How to sleep well no matter where you are — even on a plane.
When it comes to sleep, Dorothy had it right: There’s no place like home. But it’s possible to score a good night’s rest at a hotel, friend’s house, or even during a long flight. You just have to make a few smart moves. The following tips can help you get the zzz’s you need, no matter where you are.
"Your brain goes on high alert when you sleep in a new place."
Bring comforts from home.
Research shows that your brain goes on high alert when you sleep in a new place. This can lead to tossing and turning. Bringing your own pillow or even sheets can help make a strange bed feel more familiar. No room in your suitcase? Pack your pillowcase. If you’re staying at a hotel, request your favorite type of pillow, whether it’s firm or soft.
Pack sleep tools.
Even if you don’t use them at home, bring a sleep mask and earplugs. They block out those middle-of-those-night noises and lights. A relaxing scent, such as lavender, can also help you doze off peacefully.
Choose the right seat.
Flying a red-eye? Book a window seat on the side that you sleep on. That way, you can snooze on your favorite side without cuddling up to another passenger. Dress in comfy clothes, and use a neck pillow for support.
Tackle jet lag.
It’s past midnight, but your body tells you that it’s still daytime. To sync your internal clock to a new time zone, get outside and soak up some sun. If you can’t keep your eyes open, take a cat nap. Just set an alarm to wake up in 20 to 30 minutes: Snooze any longer, and you’ll wake up feeling groggy instead of refreshed.
Treat the aches and pains.
Your back or head can hurt after a long day of travel. Don’t let pain keep you up. A nighttime pain reliever, such as Advil® PM, can help you sleep soundly.
Follow your bedtime routine.
When you’re in a new place, your usual habits can get turned upside-down. But carve out some time for your normal before-bed activities, such as reading, bathing, or stretching. That can signal to your body that it’s time for sleep.
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