Heading out on an important business trip means you need to be operating at peak levels. But there are many reasons why we toss and turn in our beds, and being in a strange place can make it harder to sleep soundly.
Maybe your schedule ran late, and you got to the hotel with only a few hours to rest. Or the location of the room isn’t exactly sleep-friendly. Whatever the reason, you need to catch some z’s, and you need them now.
We understand the urgency, so we’ve put together a list of the best sleep tips to keep in mind when you’re on the road. When you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, try one or all of these expert suggestions.
1. Plan Ahead
There’s a reason well-prepared people tend to be well-rested, also. They didn’t procrastinate, giving them time to think of the little odds and ends they might have otherwise missed.
These same things cause most of us who didn’t plan ahead to toss and turn all night. We wonder if we forgot anything, think about all the things that could go wrong, and lay awake stressing.
Early Planning = Problems Solved
Planning early also gives you the chance to check reviews for your hotel. You may be stuck staying there if your company pays, but you can deal with potential problems before you arrive.
For instance, if reviewers say the hotel is in a loud neighborhood, you can bring noise-canceling headphones (always a good idea, anyway). And if the reservation is a scam, you’ll know well in advance.
Not sure how to tell if your booking is legit? This article by Hotel Engine gives thorough advice on recognizing hotel booking scams and fraud in general.
2. Bring Your Own Pillow/Blanket
Your body and brain are used to sleeping in your bedroom. It’s your safe space, where you can shut down and reset from the day.
For many of us, it’s hard to sleep in a strange area because there’s nothing familiar. Our brains are on alert for danger, and our bodies can’t rest on pillows or under blankets that aren’t what we’re used to using.
An easy fix for this is to bring something that your body and mind associate with sleep. A pillow or blanket works well, but it could be anything that you use at bedtime.
Some people swear by a certain fragrance on their linen, like chamomile or lavender. If that’s you, bring your spray bottle. And if it’s your stuffed animal from childhood (or last year), bring Teddy, too.
3. Try Natural Remedies
Understandably, you don’t want to take a prescription sleep aid before a big meeting. The chances of oversleeping or feeling groggy when you need to be alert are too high to risk.
You can still give your body a little assistance calming down for the night with some natural supplements. These handy herbs and minerals may be helpful:
- Melatonin, a natural hormone in your body that controls your sleep cycles. When the levels are “off,” you can have trouble sleeping.
- Magnesium, found in many foods and necessary for many bodily functions. The mineral prevents cortisol production (the stress hormone)( and lowers your blood pressure, naturally relaxing you and relieving anxiety.
- Lavender and chamomile, herbs found in many calming aids, like teas and essential oils. These two plants are used around the world to help encourage sleep and calm the mind when it’s time to relax. You can take them in capsule form or use tea, essential oils, and lotions.
You don’t have to rely on a heavy-duty sleeping pill to get rest on your business trip. Keep these natural sleep aids in your luggage, and use them before you go to bed.
4. Use an App
Those noise-canceling headphones you brought will also be useful to listen to a bedtime app. Put in your earbuds or set your phone near your pillow, and play your favorite relaxation stories.
When you’re ready to fall asleep, you have a go-to app that you know works to calm your mind. You’ll enter the Land of Nod feeling rested, and you’ll wake up with a refreshed and ready mindset.
A work trip can be full of pressure and responsibilities. Whether you’re enjoying the trip or stressed about it, it’s not the time to be losing out on sleep.
With these tips, you’ll be in optimal physical and mental shape to handle whatever the agenda throws at you.