The discomfort that comes with traveling (especially to another time zone) often makes the prospect of traveling to be dreadful. Losing sleep is one of the quickest and surest ways to have a moody day. This lack of sleep and the disadvantages that come with it is not prominently noticed in vacation travelers because they tend to have time to adjust their body to suit the local time.0/
However, traveling starts to affect your sleeping patterns when your travel is work-related. The higher the number of time zones you cross the higher your chances of having sleep problems. There are different ways to reduce this issue of lack of quality sleep. One of the best is the use of right weighted blankets like melacomfort.co.uk. Also, to help you sleep well when you travel, it is always a good idea to have a sleep mask, earplugs, travel pillow, sleep spray, etc.
Before we continue, I would like to point out the various conditions and environments that may lead to this health disorder. The first of them all is jet lag.
Jet lag is simply a temporary sleeping disorder that occurs when an individual’s circadian rhythm is disrupted. Circadian rhythm is the body’s sleep-wake pattern that repeats after every 24 hours. A circadian clock controls this circadian rhythm. A circadian clock is a biological clock that creates a cycle for an individual’s body with solar time. Jet lag occurs for a few days, depending on the number of time zones a traveler crossed. And can be cured by taking some sleep-aiding pills and, of course, sleeping for as long as your body needs to adjust to the new time zone.
Another thing that can cause a lack of proper sleep when you travel is sleeping in a car.
Of course, sleeping in a car should cause sleeping problems, a car isn’t a bed. No matter how thrilling and adventurous sleeping in a car maybe for some people, the fact is that it reduces sleep quality. The idea of sleeping in a car usually comes into mind when hotels around a traveler have no vacancies, or the traveler cannot meet the budget of sleeping in a hotel. The safety of the environment where you park and sleep in your car is not usually guaranteed. That on its own is one of the reasons why you stay awake while sleeping in a car.
Also, sleeping in a new environment may reduce the quality of your sleep. Scientists have proven that First-Night-Effect (FNE) is a reason for poor sleep in a new environment. FNE figuratively means sleeping with one eye closed. In simple terms, it is a situation where half of the brain, especially the left part of the brain, is alert. It is not a health disorder; instead, it is a defense mechanism that shows alertness to a new environment.
Now that we have briefly explained the situations that may deprive you of good sleep when you travel, let us look at ways that can help you improve your sleep when you travel.
How to improve your sleeping experience when you travel
- Research and follow your destination sleep pattern: before traveling, be sure to search about your destination’s time zone. While you are on it, check when your flight will land at your destination and try to regulate your sleeping pattern. This is how it is done. If your flight will land in the morning, make sure that you get as much sleep as you can before or during your flight. On the other hand, if your flight will land in the night, you should try as much as you can to avoid sleeping while traveling. By doing these, you are trying to swap your body’s sleeping pattern swiftly. This idea, when carried out, will help you get a good night’s sleep when you travel.
- Adjust your sleep time before traveling: to do this, you have to research the time zone of your destination first. If you are going west, then you will be gaining time. However, you will lose time if you are going east. Therefore, some days before you travel, I will advise you to sleep one hour earlier or later, remember, it depends on your destination. Also, you should adjust your wake time; you should wake up one hour earlier or one hour later.
- Take sleep aid pills: most of the time, sleep aid pills help to cure jet lagging. When you take sleeping pills, they help you to sleep better. It takes between 6 – 30 minutes for a sleeping pill to start functioning in the body. A popular example of a sleep aid pill is melatonin.
4 Tips to Make Your Sleep More Healthy
1. Use a Weighted Blanket
If you’ve ever been around a newborn baby, you’ll know that babies are swaddled tightly so that they get that sense of comfort from being wrapped tight and can sleep soundly. Just think of yourself as an overgrown baby, too. A weighted blanket is a great sleep aid because it mimics the calming feeling of being held. Buy a weighted blanket in the UK and have a good night with enhanced sleep quality.
The gentle pressure of a weighted blanket will reassure you that you are safe and comfortable, which is essential for staying asleep for longer. And no matter how old you get, this need for being reassured is innate. If you sleep with a weighted blanket, you’ll have a sound sleep and be less disturbed by the sounds around you. Using a weighted blanket can even make 20 minutes of sleep seem like hours of quality sleep.
2. Establish a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Loud sounds, bright lights, and being involved in some kind of activity affects the circadian rhythm. These factors keep the brain up and alert, fooling it into thinking that it’s still daytime. So when it’s time for you to get into bed, turn off your phone, dim the lights, and make sure the room is quiet.
It is also a good idea to take a warm bath to calibrate your body temperature or listen to something relaxing that lulls your brain into a state of drowsiness a few hours before bed. Once your brain is relaxed, and the sleep environment is better, you’ll have no trouble falling asleep. And it will help you establish a healthy sleep and wake schedule.
3. Exercise Regularly
It’s no surprise that the more tired you are, the faster you fall asleep. Exercising is one of the best tips for better sleep. When your body is getting physically exerted, you’re ensuring that your muscles are tired enough for sleep to come quickly. The body needs to repair the tired muscles – think of it as muscle tuning – and it would like to do that as soon as possible. Think about why you feel sleepy after a good workout!. Exercise also produces relaxing hormones essential for a good night’s sleep.
4. Avoid Heavy Meals Right Before Bed
Feeling heavy right before heading to bed can disturb your sleep pattern and quality. You feel gassy and acidic because the food hasn’t been digested properly, and your metabolism slowed down when you fell asleep. Give yourself at least an hour after a meal to go to bed.
There are many more simple tips for healthy sleep. If you implement them, you’ll find that not just your sleep schedule and quality, but also the quality of your daytime routine will improve. Finally, there is nothing as relaxing, both physically and psychologically, as having a good night’s rest. Therefore, if traveling disrupts your sleep pattern, I am advising you to go through the methods I mentioned above. If it persists, please seek medical advice.