We all love getting away now and then from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Or perhaps you've been spending the summer with friends or family. But let's face it, your friend's bed or those beds at an inn can't compare to the comfy feeling of your own bed.
So there isn't any doubt you, like most people, have difficulty sleeping when you're not in it. There are lots of ways to make sure you get a great night's sleep while you're away from home and, today, we'll examine a few of them to help make that happen.
1. Know Your Surroundings
It seems obvious that your sleep space changes when your environment is altered. But these changes, no matter how small, could prevent you from slipping into slumber.
No matter where you're staying, one thing to consider is the room temperature. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping temperature is 65˚ F. However, if you're staying with friends, you might not have the option of adjusting their thermostat; but bringing, or buying, a small fan to blow on you will certainly help keep you cool enough to fall asleep.
Distracting sounds—like wildlife, traffic or a rattling air conditioner—or the tiniest fragment of light—from a street light, neon sign or even the moon—could also be an issue. In either case, your body may not produce enough melatonin for you to sleep. So plan ahead and bring an eye mask or some earplugs. Granted, for some people, ear plugs can be uncomfortable to sleep with. So maybe a better idea to stifle those noises is to download an app of white noise onto your smartphone—or perhaps that small fan will do the job!
2. Prepare for Your Situation
This continues from the last tip—you should always have some idea of what your sleeping situation will be. If you have to stay in a hotel, surveying the reviews on TripAdvisor is a terrific idea. It's important info if the hotel is located on a busy road or near construction because that could interfere with your shuteye. Likewise, you'll want to find out if people grumbled about the service or cleanliness of their rooms.
If you're camping out on a friend's or family member's couch, find out their normal wake-up time so you won't be startled when you hear noises in the kitchen in the mornings. To make for a cozier night's sleep, see if they'll loan you extra pillows and blankets.
3. Take Along Some of Home
"Oh, the comforts of home." That's not just a cute saying but rather it means that there are certain items we all have that calm us when we're home. So why not help yourself (or your family) feel more at ease and take some of those items with you?
If your kids are going along for the trip, contemplate bringing their favorite toy to keep them entertained. Think about filling your tablet with their favorite TV shows or movies. Of course, you can't forget to take the essential bedtime story and their adored stuffed animal to aid in their sleepy time.
But your relaxing influences are just as important in getting a good night's sleep. So be sure to pack those fuzzy slippers you cherish, your favorite book, your e-reader or that delicious chocolatey snack that you just have to have every evening. Maybe you could even bring your pet along—as long as where you're staying is pet-friendly. Have you discovered that you don't sleep well on strange pillows? Then bring your pillow along too! Your comforts of home will help you reach dreamland faster in an unfamiliar place.
4. Keep to Your Bedtime Routine
Everyone has a bedtime routine when they're at home. When you're away from home, attempt to stick to that routine as much as possible. Doing so will let you sleep better in a new environment. Likewise, when you go home you won't struggle with sleep as you get back into your nighttime routine.
Bedtime routines are especially necessary for your kids if they're in an unfamiliar place. Helping them to relax before bed is the key to ensuring they get to sleep quickly. So if you give them a bedtime bath and a story at home, don't skip these rituals just because you're on vacation. Remember, if they don't sleep, you don't sleep.
The same holds true for you too. Your body needs to be in wind-down mode at the end of the day; in fact, your body's used to it and expects it. Perhaps your usual bedtime ritual is to do some yoga or enjoy one cup of delicious chamomile tea. Well then, bring your yoga mat or chamomile tea along and let peace and calm wash over you just in time for bed!
5. Allow Some Time
Are you one of the lucky people who can fall asleep right when your head touches the pillow even if your sleeping arrangements have changed? If so, that's great! But you still might not be getting the proper night's sleep your body needs due to being in a strange bed. You might toss and turn in your sleep without even knowing it—no bed is as comfy as your own, right? Maybe you've scheduled everything out on your vacation; if so, that means waking up to an alarm each morning. Making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep means going to bed at a decent hour.
"But I'm going to be on vacation," you think. "That's what vacation is for—staying up late!" But what's the point of staying up until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning if you're too tired to enjoy the festivities of the next day?
If it usually takes you 15 minutes to go to sleep, give yourself 30 minutes. If you don't fall asleep in that time, don't be exasperated. Your body may require extra time to get used to sleeping on a sofa or a different bed. Another possibility is that your brain could be energized by your new location. So if, after a half hour, you're still awake perform this relaxation technique and that should do the trick!
The next time you are going to be spending some time away from your home—whether on a trip to Disney World with the kids or just on summer or winter break from college—try some of these magnificent tips to help you get a proper night's sleep. You just might find that you'll sleep as well as you do in your own bed.If you'd like some other great sleeping tips or information on our products, please contact us.