engine and the people around you while promoting restful sleep.
  • Bring your own sleep aids – come prepared with whatever you need to be comfortable enough to fall asleep. Think neck pillows for supporting your head and blankets to keep you warm and remind you of home.
  • Block out light – Replicate the feeling of going to bed at night by blocking out any ambient lighting. Use an eye mask, you’ll find it easier to relax without forcing yourself to keep your eyes shut.
  • Keep the time of day/night in mind – If it is going to be daytime when you arrive at your destination, be sure to get as much rest as possible while you are in transit. If, however it will be night time when you arrive, do your best to stay awake during transit so you will want to and be able to go to sleep when you get there.

A pillow, blanket, eye mask and ear-plugs all work in conjunction to create a relaxing and noise-free environment where you can get restful sleep while in transit—like this set provided by a train company in Norway.

Sleeping at a Hotel

Hotels aren’t comfortable for everyone and the change of scenery can take some getting used to. With unfamiliar surroundings, new noises, a new bed and a new climate, the odds are against restful sleep on the first night, or every night, after your arrival. Use these strategies to help encourage restful sleep and counteract the potential problems before they happen.

  • Stick to your regular sleep schedule – Go to sleep and wake up at the same times as you do at home to disrupt your schedule as little as possible. It should ease the transition and help you fall asleep and wake up without as much discomfort.
  • Bring the comforts of home with you – A favorite pillow or blanket go a long way in creating a comfortable, familiar environment to fall asleep in.
  • Turn off your phone – There are few things in our lives that are distracting as our smartphones. The screens light up with every notification and anticipation of this activity can keep you from focusing on restful sleep. Turn off your phone and ask the front desk to route any calls to your room to voicemail so your sleep is undisturbed.

Your body will need a full night’s rest every night of your trip to function properly and to make sure you enjoy your trip and avoid crashing mid-day. Use the strategies listed above to ensure you are getting the most and best sleep possible while in transit and once you have reached your destination. Plus, ensure more than a good night’s sleep with travel insurance coverage for your holiday from Cover-More UK.


Image courtesy of Flickr user Nicholas