30 April 2012


Sleep is crucial for our regular, day to day, life. Traveling doesn’t diminish the need for it either, in fact, it’s more crucial to be rested when you’re traveling. Being out of our comfort zone had be stressful, even if we’re not conscious of the stress. Paying attention to road signs, time, ETA’s, managing luggage, and always making sure you have all the documents you need on hand in unfamiliar settings uses up more energy than normal.

Sleep patterns and energy levels are hugely affected, add to the mix that you may not get a chance to sleep comfortably for a while yet, particularly if you’re flying for more than 4 hours. Learning how to sleep upright or at a whim is not something easily learned or accomplished under the best circumstances, but here’s a website with good tips on sleeping on airplanes. Some tips for jet lag as well.

For road trips, sleeping can be just as much of a challenge, particularly with long drives. Reclining a seat is easier but not necessarily more comfortable. And convincing yourself to pull over on the side of the road for a few minutes isn’t necessarily easy either. Depending on the highway shoulders, turn offs, or rest stops available to you. Caffeine and food might help keep you awake, but if you’re tired enough your body will shut down and it’s best to find strategies to prevent that from falling asleep at the wheel.

My tips for road trip sleep:
Pack in advance (or have a go bag) so that you can get at least 6-8 hours sleep the night before. Make sure your car has a pillow and blanket for everybody in the car.
Have a good play list. Radio stations are unreliable for good entertainment.
Have a good breakfast, one with protein.
Caffeine isn’t bad, but save energy drinks for desperate measures.
Eat as you get hungry, not just for something to do. Being full or stuffed makes you sleepy.
Pack along some gum.
Every 4 hours stop, get out of the car and walk around for 5 min.
If this doesn’t wake you up, then pull over and snooze.

Hopefully road trips are planned with people that will talk to you instead of doze off. Good conversation can keep you awake and pass the time much faster than anything else. General road trip tips and tips to sleeping in a car.

Any sleeping tips to share?

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