Travel & Sleep

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Travel is perhaps life’s most unique joy for some people. For other people, it’s an essential part of their work. Anything your justification behind voyaging, getting sufficient rest advances wellbeing and permits you to benefit from any get-away.

Despite the meaning of good rest, it’s ordinary to experience difficulty dozing while at the same time voyaging. Various variables can bring about unfortunate rest on a get-away. However, there are unmistakable improvements you can make to improve your rest while in movement and all through the term of your excursion.

Fatigue from travel

Travel can cause physical and mental stress, resulting in travel fatigue. Exhaustion, headaches, sleep loss, and discomfort are all symptoms of travel fatigue.

A variety of factors can cause travel tiredness

  • Fear of flying, as well as other modes of travel.
  • Stress from packing, arriving on time, and other logistics-related issues
  • Motion sickness is a disorder that affects people who travel for long periods of time.
  • The timetable has been disrupted or delayed.
  • Anxiety about problems that may develop during a trip.

Jet lag

Jet lag is a short-term sleep disorder caused by long-distance flights that traverse three or more time zones. When they arrive, their circadian rhythm is still entrenched in their native time zone, generating a mismatch with the local time.

Jet lag normally lasts a very few days, but it may last up to a few weeks before a person’s circadian rhythm adapts to the new time zone. When going east and crossing many time zones, jet lag is often more acute.

A typical symptom of jet lag is difficulty sleeping. Other symptoms include impaired physical or mental performance, daytime weariness, gastrointestinal difficulties, and overall malaise.

Sleeping in New or Uncomfortable Places

According to studies, people tend to sleep worse the first night they spend in a unique environment. Researchers identified a constant “first-night effect” in sleep clinics, which led to the discovery of this phenomenon.

Further research indicated that first-night sleep quality was lowered even in a relaxing environment, like a spa resort. According to some experts, this is an evolutionary survival strategy that keeps a part of the brain active when sleeping in a new place.

What Are the Consequences of Interrupted Sleep Travel?

Short-term sleep deprivation can harm one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Sleep deprivation can impair the capacity to think, make you tired during the day, irritable, and sap your energy. Inadequate sleep can increase the risk of accidents, which is especially dangerous while travelling by car.

These repercussions detract from the overall quality of the trip. Business travellers and athletes may not perform as well as they should, and pleasure seekers may get less fun out of their vacation if they don’t get enough sleep.

While sleep difficulties caused by travel are usually only temporary, they can develop chronic in those who travel frequently or are otherwise prone to sleeping disorders.

Travelling on vacation

Summer is a popular travel season for many families. As COVID limitations are eased across the US, travel demand is skyrocketing to similar levels to those seen before the pandemic. 

Travelling on vacation may be very stressful, especially when children are involved. To make this trip less stressful, follow some of our suggestions below.

Managing Stress During Vacation Travel

Even if your schedule is disrupted while travelling with your family, it’s critical to maintain your children on a consistent sleep pattern.

Summer vacationers are encountering longer queues and more delays due to a sudden surge in demand for travel in the aftermath of the outbreak. Make sure you budget for a few additional hours of sleep lost during the journey and have a plan for getting enough sleep once you arrive.

While it may be appealing to drink a beer or a glass of wine on your journey, altitude can exacerbate the effects of alcohol, making it more challenging to overcome travel fatigue or jet lag.

If you’re travelling to a wildfire-prone area during wildfire season, take the appropriate precautions to insure that harmful particles in the air don’t disrupt your sleep. Ascertain that the room where you’ll be sleeping is at a comfortable temperature.

How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep While Travelling

Sleeping well can help you have a more prosperous and enjoyable vacation, whether you’re travelling for work or pleasure. 

Preventing Pre-Travel Stress Anxiety can harm your sleep and mental health in the weeks leading up to a vacation. Plan ahead of time, so you don’t have to rush to pack, set your schedule, or travel to the airport at the last minute.

Getting Some Sleep on Planes, Trains, and Buses

Some people fall asleep easily on aircraft, trains, and buses, while others find it difficult.

If sleeping in transit isn’t something you’re used to, try to avoid making trip plans that rely on it. A redeye flight or midnight train may be an excellent way to save time or money, but it can backfire if you can’t sleep on board.

If you want or need to sleep on a plane, train, or bus, focus on making yourself as comfortable as possible:

  • Please wear loose-fitting and breathable clothes, and pack an additional layer in case it gets cold.
  • If you can, recline since studies show that it increases the quantity and quality of sleep11.
  • Block off your surroundings using headphones or earplugs and a jacket or a sleep mask to cover your eyes.
  • Carry a travel pillow or a small clothing bag to support your head.

How to Avoid and Overcome Travel Fatigue

A long day of travel might be exhausting, but getting enough rest allows you to recover fast. Don’t overbook yourself for the first few days of your trip, and leave enough time to sleep.

Because you may be exposed to pathogens on board, wash your hands frequently or use sanitising gel. This is especially crucial when flying because it increases your risk of respiratory infection.

Developing Good Habits

While it’s natural to want to splurge on vacation, you may still benefit from sticking to several healthy behaviours as much as possible:

Eat wisely

Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and avoid heavy meals on days when being physically active is difficult. Stay hydrated by drinking water and avoiding sugary beverages.

Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake at night if used too late in the day, and alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycles.

Get daily exercise

You don’t need to go all out with your workouts, but you should try to go for a little walk or engage in some other type of substantial physical activity every day.

Relaxation practices, such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation, can help you relax your body and mind, lowering stress and making it easier to fall asleep.

How to Deal With Jet Lag

To overcome jet lag, you must synchronise your circadian cycle with your new time zone. Natural light and melatonin supplements can help, but it’s also crucial to have the right timing to avoid additional desynchronization of your internal clock.

What Travel Accoutrements Can Assist You In Sleeping?

There are a variety of devices and products that might help you sleep and feel better while travelling, depending on your budget:

  • For meditation, you can use audio recordings or an app.
  • Stay hydrated with a water bottle.
  • Snacks that are both healthful and portable.
  • To avoid itchy sheets, use a sleeping bag liner.
  • Travel cushion that is small or inflatable.
  • Mask for sleeping.

Can Sleeping Pills Assist You in Getting a Good Night’s Sleep While Travelling?

Prescription pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements are examples of sleeping pills. Almost all formulas cause drowsiness, which may aid in sleeping while travelling or at your destination.

While the benefits of sleep aids are attractive, it’s also crucial to understand the drawbacks. They can cause a lot of grogginess, which can be an issue when travelling, especially if you have to drive. Sedatives may keep you seated for too long on long-haul flights, increasing the risk of blood clots.

The effects of sleeping pills can last all day, lowering your thinking and reaction time. Drowsiness from sleep aids can increase the risk of falling or other mishaps.

When travelling, should you take naps?

Napping might be rejuvenating if you’re travelling and aren’t getting enough sleep, but don’t overdo it. You may wake up even groggier if you slumber for too long. Long naps or naps were taken late in the afternoon or evening might potentially disrupt your sleep pattern.

Try to nap for less than 30 minutes and no more than 60 minutes to reap the benefits of naps without the drawbacks. Napping is best done right after lunch, and naps later in the day should be avoided.


Ameer is the content director of Sleepingmentor, which means he not only reviews new mattresses, bedsheets, pillows, and mattress toppers every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, reviews pages, and vs pages on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews. He covers sleep science by researching a lot on Google and finding meaningful content which entertains his users.

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