9 Tips to Sleep Better When You Travel

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it can be challenging to fall asleep in hotel room, no matter how lovely and accommodating. Even if you’re usually a good sleeper, simply crossing time zones can throw off your sleep cycle.

To help you rest easier, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite tips to help you sleep away from home. Sweet dreams!

Set Yourself Up for Success

Some people can sleep through just about any noise imaginable. Others? Not so much. If you fall into the latter camp, ask the front desk for a room on a higher floor and far away from elevators, vending and ice machines, and outdoor patios. And don’t forget your earplugs!

Eat Earlier in the Evening

You’ll sleep better if your belly isn’t digesting dinner all night, so try to eat at least three to four hours before you plan to turn in. Stuck with a late-night dinner reservation? Remember to eat simply, choosing lighter, easy-to-digest foods that won’t make you (or your belly) toss and turn all night.

Skip the Nightcap

An after-dinner drink in the lounge is a sociable way to decompress from the day, but if sleeping well is a concern, trade the bubbly for a cup of soothing chamomile, mint, or valerian tea.

Create an “Electronic Sundown”

An hour or two before going to bed, turn off the television, and shut down your laptop, tablet, and phone. The light emitted by electronics will make your brain think it’s daytime, and achieving deep, restorative sleep will be difficult.

Get Steamed (In a Good Way!)

A hot bath, shower, or stint in the hotel hot tub an hour or so before bed is a fantastic way to prep for sleep. A bit of tub time will help relax muscles and lightly boost body temperature, which in turn promotes falling asleep faster. A sauna will offer similar sleep-promoting benefits, so if there’s one in your hotel, indulge!

Keep the Room Cool

A sleeping temperature of 60 to 65 degrees is best for most people, even in the dead of winter, so be sure to adjust the room temperature before you climb into bed.

Unwind Your Body

Most people associate yoga with the early morning hours, but there a number of simple yoga poses that can help ease your body into sleep — and you don’t need to be a yogi to do them. Two classic, relaxing poses are the Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose, and Savasana, also known as the Corpse Pose. For added relaxation, try a few basic Restorative Yoga poses. Another way to decompress? Book an end-of-day massage at your hotel.

Downshift Your Brain

When you’re away from home and your routine, it’s easy to get stressed out and wound up. To mellow out before bedtime, try a guided meditation, tune into an ambient music channel, or listen to Brainwave Power Music, which utilizes ‘binaural beats,’ a collection of meditative sound patterns that encourages deep, restful sleep.

Light Your Way — But Not Too Much

Many people leave the bathroom light on in case they need to visit in the middle of the night, but the harsh light can disrupt sleep. Instead, travel with a few battery-operated tea lights. Before hitting the sack, place the tealights in a line to light the way to the loo.

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