How To Beat Insomnia and Fall Asleep The Night Before Traveling

August 5, 2022 · Mattress Warehouse

Can’t sleep before vacation? Whether it be excitement, anxiety, or fear, many run into this common obstacle and consequently end up feeling groggy and irritable while traveling. If you want to beat the late night tossing and turning, take note of these tips and tricks and avoid insomnia before travel.

What To Do If You Can’t Sleep Before Traveling

If you know you can’t sleep the night before vacation, there are a few measures you can take to help you drift off.

  1. Be well prepared for your trip before getting into bed. If anxiety is the root of your insomnia before travel, have your suitcase packed, your tickets printed (if need be), and your outfit and snacks laid out. This way, you can rest assured that you are ready to hit the road the following day, and there’s no need to lie in bed worried about your to-do list.
  2. Tire yourself out. The day before traveling, wake up early and make sure you have a busy day, preferably full of physical activity — but no caffeine! You’ll be exhausted come nighttime and your body will crave sleep for restorative purposes.
  3. Ease yourself into sleep. If the second tip doesn’t do the trick, try relaxing by preparing your body and mind for bed. Decaf tea infused with sleep-inducing herbs (like melatonin and valerian root), yoga, meditation, and a warm bath can help you de-stress and unwind, making it easier to fall asleep.
  4. Establish a sleep routine. This takes commitment and weeks of preparation, but it’s a good practice regardless. Get your body into a routine of waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day. Our bodies are biological clocks and this helps regulate our circadian rhythm, making it much easier to fall asleep when our bodies pick up on cues that it’s bedtime.

What To Do If You Can’t Sleep Away From Home

Being unable to sleep when you’re on vacation is a whole other monster. There could be several reasons you can’t sleep away from home, and the reason may affect how you should approach the issue. Here are a few solutions to consider.

  1. Adjust your sleep schedule to match the time difference a few days before traveling. If you can’t sleep away from home because you’re jet-lagged, start sleeping at acceptable times in your destination’s time zone several days before arriving there. This is only a good idea if you’ll be in your destination for more than two to three days, as it will take time to adjust back to your home’s time zone.
  2. Bring a piece of your room with you on vacation. Sometimes people find it difficult to sleep in a new location because of their discomfort with the unfamiliar. Try bringing a pillow, blanket, nightlight, or any sleep accessory you find comforting that will remind you of home. Mimicking your typical sleep environment should help you relax and drift off.
  3. Be mindful of your meals. Eating healthy while traveling can be tricky because you’re constantly out at restaurants and grabbing food on the go. Diet plays an important role in your sleep, which is why it’s smart to eat heavier meals at the beginning of the day and lighter meals at night, as well as avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption and high sugar or heavily processed foods.
  4. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed! The longer you stay awake tossing and turning and pressuring yourself to fall asleep, the less likely you will sleep. In fact, you’ll start associating the bed you’re in with wakefulness and possibly anxiety, producing the opposite of the desired results. Instead, get up and do something calming like reading, stretching, or journaling until you’re tired again.

Follow these steps so that catching up on sleep is a less painful process when you finally return home.

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