Tips For Sleeping While Travelling

Hands up if you love to travel!

Us too.

Whether it’s a road trip with friends, camping with the family, or flying overseas to your next bucket-list destination, traveling is always super exciting.

But travel and sleep do not always mix. And trying to get comfortable enough to drop off on the plane or in the car can seem like an impossible mountain to climb.

And the last thing you want is for no sleep to ruin your adventure and make you feel even more exhausted after traveling.

So we’ve put together some top tips for going to sleep to make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye when you’re traveling, so you can enjoy your trip to the max.

You’re welcome.

1) Bring sleep-aiding items

While it may sound obvious, making yourself as comfortable as possible will work wonders when trying to get to sleep on a road trip or flight.
With this in mind, a little bit of forward planning could be a wise move.

Think about things such as:

While it may sound obvious, making yourself as comfortable as possible will work wonders when trying to get to sleep on a road trip or flight.

With this in mind, a little bit of forward planning could be a wise move.

Think about things such as:

° A light-blocking eye mask

Light is also known to delay your sleep, so if you’re trying to get your head down, it’s a good idea to bring things with you that will block out light. A light-blocking eye mask is great, but if you find yourself without one, you should aim to dim the lights whenever possible in the vehicle you’re in. 

° A travel pillow 

Finding the best position to sleep on a plane is tough. Mainly because our bodies aren’t designed to sleep upright. 

So think about investing in a travel pillow, or even bringing one from home. Making sure that your head and the natural S-curve of your spine are supported can improve comfort and reduce back pain on long journeys. 

° Dressing for the occasion 

Making sure that you’re wearing comfortable clothes is great for sleep and also for general comfort. So wear loose-fitting clothing that you can move about in – and remember to take some extra layers in case it gets cold.

Take a blanket with you that you can get cozy under, along with some bed or flight socks to keep your feet warm.

A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that feet-warming socks led to 7.6% higher sleep efficiency.

2) Invest in noise-canceling earplugs

You may not always realize it, but airplane noise is super loud. Whether it’s children crying, noisy air-con, or simply the sounds of a noisy engine (a cruising plane emits 85 decibels), it’s not a huge surprise that sleeping on a plane is difficult.

There are earplugs specially designed to help you sleep on a plane, without blocking out the important things that you need to hear, such as announcements or travel companions needing your attention. 

They even help with relieving irritating ear pain by equalizing the pressure against your ear drum. And when you drift off to sleep, they’re super safe and comfortable to keep wearing.

Earplugs like Loop Quiet are not only reusable but can also reduce noise levels by 27 decibels, making them ideal for sleeping while traveling. For more on earplugs to help you sleep, check out our blog post here. 

3) Power down those devices

There’s no doubt about it, if sleep isn’t coming naturally it’s tempting to reach for the tablet or phone to fill the time. 

But if your body is craving much-needed sleep, it’s probably a bad move. Why? Science has the answer.

Your biological clock follows a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. This means that when the sun rises in the morning, your body cleverly produces the hormone cortisol, designed to get you feeling awake and ready for the day. As nighttime draws in, another hormone comes into play, called melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy. 

So it goes without saying that watching electronic backlit devices during what should be sleeping hours is not going to help you out. 

4) Leave your stress at home

Planning trips can be stressful. Have I packed all I need? What if I can’t sleep on vacation? Bet I’ll forget my passport!!! 

Stop, take a breather, and leave your stress at the door. 

Why not try mindfulness meditation? Mindful breathing can have a huge effect on reducing insomnia and encourage an overall better sleep. 

5) Fuel your body

Give your body the resources it needs to be in the optimum state for sleep and general relaxation when traveling.

Here are some things you can try:

Stay hydrated

Water works wonders. Drink it before, during, and after your travel – it will help your body to remain resilient during travel and more optimized for sleep.

Eat the right food

Make sure that you’re eating foods that nourish you and avoid sugary foods that provide you with short-term energy but shortly after make you feel tired.

Limit caffeine and alcohol

Both can be a huge disruptor to sleep. It might seem like a great idea at the time, but the relief will be short and it will result in restless sleep.

6) Listen to pink noise

Unlike the more commonly used white noise, the volume intensity of pink noise decreases as the frequency increases – think beach waves, rainfall, or whale sounds. 

A study by Front Neurology found that listening to pink noise decreased the time participants took to fall asleep by up to 38%.

7) Move your body

Make an effort to make time to keep your body moving. Whether it’s light stretching, a little stroll, or even just keeping your arms and legs moving in your seat. Most forms of travel involve long periods of inactivity, which isn’t good for your body and can throw off your sleep cycle.

So there you have it. If you’ve got an upcoming trip then make sure you follow these tips and we’re sure you'll be dropping off to sleep in no time at all.