Naps can be hard when traveling. You don’t get to flop down on your own bed or sofa for a nice quiet break. You’re probably sitting upright, surrounded by strangers, in a noisy environment. Ever tried to get some sleep at the airport? It’s often just an exercise in frustration.
But there’s still good reason to squeeze in some shut-eye en route. It can give an energy boost when you’re short on sleep. It can peak your alertness. And it can surely improve your mood.
Fortunately, Nancy H. Rothstein, The Sleep Ambassador®, has some tips for you.
10 tips for taking restorative naps when traveling
- Carry earplugs and an eye mask so you can create a quiet and dark napping space.
- If you are experiencing jet lag or are super busy, block out time for a power nap during your day so that you can be alert and refreshed for meetings or social engagements.
- Keep your sleep time to half an hour or less for effectiveness and efficiency.
- Don’t nap after about 4pm so you don’t compromise your nighttime sleep.
- If your schedule is going to force you to stay up later than usual, plan a late-afternoon power nap.
- If you find yourself struggling to stay awake, don’t fight it. Give in and take a nap so you can arise feeling more alert and refreshed.
- Turn your cell phone on silent so you can nap in peace without interruptions.
- Set your cell phone alarm for 30 minutes or less so you awaken as planned.
- Find a comfortable place to lay your head that is as quiet, cool and dark as possible.
- Don’t nap in your hotel bed – reserve it for sleep so you’ll sleep better.
If you don’t fall asleep but are really tired, use your resting time as a relaxation break. Try practicing a breathing meditation or mindfulness technique.
If it’s not late in the day and you’re really tired, consider having a cup of coffee before a 20-minute snooze. Coffee takes about 20 minutes to kick in, so you’ll wake up energized and ready to take on the day.
Educate yourself on good sleep hygiene. The better you sleep at night, the less you’ll need to nap during the day.
What are some of your strategies for napping when you travel? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to tag #ITravelWell to join the growing wellness travel community!