By Sheryl Brooks, R.N., Women’s Health Expert
For many of us, the holidays mean travel and sleeping in unfamiliar rooms and beds. Those unfamiliar surroundings can make getting a good night’s sleep challenging. Try these tips to improve your sleep when you’re away from home.
- Several days before your trip, gradually begin adjusting your sleep time toward the time zone you will be visiting.
- Get as much light during the day, including a nice walk in the morning sunshine, to be more awake and alert. Then, get into dim light or darkness and hour before your desired sleep time.
- Shut all melatonin disrupting screens, (computers, TV, pads, cell phones) off an hour before sleep.
- Pack something from your bedroom at home that will make your new sleep environment feel more familiar. Maybe your pillow, lavender candle or scented oil, comfy pajamas, or a beloved bedside photo, something that you routinely associate with getting into bed and sleep.
- Consider ear plugs, an eye mask to create darkness, or a sleep app for your phone that creates a soothing, steady sound to block out intermittent noise that may interrupt your sleep.
- Enjoy those holiday celebrations, but remember that alcohol within a couple of hours before sleep makes it harder to sleep for most people.
Enjoy the trip and know that even with these tips, you may not sleep as usual but plan to get back to your good sleep routines and habits when you get back home. If you don’t have any, consider learning about how to create a sleep plan for improved sleep no matter where you are.
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