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Travelling A Lot? Your Sleep May Be Suffering

There’s nothing that opens your mind and experiences like travel! People travel for different reasons. For some, travelling is a part of their work. For others, travelling means taking a vacation, exploring new places, and getting to know different cultures. Whatever your reason is, travel can impact your life positively. 

However, it can sometimes impact on your sleep cycle. Disrupted sleep during a trip can dampen your holiday spirit or can affect your work. Implementing effective ways to overcome sleep issues during the journey and the rest of your trip can make your travel plans purposeful.

In what ways does travel impact your sleep?

Travelling can be fun, de-stressing, or load you with new experiences and learning. But all the excitement and fun can be accompanied by some downsides as well. If you are a frequent traveller, you will have by trial and error learnt ways to overcome these pitfalls. Now let us see the factors that impact your sleep during a trip.

  • Change in schedule: If you are on a business trip or a vacation there will be a disruption in your sleep schedule. If you are on a business trip you try to cram all your meetings and other tasks within the given time. In the bargain, allotting some time for sleep will take a back seat. Similarly, when you are on a vacation, you would like to experience the most of the trip and visit all the important places at the destination which will impact your sleep time.

  • Inability to adjust to a new sleep environment: Some of you may not feel comfortable sleeping in any other setting other than your own bedroom. Adjusting to a different sleep environment becomes difficult and your sleep will be disrupted.

  • Uncomfortable sleep settings: Sleep settings normally change with the place. You will all along be used to a particular sleep setting. The mattress, light settings, surroundings, etc., all have a great effect on your sleep. Some of you are lucky to adapt to any sleep setting and manage to get a good night's sleep. Some may find it difficult the first night. Whereas some of you will not be able to adjust to the changed settings throughout the trip.  If you fall under the third category, you will end up with sleep issues throughout the trip which can be a spoiler. 

  • Change in the normal routine: Travel is considered a welcome change to the regular routine. When you are on a vacation, you will have the advantage of trying different cuisines. You will not have the compulsion to follow a regular routine. With all this, you will end up consuming more alcohol and also overeat. This can greatly disturb your sleep pattern. Exercising regularly will impact sleep quality to a great extent. Travel can disturb your exercise routine which reflects in your sleep pattern.

    • Jet lag: If you are continuously travelling across different time zones your circadian rhythm will go for a toss. The circadian rhythm will be adjusted to the time zone of your hometown and it will take time to adjust to the local time zone.

    You will recover from jet lag within a few days or a few weeks. The time your body takes to adjust to the local time zone will define the time you will take to come out of the jet lag.

    Tips To Improve Sleep When Travelling

    Choosing a red-eye flight or an overnight bus or train to budget your travel is a good choice if you are able to sleep on board. If not, you will end up compromising on the quality of your trip. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for improving sleep while travelling. There are, however, some tips you can follow which help you with the sleep issue. 

    Avoid Stress Before Travel 

    Do not keep the preparations for the trip like packing, planning the trip schedule, etc for the last minute. Prepare a list of requirements for the trip and equip yourself with the same much ahead of the travel date.  Set to the airport much earlier to avoid the last-minute rush.

    Plan A Vacation During Non-Peak Season

    Choose a non-peak season to plan a holiday. Holidays are meant to be stress-free. There will be less confusion and you may even get more space to stretch out and sleep better. Getting preferable seating will also be possible when there is not much crowd. Hotel bookings of your choice will also be possible in non-peak seasons and you will not have to compromise on your comfort.

    Measures To Prevent Travel Fatigue

    Being sleep deprived is a big fat reason for travel fatigue. Devising ways to get good sleep on board is the best way to prevent travel fatigue. How do we do this?

    • Dress to comfort and carry warm clothes just in case it turns out to be chilly there.
    • Recline when you want to sleep. Studies have shown that a reclined position improves sleep quality.
    • Cover your eyes and block the surrounding noise with earphones or earplugs.
    • Carry a pillow for head support.
    • Do not have a hectic schedule on the first few days of your trip. Spare more time for sleep. 
    • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water all through your trip. Sanitize frequently to keep away from germs. 

    Stick to Healthy Habits

    Binge eating is a part of a good vacation. Exploring different cuisine is exciting. Besides, all this you should try to adhere to some healthy habits like 

    • Consuming alcohol and caffeine in moderation as it can imbalance your sleep cycle.
    • Engaging in some sort of exercise.
    • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga.


    Whether it is a pleasure trip or a business trip, there is bound to be some impact on your sleep. If you can sleep in transit, most of the travel problems are solved. But if you can’t, then your work schedule can go haywire or your vacation excitement can be dampened. Follow some of the tips to overcome your sleep issues while travelling to get the best out of either your business trip or vacation.


    What is jet lag?

    If you are travelling across different time zones your circadian rhythm takes time to adjust to the local time zone. This is jet lag.

    How to overcome jet lag?

    Getting some light can help revive your circadian rhythm. Go for a walk in the morning or spend some time in the sun. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

    Does travel affect your sleep?

    If you are travelling overnight and are unable to get quality sleep, it can hamper your travel schedule. If you are on a business trip or participating in an event, you will not be able to give your 100%. If you are on a vacation, you will not be able to reap the best out of your holiday.

    What is travel fatigue?

    If you are on a long holiday, being constantly alert for prolonged periods during the trip can exhaust you. Travel fatigue can make you disinterested in exploring new things or enjoying various cultures and cuisines.

    Can travel be stressful?

    Travel can be exciting and sometimes life-changing too. But at times it gets too stressful as well. This could be due to disturbed routines, language barriers, unforeseen circumstances, and majorly a lack of sleep.

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