Better Sleep Tips for the Road

Better Sleep Tips for the Road

(ARA)- Sleepless in a strange city? On the road, quality sleep can be even more elusive than it is at home. At the beginning of the summer travel season, inconvenient delays and even time zone changes can wreak havoc on your schedule, making sleep more important than ever. And, since May is Better Sleep Month, it is an ideal time to take steps to gain some well-needed shut-eye on the road.
"Even at home, sleeping well can seem like a dream come true. When you're traveling, it's especially hard," says Pete Bils, senior director of Sleep Innovation and chair of the Sleep Advisory Board for Select Comfort. "That's why it's important to customize your sleeping environment to help you cope with the added stress and difficult sleeping conditions on the road and to help you gain restorative sleep."
More than one in three American adults say they rarely get a good night's sleep when traveling, according to the 2005 Travel Sleep Habits Survey conducted by Select Comfort and Radisson Hotels & Resorts. In fact, more than half (55 percent) say they would choose to bring their own bed above all other comforts of home while traveling. That not being practical, however, two out of every five (42 percent) say they would be more likely to stay at a hotel where they could adjust the firmness of the room's mattress.
Bils offers the following tips to ensure better sleep on the road:
* Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment. Test the hotel's pillows for comfort; exchange them if they aren't to your liking or travel with your own. Make sure to eliminate excessive sources of light and keep the thermostat set to around 65-70 degrees. If you are a "light" sleeper, request a room away from elevators, stairs and vending areas. Mask unwanted noise by using the fan-only setting on the air conditioner, which provides an excellent source of steady volume.
*Feel Right at Home. Mimic your home sleep environment as much as possible. For example, if your hotel room features a Sleep Number bed, you can adjust the firmness of the mattress to your exact preference. Radisson Hotels & Resorts now offers custom-designed Sleep Number beds by Select Comfort in all its hotels throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
* Iron and Organize. Relieve stress by preparing your attire for the next day in advance. Unpack your toiletries. If you have forgotten any essentials (toothbrush, shave kit, etc.), call the front desk and get a replacement before you go to sleep.
* Test the Alarm Clock. Arrange a wake-up call and set the alarm clock. Make sure that the current time and the alarm time both have the correct AM/PM designations. Also, make sure the buzzer or radio is loud enough to wake you.
* Plan Your Itinerary. To compensate for jet lag, arrive at your destination in the early evening whenever possible. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime. If you live far from the airport and have an early morning flight or anticipate bad weather, plan to stay the night at a hotel near the airport and use the hotel's parking and shuttle service. Pre-pack your suitcases the day before your flight and set aside a special bag for personal grooming items that you use just for traveling.
*Avoid Alcohol and Stimulants. While alcohol may make you feel sleepy initially, it can actually interfere with a good night's sleep. Avoid caffeine after 2:00 p.m.
* Get Outside and Move Around. Exposure to sunlight helps to adjust your internal clock, so try taking a walk upon waking or a light jog in the morning sun. If you are traveling for business and work can't wait, try to find a room with lots of natural light and sit near a window.
"While sleeping well on a consistent basis is always important for our health and happiness, it can be a savior at times of heightened activity and stress," adds Bils. "Whether you're traveling for business or for pleasure, you're bound to be busy and even stressed. Quality, restful sleep can mean the difference between sleep-walking through your trip and truly seizing its every moment."

Courtesy of ARA Content