Quality Sleep on the Road
Friday, February 26, 2010
Whether your trip is for business or pleasure, a good night’s sleep is essential. But this can be a challenge, especially when you’re trying to get to sleep in an unfamiliar hotel room, in a bed that’s not your own.
According to the 2005 Travel Sleep Habits survey, more than one in three adults said they rarely get a good night’s sleep when traveling. More than half said that if they could, they would choose to bring their own bed with them while traveling.
May is Better Sleep Month. The Better Sleep Council recommends getting a good night’s sleep and taking control of your sleep environment to reduce stress and improve your quality of life at home or on the road.
While you can’t take your bed with you, there are things you can do to make it a little easier to get some real rest.
Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
- Ask for a room away from typically noisy areas like elevators, stairs and vending areas.
- Set the thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees. If the room is too hot or too cold, it will be hard to get comfortable enough to sleep.
- Use the “fan only” setting on the air conditioner to create a steady hum that masks unwanted noise.
- Test the hotel’s pillows. You can exchange them if they’re not to your liking.
Test and Set the Alarm Clock
- Make sure the alarm time has the right a.m./p.m. designation.
- Check the alarm or radio sound level to make sure it’s loud enough to wake you.
- If you’re worried about the alarm not going off, put your mind at ease by asking for a wake-up call.
Diet and Exercise
- Always avoid a heavy or spicy meal before bedtime. An overfull or upset stomach can keep you awake.
- Try to avoid caffeine after 2 p.m.
- If you work out, it’s best to do it at least several hours before bedtime. Exercising right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult.
One tip from the Better Sleep Council is to evaluate your mattress. That’s easy to do at home, but what about when you’re traveling? With some hotels, you never know what kind of mattress you’re going to get. When booking a room, always ask about mattress quality. Some hotels do offer premium mattresses.
The next time you travel, take a few simple steps toward better sleep — you’ll be glad you did.