Business travel can be high stress, high performance, and highly demanding, all of which can make it difficult to sleep. However, during trips that need to be productive, a good night’s sleep is essential for someone to perform at their best. Studies abound proving the benefits of 7-8 hours of sleep, including better productivity, higher memory recall, improved creativity, and a more stable emotional state. While some people have trouble sleeping, there are plenty of lifestyle choices you can make that will greatly improve the quality of sleep, leading you to benefit from these fantastic effects. The following tips will help you relax from a busy day of travel or work (or both) and get the sleep that you need and deserve.
While it might seem counterintuitive if you’re exhausted, drinking caffeine will just make it harder for you to rest once you actually need to. While traveling, try to skip the caffeine after 1 pm, and definitely don’t partake after 5 pm. One study showed that caffeine intake up to 6 hours before your sleep reduces your sleep time by at least one hour. If you need to get a good night’s sleep, don’t jeopardize it by caffeine intake.
One fantastic and comfortable way to relax your body, and improve sleep, is by purchasing a heating pad with micro-beads. These are available all over the internet and can be warmed up in the hotel microwave while on business. (If there is no microwave where you are, you can still purchase heating bandages which have the same effects). While many heating pads are marketed towards people with arthritis or other body pains, they can be astronomically helpful for those without physical injuries as well. The warming pad relaxes your body and makes it easier to sleep; plus, they are super comfortable – like being at a spa.
Invest in a great neck/travel pillow
There’s no reason to not pamper yourself while you’re traveling. Don’t skimp on stuff that will make things easier for you. One easy way to ensure that your body is relaxed is by always using a neck pillow when flying, which has the dual benefit of improving sleep on a flight as well as preventing kinks and injuries to your neck and shoulders that will make it harder to sleep later on. For tips on how to fly into or out of SLO like a pro, visit this blog!
Exercising may feel like the last thing you want to do while you’re on a business trip. But, in addition to the beneficial heart and body effects of a vigorous workout, business travelers who worked out during a trip ended up performing 61% better than non-exercisers, according to a study. So, if you want to feel good, sleep better, and work better, putting in a workout or two at the hotel gym is really a no-brainer. Try to go after a long workday; it will be worth it and will also improve your sleep quality. Need inspiration? Check out our guide on how to stay active on vacation, here.
Sleep Mask and Ear Plugs
Traveling can mess with your circadian rhythms, especially if you are crossing time zones. To ensure that you get a full night’s sleep, invest in a sleep mask and earplugs, both of which are quick, inexpensive fixes. When you are sleeping in a new place, the body is more receptive to stimuli and can wake you up with the slightest sound or night. The sleep mask blocks sunlight from waking you up, while ear-plugs block noise, and both are very important in order to get a full night’s sleep in a new, unfamiliar location. Don’t worry, though, you’ll still wake up with an alarm!
Many who have trouble sleeping swear by essential oils, especially lavender, for helping them get to sleep and stay asleep. Lavender can be purchased at places like Target for just about $5, and the benefits make it the easiest choice you’ll make on your trip. The fresh, floral scent relaxes the body and has been proven to reduce anxiety and emotional stress. Just dabbing a little bit of the oil on your pillow, or on a cloth, and fully breathing it in, can leave you ready to sleep long and sleep well in no time.