Bring Your Own Pillow
Bring your own pillow with you. This is one of the things that will remind you of home, and the smell of your own pillow might be just what you need to relax and fall asleep. We often associate smells with certain activities, places, people, or things. And, if you’re bringing your pillow with you, it will have your unique “smell” embedded in it (unless it’s brand new). If you’re traveling away for a trip, and you’re away from your spouse or kids, you could bring something of theirs from home. It might help you relax enough so you can get to sleep.
Bring Your Own Pajamas
Bring your own pajamas or get some Sleepyheads flannel pajamas. Pajamas are an almost universal symbol of sleep. Wearing them helps get you ready for bed because they are the only clothes anyone ever wears to bed. Just like you wear a suit to the office, or maybe just a sports coat, you wear pajamas to bed. So, bringing them with you to the hotel will help you establish the right mindset for sleep.
Bring Ear Plugs
You’ll need these only if it’s noisy outside. If you live in the country, and you’re visiting a big city, you will definitely want to bring some earplugs. If you’re a city person, and you’re visiting the country, you might be surprised by the amount of noise crickets can make. You may find yourself in need to the earplugs just to block out “white noise” that you’re not used to.
Bring A Sleep Mask
A sleep mask is good if you don’t have light-blocking curtains in your hotel. Most have them, but if yours doesn’t, or if they’re not good enough, then you’ll need a sleep mask. It will surround you in total darkness, which will keep you from being distracted or disturbed by ambient light, or the street light fighting its way into your hotel room through the slit in the curtain.
Bring Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a great natural sleep aid, according to WebMD. Don’t drink too much though or your bladder will be too full and you’ll be waking up for a different reason in the middle of the night.
Bring Your Routine
If you have a bedtime routine, bring everything you need to make it happen. Maybe you like to pray before bed. Maybe you like to meditate. Maybe you enjoy reading. Whatever you do before you slip under the covers, make sure you bring whatever prayer pillows, yoga mats, or books you need to make it happen. A good routine for most people is to put on pajamas, brush and floss teeth, and then find something relaxing to read - fiction or self-help books that don’t take a lot of brainpower to process. You might read a human interest piece in a magazine or a novel by your favorite author. You might enjoy settling in with some television before bed. But, if you do this, make sure you bring blue-blocking glasses. Why? Because, according to Harvard University, blue light from electronics can make it harder for you to get to sleep.
When all else fails, 300mcg of melatonin will help you fall asleep. Melatonin is a hormone that’s normally released in your body at night. This hormone is responsible for forcing your body to shut down so that you fall asleep. Some people find that this is the only way they can get to sleep in a strange place. It’s also very helpful if you’re traveling overseas or across time zones and you’re trying to acclimate to the new time zone. Because it’s a hormone, you don’t want to rely on it for regular sleep. This is a sleep aid that should only be used when nothing else seems to work and when you need to get a good night’s sleep. It’s also a good way to readjust your circadian rhythm.
Madeleine Burgess works as a sleep specialist. She likes to share her experiences on the web. Her articles appear on many lifestyle websites.