Better Sleep Tips for Business Trips
Road warriors need sound sleep to be at their peak.
Traveling Over Time Zones continued...
In general, "losing" time is more difficult to adjust to than
"gaining" time. Traveling east we lose time; west we gain. An
"earlier" bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased
wakefulness during the early part of the night. Going west, we fall asleep
easily but may have a difficult time waking.
Generally, it takes about one day to adjust for each hour of time change. A
trip across one time zone for a couple of days should not cause much of a
problem for most people.
You can re-set your internal clock to adapt more quickly to the time
changes. Your circadian rhythm is internally generated but is influenced by the
environment, behavior, and medications. It is important to expose yourself to
the light during the waking hours as much as possible, and conversely, do not
expose yourself to bright light when it is dark outside. Even the light from a
computer screen or turning the light on in the bathroom in the middle of the
night can adversely affect your sleep.
Take steps before your trip to ensure you'll get adequate sleep on the
- Plan ahead. Packing your luggage, finishing presentations, family
affairs, confirming flight and hotel reservations, printing your boarding pass,
getting to the airport on-time ... a little planning goes a long way. Leaving
things to the last minute increases stress and may cause a late-night bedtime,
the last thing you need. You may also want time your flight to arrive in the
morning when losing several hours of sleep to get that light cue to help re-set
- Be sleep-ready. Get a sleep kit ready to go and leave it in your
toiletry bag. Ear plugs, eye covers, some of your favorite soothing music,
perhaps a vial of lavender oil -- they will come in handy on the plane or in
- Exercise and eat right the day before your trip to give yourself an
edge for some sound sleep. (More on that below.)
- Get some sleep. Don't start off on the wrong side of the bed. Make
sure you are well-rested before you start your trip. It will pay big
- Dress for success. Wear something comfortable, loose-fitting, and
layered. You never know if it will be too hot or too cold on the plane.
- Stress less -- expect travel delays. It's just the cost of doing
business and it's beyond your control. So let go. If your expectations are in
line with reality, you will be much less frustrated and upset. It is a good
time to read that book that has been on your nightstand for the last few