Tips on How To Sleep Better When Travelling

Even the most experienced travellers can struggle with their sleep when they are on the go. No matter how well you pack for your trip, you cannot take your bed with you. Whether you are travelling for work or fun, proper sleep is essential. It will put you in the right mood for days filled with activities.

Changing time zones, hotel beds, transportation, and surroundings can be real buzz killers for travel adventures. However, there are several things that you can do to sleep well while travelling. Today we are going to share with you some of those tips and tricks so you can sleep better when travelling.

The First Night Away From Home

The so-called first night effect refers to the first night spent in a new place. That first night is usually rough and sleepless. You are tired, you want to sleep, but somehow you cannot.

This happens when we are jet-lagged, overtired, or too excited for the upcoming days. Even when we manage to fall asleep, that sleep is never a deep, restorative sleep; it is like our mind is sleeping with one eye open.

Tips on How To Sleep Better When Travelling
Source: Unsplash

Being unable to fall asleep on the first night has been linked to the fact that we are in new and unfamiliar surroundings. Your brain is extra cautious and alert. If you are on your summer vacay, you will easily get over that sleep debt. But if you are on a short stay, or travelling for a business conference, that lack of sleep can hinder your performance on the day after.

Travel and Sleep

When travelling, sleeping is certainly not on our list of priorities. Many consider sleeping as a waste of their time when they are travelling, which in a way makes sense, but still, we cannot function properly if we are not well-rested. So if you do not want to look all tired and dull on your travel pictures, try some of the following tips.

How To Sleep Better When Traveling Tip #1

  • If you are travelling for some important event try to schedule your arrival at least a day before. This way, you will give yourself some time to rest and adjust. And if you are changing time zones, start preparing yourself on time. A week before your trip, try going to bed a bit earlier, or later, depending on the time zone of your destination. By doing so, you will go smoothly through jet lag.

How To Sleep Better When Traveling Tip #2

  • Be patient and avoid stress. Many things can go wrong when travelling, flights get delayed, hotels get overbooked, the lines in front of sights are miles long, the food is bad, everything is expensive, your partner wants to go left, and you want to go right, etc. All those things cause stress, and they are killing your ability to fall asleep at night. Try being more relaxed, spontaneous, and open for things you did not plan.

How To Sleep Better When Traveling Tip #3

  • If you are staying in hotels or hostels, there is not much you can do if the mattress is uncomfortable. You can, however, bring your own pillow with you. It will leave less space for clothes in your suitcase, but at least you will not have to walk around with neck pain. Also, do not forget to bring earplugs and sleep masks; they will isolate you from noisy surroundings and induce sleep.

How To Sleep Better When Traveling Tip #4

  • Create an enjoyable sleep routine. Pack your favourite pyjamas, bath bombs, bring face masks and pamper yourself a bit after a few hours of travelling. Use essential oils, or do the things that will relax your mind and body, because that way, you will fall asleep sooner than later.

How To Sleep Better When Traveling Tip #5

  • Pick your drinks. Coffee lovers would certainly not miss trying some new blends and tastes, but drinking caffeine in the late afternoon is not the best idea, because it stays in our system for hours. The same is with other beverages that contain caffeine, including tea.

How To Sleep Better When Traveling Tip #6

  • Do not spend your evenings scrolling through thousands of pictures. After an eventful day and 865 photos later, you are finally back in your hotel room. Sending images to friends, parents, editing, posting on social networks, can easily last a few hours. And that much time in front of the screen will keep your brain awake. It will be hard to fall asleep, and you will probably sleep in and miss a few precious morning hours when there is no rush or tourist on the streets.
Tips on How To Sleep Better When Travelling
Source: Unsplash

How To Sleep Better When Traveling Tip #7

  • If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, always travel with a continuous positive airway pressure device or CPAP machine. Bringing your travel-friendly CPAP machine ensures continued compliance with the therapy. More importantly, it helps you sleep deeply and adequately, despite the hectic schedule and challenges of falling asleep in a new place. Don’t forget to pack an extra battery kit and charger for the machine.


In the end, try not to let any of these things get in your way of having fun and exploring a new destination. Yes, poor sleep can make you grumpy and moody, but try to remember why you are there, and make every minute of your travels count, it will be worth it.

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