As exciting and fulfilling as seeing the world can be, travel can wreak havoc on your sleep routine. Late nights out in new locales, uncomfortable beds in hotels and hostels, and long rides in rental cars or public transport can all leave you feeling more tired and sleep-deprived than usual.
Jet lag is another consideration if your journey takes you far from home. Passing through different time zones on long flights can offset your circadian rhythm, causing you to feel excessively sleepy during the day and more alert at night when you reach your destination. Thankfully, the effects of jet lag are temporary, but you should plan on catching up with the local time for at least a couple of days after you land – especially if you’re traveling west to east.
Sneaking in naps during your trip can help you catch up on sleep. A travel pillow can be an indispensable accessory for snoozing on long flights or rides. Many people also enjoy the soothing sounds of portable white noise machines, especially if their lodgings are located in relatively loud areas. Other helpful items to bring along include eye masks for blocking light during the day and noise-cancelling headphones to ensure peace and quiet while you’re asleep.
You can take other measures to stay well-rested, both while you’re on the road and after you return home. Exercising a bit each day, following a healthy diet, and going to bed and waking up at the same times can keep you refreshed while you’re seeing the sights and prepare you for normal life once you get home.
For more information on traveling sleep tips, check out our guides below.