If I had a dollar for every night that I didn't sleep well on travel, I'd have retired by now. This affects my ability to lose weight and keep it off. It affects my ability to stick to the Keto lifestyle because I want to eat more. It affects my daily happiness. The effects of a lack of sleep are awful and include things like:
- Weight Gain
- Trouble Concentrating and Recollection
- Higher Risk of Heart Disease
- Decreased Happiness
- High Blood Pressure
There's no lack of reasons we can't sleep when we travel, but I've found ways to cope in places that are bright, uncomfortable spaces, unfamiliar spaces, and pretty much every airport lounge on the East Coast. Below are some clever ways to hack your sleep and improve your well-being on the road.
This is one I use as a staple. I bring it everywhere with me when I travel. Melatonin tells your body it's time to go to sleep. Personally, I use Nature Made Melatonin + L-Theanine as it packs a 1-2 punch of Melatonin to help you ease into better sleep and L-Theanine which helps you relax and chill out a bit as you wind down a busy day of travel.
Embrace the Darkness
I don't know what the hell is wrong with hotels, but these places are nightmares for sleep. The place you go to sleep has bright lights (Blue, red, green, you name it), Alarms that go off at 2am, and people that have no basic decency in the rooms next to you. It's a fucking mess and it's down-right painful most days.
Here's what I recommend: Get a sleep mask and a set of headphones. I personally use these Bluetooth Sleep Headphones. This helps not only block out the light, but really dampen the noise. I also like to listen to some music, a show, whatever else that's not the noisy asshole next door as I drift off to sleep.
Night caps are lies. That's the long and short of this. While we all love a good drink at the end of a long day, frequenting the hotel bar late at night is for suckers and folks who don't give a shit about their diet.
Not only does this pack on the calories, but this inhibits your sleep. It may initially help put you to sleep, but your sleep quality is gonna suck. Like... really suck. Likely you'll have to pee your brains out all night long and you'll be dehydrated.
Just skip the night cap. You'll be glad you did in the morning!
Now, this one is something I don't do, but I've heard so much about from other travelers: Bring something that's yours like a pillow. Bring something familiar. Be weird and carry a blanket. Whatever works. Bring something that is a touch of home because being in a new place every night is hard. Being in a new place even sometimes is hard. Make it feel like home and give your brain a sense of knowing where you're at!
Das Sound Machine
Find yourself a good portable sound machine if headphones don't work for you. I've personally seen some good results with this Travel Sound Machine. The ultimate goal is to drown out the drunk dude walking down the hall at 3am, the person taking an unusually loud phone call, or the apparently deaf person listening to the TV next door. Find a way to drown out the noise and get some consistency when you sleep. It's important!
First, unplug anything with a light. Blue and green are especially harsh, so unplug them. Second, unplug the alarm. Some ass hat, for some reason, probably turned the alarm on for 3am.
Finally, turn off your damn phone. Shut the laptop. Turn off the TV. Read a book. Do some push ups. Perhaps try some Travel Friendly Workouts.*
All of that light in your eyes tells your body it's time to be up, jacks with your circadian rythyms, and frankly, that alarm clock is gonna get thrown through a window at 3am. Take care to guard against the excess light and noise and I promise you'll sleep better!