How to Get a Good Nights Sleep While Traveling
the holiday season finally at a close, it's time to set
aside some quality time for your own rest, relaxation
and recovery. More than 30 million Americans packed up
for holiday destinations last month and unfortunately,
many are arriving home tired, crabby and bleary-eyed from
sleepless nights endured along the way.
Getting a good night's sleep while traveling can be a
challenge, especially in unfamiliar hotel rooms. In fact,
95 percent of American adults say they rarely get a good
night's sleep while traveling, according to a 2005 Travel
Sleep Habits Survey conducted by Radisson Hotels &
Resorts and Select Comfort.
Factors that contribute to sleeplessness range from unfamiliar
mattresses and pillows to unusual diets, unconventional
schedules and multiple time zone changes. The stress of
travel can also create a vicious cycle: frustration at
not being able to sleep begets stress, and stress continues
to rob travelers of sleep, which ruins not only their
night but the next day as well.
So before you pack up for your next travel adventure,
let's discuss how to stop counting sheep and actually
get some sleep. The key is to create a cozy, sleep-friendly
environment in your hotel room so you can arrive at your
destination refreshed and ready to enjoy all it has to
Create a sleep-friendly environment
If you are a "light" sleeper, request a quiet
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. Before crawling into bed, eliminate sources of
excess light and keep the thermostat set to around 65-70
degrees or consider turning it off.
Mimic your home sleep environment as much as possible.
For example, if your hotel room features a Select Comfort
Sleep Number ® bed, you can adjust the mattress to
your exact prefer-ence. Test the hotel's pillows for comfort
and exchange them if they aren't to your liking. Many
hotels offer a variety of pillows, allowing you to choose
pillows of varying levels of firmness.
Plan your itinerary
Arrive at your hotel in the early evening to ensure that
your room is ready and waiting for you. It will help to
compensate for jet lag, and give you time to get acclimated
to your new surroundings. 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. Guests who stay at a Radisson can
use "Express Yourself" and check in online up
to seven days prior to arrival as well as note their stay
Get outside and move around
Exposure to sunlight in the morning helps adjust your
internal clock, so try taking a walk or a light jog outside
upon waking. If you can't avoid working on your computer
while traveling, try to find a room with lots of natural
light and sit near a window. If the hotel has an exercise
room, take advantage of it and its recreational amenities,
such as a pool and whirlpool.
Iron and organize
Relieve stress by preparing your attire for the next day
in advance. Unpack your toiletries. If you have forgotten
any essentials, such as a toothbrush or shave kit, call
the front desk and get a replacement before you go to
Test the alarm clock
Arrange a wake-up call and set the alarm clock. Make sure
the current time and the alarm time both have the correct
a.m. and p.m. designations. Also, make sure the buzzer
or radio is loud enough to wake you. If you can sleep
in, put the Do Not Disturb sign on your hotel room door
and arrange for a late check-out.
Avoid alcohol and stimulants
Tempting as it may be to relax with a cocktail before
retiring for the night, alcohol will only make you feel
sleepy initially, and will interfere with your ability
to stay asleep throughout the night.
For a list of Radisson hotels with Sleep
Number beds, log on to www.selectcomfort.com or www.radisson.com.
1- 2005 Travel Sleep Habits Survey conducted by Caravan
® Opinion Research Corporation for Select Comfort
and Radisson Hotels & Resorts.