There’s nothing more exciting, adventurous, and relaxing than an all-out vacation. And, after saving thousands of dollars, waiting for hundreds of days, and completing long bucket lists, the day you’ve always dreamed of has arrived.
As you depart on a trip, you stay awake and don’t sleep during the entire drive, thinking of what to eat and where your first stop would be. Or perhaps you plan to take a nap but can’t get a decent one.
Since you’re not able to doze off, you don’t have enough energy upon arrival. As a result, you just waste a day of the journey, feeling sleepy and irritated, putting up with other behavioral side effects. If you usually experience this during travels, you might be suffering from sleep deprivation and have thought of trying out supplements to help you get a restful sleep, such as the Natural Sleep Aid.
According to experts, most travelers can’t get a good night’s sleep while traveling. So, whether you’re traveling overseas or having a long-distance road trip, it’s important to always be at your peak performance to get the most out of your dream journey.
With that said, here’s a series of hacks to help you sleep better while traveling:
Use A Travel Pillow
Long-distance road trips and cross-country flights won’t be complete without a reliable and comfy travel pillow. This is a must-have for most travelers. Usually, most travel pillows are sold in a U-shaped form, like a donut sliced in half. Still, many companies are now producing them in their usual rectangular shape so that they can be used in other situations.
A travel pillow provides a natural resting position for your head, maintains the standard spinal curve, and supports your neck. This is why using one is as relaxing as laying down in bed. And, if you’re looking for travel pillows, make sure to get those made with buckwheat hulls or memory foam. You may check out this video if you want to know more about the features of a buckwheat travel pillow:
Here are other benefits of using travel pillows:
Admit it—traveling is exhausting and may cause severe chronic fatigue. So, go ahead and take the nap that you need. However, taking a small sleep can be hard, especially if you’re in a car or plane. So, it’s essential to have a travel pillow that’ll help you relax and get that quick snooze. Not only that, but you’ll also have deep and quality sleep so that you can feel refreshed on your next stop.
Reduces Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring is normal, but it can be very embarrassing, especially when you’re inside a plane and everyone is trying to sleep comfortably and embracing peace. With travel pillows, your neck and head are positioned correctly, meaning your airways aren’t blocked, preventing snoring and even sleep apnea. Now, you can sleep quietly without disturbing other people.
Provides A Warm and Breathable Feeling
One of the things travelers hate about going on a trip is the feeling of dry, musky, and pasty air, preventing you from having a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, travel pillows eliminate these unwanted experiences by providing you with a warm, clean, and breathable touch. Now, you can sleep comfortably without feeling dry and sweaty.
Stop And Stretch for a Bit
When you’re on a long car journey, your body must be so tired of sitting that it wants to get out of the car for a nice and quick stretch.
Sitting for long hours can be exhausting for your body. So, take a quick stop, get out of your car, and have a nice full-body stretch. According to experts, stretches can help you fall asleep faster and prevent the occurrence of sleep-related pain, like back pain. You may try the following stretching exercises to help you sleep better:
- Neck stretches and neck twists
- Standing quad stretches
- Chest stretches
- Standing calf stretches
- Cat-cow stretches
Also, try to do other things while your car isn’t yet moving. You may remove a pile of garbage, clean your car seats, or wipe down your windows. You can also adjust your car seat to make it comfortable.
Now that your body is warmed up and fully stretched, you’ll be able to relax and sleep in a good position while being safe.
Keep Your Seatbelt on at All Times
This tip may not keep you comfortable, but it can keep you alive. It might be tempting to take your seatbelt off, but don’t. It may not help you fall asleep faster and sleep better, but you’ll thank and appreciate them in times of road accidents.
According to experts, thousands of people die each year because of road accidents, and almost half of them are attributed to improper seat belt use. Seatbelts work together with the built-in airbags of your car. If you’re not using them, then your airbags won’t probably work during collisions, resulting in catastrophic damage.
Also, don’t try to recline your car seat. With this, you have no access to seatbelts, let alone airbags, keeping you less protected and more prone to harm.
Don’t Forget to Use a Sunshade
If you’re having trouble sleeping with the lights on, you might need to consider using your car’s sunshade. Sunlight attacking your vision will not let you sleep comfortably. It’s because light doesn’t encourage your body’s production of melatonin. This is the hormone responsible for your night and day sleep cycles. Without it, you won’t be able to sleep properly or not at all.
As opposed to light, darkness promotes the production of melatonin. Your brain reacts with the darkness surrounding you, signaling the pineal gland to secrete the hormone, helping you get quality sleep. Therefore, it’s important to block the sunlight from your vision as much as possible so that you can sleep tightly.
Furthermore, don’t forget to put up a sunblock to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which promotes the aging process, resulting in wrinkles and saggy skin. Before you go to sleep, make sure to apply an ample amount for protection.
Make Yourself Full
Have you felt the urge to sleep after eating a lot? A full stomach sets and prepares your body to rest by making you feel more relaxed and sleepier. That being said, you might want to avoid traveling with an empty stomach. A happy tummy will help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep last longer, uninterrupted.
Also, contrary to what most people believe, a full stomach actually prevents motion sickness or the feeling of nausea and vomiting rather than not eating anything at all. Additionally, an empty stomach only makes you prone to dizziness while the car or plane moves.
But, if you don’t feel like eating a feast before traveling, make sure to have a snack. A good choice would be granola or healthy nuts, like almonds, to keep you full longer. However, if you still get nauseated and dizzy even with a full stomach, consider taking over-the-counter medications to prevent the symptoms of motion sickness.
Use A Sleep Mask
Like the first hack or using travel pillows, sleep masks are also one of the must-have travel essentials. These help you filter out the sunlight that sunshades can’t do. In fact, sleep masks give you access to total darkness.
If you’ve never tried this before, this might be the right time to do it now. Sleep masks give you a feeling of being in your bedroom with your light turned off. Also, it sends a signal to the brain that it’s time to sleep. With this, you can fall asleep faster and have quality sleep during your trip.
When choosing a sleep mask, make sure it’s made with the softest fabric, like silk, to prevent damaging your skin while using it. If this doesn’t seem comfortable to you, a memory foam sleep mask that adjusts to the shape of your face may do. However, it might be more expensive than you thought.
Use Headphones, Earplugs, Or Earbuds
If you’ve completely blocked out the light from disturbing your sleep, you might need to do the same with the noise that may disrupt your sleep cycle. In that case, you might need to consider using headphones. Also, make sure that it has a noise-canceling feature that’ll effectively reduce a wide range of noise in the environment.
But, if this is too bulky for you, you may consider using earplugs. These small but terrible gadgets will help you fall asleep faster as they block out sounds while you sleep, resulting in an improved quality of sleep.
According to experts, earplugs are generally safe to use, but prolonged use may result in ear wax buildup. So, make sure to use them only when you need them, especially when you’re trying to sleep during a noisy trip.
Furthermore, if you’re interested in using earplugs, you may consider earbuds. Unlike earplugs, earbuds give you the option to listen to some relaxing tunes, such as ASMR and story-telling voices on social media or streaming sites. This will help you sleep faster if sleeping without distracting noise isn’t enough.
Cover Yourself with Your Favorite Blanket
If the car or plane you’re riding is generous to provide air conditioning, you’re going to love using a comfy blanket. According to experts, a blanket effectively promotes sleep by trapping the heat that escapes your body at night. Also, it signals the brain and body to prepare for sleep.
Experts suggest looking for a blanket that’s warm enough to keep you relaxed and comfortable, but breathable enough to prevent sweat from producing and accumulating. Also, make sure that it’s soft enough to prevent it from blocking your skin, but touchable enough so you can feel it.
In addition, you wouldn’t want a blanket that’s too heavy and too light. Make sure that weight is balanced and evenly distributed throughout the fabric. And, if you’re traveling during cold weather, you might need to consider using an electric blanket that releases heat for your body. With this, you’ll surely melt to the warmth of this blanket.
Some of the blankets mentioned are much more expensive than others, specifically weighted blankets, the gold standard of blankets. What’s most important is that the benefits outweigh the costs, and it’s true to these blankets.
Find The Right Position
Finding the right position is essential to help you fall asleep faster and better during travel. Most people suggest that the best way to sleep in a car during travel is pretty simple. First, find an area where you can lay down your elbow to rest, like an armrest. Then, allow your head to rest in your hand, and you can start to sleep. But, if you’re not comfortable with this position, you may try others as well, such as leaning on your back with a U-shaped travel pillow.
However, before you close your eyes, this is the right time to use other accessories you prepared just for this situation, like sleep masks and earplugs. Also, if you want to close your eyes naturally, gaze into the horizon.
Take Natural Sleep Aids
If all of the following sleep hacks during travel don’t work, it’s time to take natural sleep aid supplements. These work by making you feel relaxed and calm, helping you fall asleep faster and improving the quality of your sleep.
There are many types of natural sleep aids you can use, but each of them has risks you have to consider:
- Melatonin – It may cause grogginess, irritability, and depression to the user.
- Chamomile – It may cause an allergic reaction for those allergic to the daisy family of flowering plants. Also, it may cause nausea and vomiting for overdose cases.
- Valerian – It may cause headaches, impaired thinking, and dizziness to the user.
These are only some of the most common natural sleep aids you can try. Likewise, other options have risks to consider. Therefore, it’d be best to consult your doctor first before using them to determine the right dosage for you, avoid allergic reactions, and prevent interactions with other medications you use.
What matters the most is how you’ll be able to make your seat or room as comfortable as your bedroom. But, actually, it’s not as difficult as it seems. All you need is to determine the factors that’ll help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep during travel, such as the presence of darkness.
Hopefully, the tips and tricks presented above may help you sleep soundly and comfortably on your next journey. So, go ahead and cover your eyes with sleep masks and wrap yourself up with your cozy blanket. See you at your next destination!