I've visited all seven continents, which means sleeping in many different time zones and situations. After trying to sleep on cruise ships, aeroplanes, and in cities that come alive at night, I have the perfect bedtime routine that helps me fall asleep no matter how jet lagged I am.
Image from MoToMo.
I used to be able to curl up on my suitcase and sleep in the middle of an airport in seconds, but as I've gotten older, sleeping away from home has become more difficult. Here are the strategies I use to get a good night's rest so I have energy to explore my new destination:
- Bring comfy clothes to sleep in. For me, that means my Batman leggings and an oversized T-shirt, or if I'm in a humid climate, shorts and a tank top. If I think I'll get cold at night (which sometimes happens around midnight or 1AM when temperatures are lower, I put a hoodie within arm's reach of the bed.
- Get ready for bed mindfully. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of your plans tomorrow, but staying in the moment when I'm getting ready for bed helps my mind start to shut down and go into sleep mode. For example, when brushing my teeth, I'll focus on what I'm doing and try to keep my mind from wandering.
- Relax with a calming activity. If I'm still not feeling ready for bed at this point, I'll do an activity that gets me into a sleep mindset. I cycle between four options: Messaging with my boyfriend, reading, yoga, or deep breathing guided by the Breathe app.
- Block out distractions. Instead of a sleep mask, which is only good for one thing, I use a light scarf draped over my eyes to block out light. I'm a heavy sleeper, so noise from traffic or people talking doesn't usually bother me, but if you're sound sensitive, throw a pair of earplugs in your bag or use a white noise app.
Finding a bedtime routine that consistently worked for me when I travel took some trial and error. If you want to find one that suits you, try out different routines at home before you go on your next trip.