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As an airline pilot, I've developed a list of sleep tips.
That's because I must spend many nights in hotel rooms and I must always be well rested when flying.
Many of these travel rest tips can also improve your sleep at home.
In addition to these great travel rest tips, there are some key travel accessories that I use to assure a great night sleep. They help while recovering from jet lag or sleeping at unusual hours, even in the noisiest locations.
The main reasons people have trouble sleeping well in hotel rooms are:
* Temperature and humidity
* Uncomfortable pillows
* Uncomfortable bed
* Recovering from jet lag
* Being in a strange place
* Not employing sleep strategies
#1- Dealing with Noise
Noise can be the greatest hindrance to travel rest. The good news is there is quite a bit you can do about noise to get some good hotel rest.
Getting a good night's sleep in your hotel room begins as you drive up to your hotel.
Pay attention to potential noise sources near the hotel.
When you check in, before they give you your room assignment, specifically ask for a "quite room". If the highway or airport is on one side of the hotel, mention that and ask for a room on the other side of the building.
When I arrive outside my room, I pause and survey the area for potential noise sources.
If my room is in a bad location, I don't even enter the room. I just head back down to the desk and politely ask for a room in a more quiet location.
The only way to guarantee good travel rest in a noisy place is with a white noise machine.
If I were to give you only one sleep tip, it would be to get a white noise machine. It is a must-have travel accessory.
A white noise machine allows you to sleep in noisy places by producing background noise. This background noise doesn't register to your mind, and masks the noises that disturb sleep.
To read more about these incredible devices and learn which one I recommend, go to http://www.pilot-pauls-travel-accessories.com/white-noise-machine.html
#2- Dealing with Light
Hotel room curtains rarely close completely. Use some clothespins to clip the curtains together.
The other thing that will help you sleep in a room that has light is a good sleep mask. I review several different ones at http://www.pilot-pauls-travel-accessories.com/sleep-mask.html
#3- Dealing with Temperature Changes
It's wise to get the temperature adjusted as soon as you get to your room. That's because if you wait until you go to bed, it's likely that you'll awaken because you're either too hot or too cold.
Sometimes hotel air conditioners make noisy clunking sounds when they cycle on and off. If you have a white noise machine, that's usually not a problem. If you don't, you might try to get a quieter room.
#4- Dealing with Uncomfortable Pillows
One of the hardest parts of adjusting to a different bed is not really the bed itself. It's the pillows. The pillows at the hotel are rarely like what you are used to at home.
There is a fantastic solution to this that's made a huge difference to me. You can get a small, memory foam travel pillow that gives you a consistent pillow wherever you sleep. You can read reviews and recommendations of these at http://www.pilot-pauls-travel-accessories.com/contour-travel-pillow.html
#5- Dealing with Uncomfortable Beds
This is also something that you want to figure out as soon as you get to your room. Not when it's late, you're tired, all ready for bed and when there are no more rooms available.
As soon as I get into my room, I sit and lie down on the bed to make sure that it is comfortable. If it's not, I head back sown to the front desk and ask if they have any rooms with newer beds.
#6- If You're Recovering From Jet Lag. This is a major factor after long east/west flights. It is an extensive subject that I have written quite a bit about.
To learn tips and strategies for dealing with jet lag, go to: http://www.Pilot-Pauls-Travel-Accessories.com/jet-lag.html
#7- Make sure that you're satisfied with the Room cleanliness.
Whether it's perceived of a reality, if you think that the room or bed you are sleeping in isn't clean, it will affect your sleep. This is especially true if you think the bedding isn't clean.
You can easily bring your own bedding by using a contour travel pillow and dreamsack. I have detailed information about them on my web site at www.pilot-pauls-travel-accessories.com/sleep-tips.html
#8- Make things just like at home.
Create a routine and environment as close to what you are accustomed to as possible.
Make sure that your room reflects your smoking preferences.
Develop and practice a regular pre-sleep routine. Studies have shown that you can teach your body and mind that it's time to relax and prepare for sleep. If you do this at home as well as while traveling, you'll likely fall asleep more easily.
Keep your sleep time sacred and minimize other responsibilities before trying to go to bed. You should avoid worrying or working in your bedroom.
#9- Manage your Hunger.
If you're hungry before bed, eat a light snack. Otherwise, your hunger can delay your falling asleep.
Having some snacks available in your hotel room requires some advanced planning, unless the mini-bar prices don't bother you.
Don't eat a heavy meal before bed. This will disrupt your sleep because your stomach will be busy digesting your food.
Here are some snacks that travel well: dried fruit, nuts, power or granola bars.
If you're thirsty before bedtime, drink a small quantity of water.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine for several hours before bed.
#10- Don't watch the clock.
Turn the clock around so you can't see it. If you're having trouble sleeping, your awareness of the time and your thoughts of how late it is or how soon you have to get up will only make it harder to sleep.
Make sure that you have multiple alarms set, and then don't worry about over-sleeping. I usually get a wake-up call, set the room clock and also my travel clock.
If you can't fall asleep within about 30 minutes, don't keep lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Instead, get up and do an activity that will help you relax.
Studies have shown that there are two main lifestyle habits that can promote good sleep:
Exercise Regularly. This will help you sleep better, but it is important not to exercise too close to bedtime. Otherwise you body won't cool down and relax in time for you to fall asleep.
Eat a balanced diet. This will help your overall health as well as improve your sleep.
That's just a brief overview. I highly recommend that you read my complete sleep tips article before you go on your next trip. Print it and take it with you. You can find it at: