Confession: I’m not a naturally good sleeper. Never have been, never will be, I’m afraid. Over the years, I’ve figured out a few tricks, tried a few things that didn’t work (does melatonin give anyone else vivid, horrific nightmares?), and dealt with jet lag on six continents. Here are a few things that work for me. Every body is a little bit different, so there’s no fix that works for everyone, but if you need some ideas, here are a few things to try.
Wear an Eye Mask
My husband wears an eye mask every night, whether we’re traveling or at home! It helps him sleep, especially since I usually stay up a little later to read with my bedside light on. These are inexpensive, easy to pack, and a quick solution to block out light from the sun (hello, midnight sun of Canada, Alaska, and Northern Europe!), streetlights outside your hotel room window, or someone else’s light inside your room.
More here: How to Survive Long-haul Travels
This is such a cheap and easy solution! If noises disturb you, you can literally block them out. Pro tip: Roll them tightly into a cylinder to put inside your ears, and put them in quickly so they can conform to the inside of your ear canal. This is what keeps them snuggly inside and cancels out the noise. Choose from reusable or disposable.
Turn on Some White Noise
This actually doesn’t work for me, but I’m including it here because I know it works for many others. There are plenty of apps out there that will play white noise as long as you need it, such as the Calm app and others. If you use something like this at home, this will be particularly useful in helping you sleep away from home. The two below are small enough to pack and effective enough to use at home, too!
Read next: The Best Hotel Amenities in the World
Use Your Regular Nightly Routine
This is not always easy or possible when traveling, but try your best! When you travel, try to do your teeth brushing, contacts removing, face washing, and whatever else your nightly routine includes on a regular basis. These signals are familiar to your body and will let it know that it’s time to sleep, no matter what time it is back home.
Also here: My In-flight Beauty Routine
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
I know, I know, I’m no fun. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever have these things, it just means keep them at a reasonable minimum. Unless I’m actually trying to stay awake later, I stop all caffeine at 10:00am. I’m not giving up my morning coffee, but I’m also not having one after supper! Give your body enough time to process the things that can agitate your sleep cycle, so you can sleep well when the time is right.
If you get some, make it count: The Best Local Coffee Shops in the USA
Book a Reputable Hotel
This is worth it. Even if it’s just for one night during your trip, book a hotel that has good beds, good sheets, and soundproofing. This is not going to be a hostel, nor is it going to be the cheapest hotel in town. You don’t have to book the most expensive hotel, but plan on budgeting for at least one night in a hotel where you can truly sleep restfully.
Read next: The Most Legendary Hotels in the World
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