WHEN A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP IS THE ONLY OPTION
Travelling and sleeping well don’t always go hand-in-hand which can be annoying on a holiday but even more troublesome on a business trip when you need to perform from day one.
A recent study concluded that around 80% of all business travelers suffer from sleep disorders when travelling and that the average sleep duration decreases to 5.17 hours (approximately 58 minutes less than in your own bed).
For those mornings when you need to wake up with focus and clarity and not in a brain fog from a bad night sleep there are however actions you can take to sleep deeper and longer.
1. Select flights carefully
Choose a flight that won’t alter your regular sleep patterns. Avoid red-eye or late night flights whenever possible.
2. Proactively counter jet lag
Travelling over several time zones confuses the sleep-wake rhythm of our body. Flights to the east, which shorten the day as we feel them, are even more critical than flights to the west. The best way to avoid sleep problems and becoming jetlagged is to gradually adjust the body to the time zone of the destination prior to departure.
When boarding, try to change your watch to the time of the destination country and adopt that rhythm as quickly as possible on landing - a walk in the sun or special light lamps can effectively support this adaptation process.
3. Eat light meals, drink plenty of fluids & avoid alcohol
A heavy meal means that our metabolism is busy which prevents us from relaxing. Alcohol is also not a friend of a good night's sleep. It makes us drowsy at first but prevents a deep sleep. With this in mind, try to only eat small portions on short night flights (e.g. Europe - Middle East). Make sure you eat a meal before boarding so that the entire flight time can be used as sleep time. Drink plenty of water and abstain from alcoholic beverages. Additionally, while in the air and at your destination, try to be cautious about your menu choice at business meals.
Where you can, try to bring your own healthy snacks and rely on ‘nap-food’ before bedtime such as nuts, bananas, cherries, eggs, green leafy vegetables and salmon.
4. Find a suitable hotel or room
It’s astonishing that many hotels are only now rediscovering what actually lies at the core of their proposition: to provide guests with perfect relaxation! That's why you have to be selective when looking for a hotel or a room: choose a hotel with a dedicated sleeping programme and communicate your wishes clearly before you arrive.
In particular important is the bed system (bed type, mattress, blankets, pillows), location (quiet, rather high, not facing the street and not near the lifts), light (complete darkness possible), temperature (between 16 and 19° C, depending on your personal preference).
In the room, make sure to detect and switch off light sources (e.g. appliances in stand-by mode) and annoying noises.
5. Bring your own sleeping kit with you
Sleep is a state in which we are at our most vulnerable. Therefore, we often sleep poorly for at least the first 1-2 nights in a new environment. We need to help our subconscious to find familiarity, this we can do by bringing with us our own sleep kit:
- Your own travel pajamas (comfortable, light, thermo regulating and anti-bacterial: all properties of the Dagsmejan sleepwear collections)
- Your own pillow + pillowcase
- A sleep mask to provide complete darkness
- Earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to suppress annoying or unfamiliar noises.
6. Relax before going to bed
Avoid using computers or smartphones in the last hour before bedtime. If you check your emails or social networks, your brain will continue to activate and you’ll risk taking your last thoughts with you to sleep.
Also, the blue light caused by electronics can affect sleep negatively.
Light exercise, a warm bath, relaxation exercises or special breathing techniques can help us fall asleep faster and sleep better.
7. Plan the next day
Write down your to-dos so you can put them aside for the night. Make sure to choose your clothes for the next day, create a task list, check the directions, plan your journey.
If the schedule for tomorrow is clear, not only will you enjoy a less stressful day, but your brain will also be more relaxed at night.
8). Try SleepTech and avoid MedTech
There are a lot of sleep trackers that record our sleep rhythm and apps that can support our sleep. Sleep trackers help us try to understand our own sleep patterns and some of them can also show ways in which we can improve our quality of sleep. Sleep apps that emit sounds such as pouring rain, crashing waves, crackling fire or other ambient sounds can calm our minds so why not try them out?
The most important SleepTech remains our alarm clock, which can support a regular sleep rhythm, especially if you use the alarm clock in the evening for a "Call to Bed" and not only in the morning for a "Call-to-Action".
Prescription sleeping pills should generally not be used, as they often confuse the natural sleep rhythm more than they support it and can lead to dependencies over a longer period of time.
SLEEP BETTER WITH HIGH-TECH SLEEPWEAR
By using sleepwear that help to regulate temperature and moisture we can sleep deeper and longer, wherever we are.
Try out lightweight pajamas for travel: