While it’s recommended adults get eight hours of sleep a night, the average working adult gets about six. A lack of rest is often compounded by excess coffee and sugary foods to help keep us awake. In turn, too much caffeine and sugar lead to difficulty falling asleep at night, creating a cycle that becomes incredibly hard to break, especially if you’re on the road in a different time zone, just trying to keep your eyes open.
Sure, you know you should be sleeping more hours. That’s an easy one. But have you ever stopped to consider that maybe the six hours of sleep you are getting aren’t necessarily restful? What if you could make those hours qualitative and improve how you feel overall?
Willing yourself to sleep doesn’t always work. Here are five simple techniques you can put into play to improve the hours you manage to snag:
1. Choose the right hotel.
A hotel isn’t just a place to lay your head at the end of the day. Its environment can affect you mentally, physically and emotionally. If the lobby is a club, if the walls are too thin, if the pillows are too high and give your neck a cramp, then you're setting yourself up for poor-quality sleep.
2. Create an oasis.
Make your hotel room into a refuge by pampering yourself with healthy treats you don’t always give yourself at home. Pour in the bath salts for a soak in the tub. Designate the space as your own personal quiet zone, and never turn on the TV. All these things will naturally aid your body in winding down and preparing for sleep.
3. Do a smartphone detox.
Texting and emailing before bed incites anxiety, especially if you stay up waiting for a response. Shut off your phone at least 45 minutes before you close your eyes so you’re not tempted to keep checking it. This will help both your mind and body relax.
4. Sleep naked.
Yep, you heard me! Your skin has to breathe to stay healthy. Sleeping in the buff can clear up skin irritations and regulate your body temperature, both of which contribute to disruptive sleep when left unchecked. Keep the room temperature at a cool 65°F, and you’ll even burn calories overnight as your body works a bit harder to stay warm.
5. Keep the blinds cracked and wake up naturally.
One of the best ways to harmonize your day is to sync your circadian rhythm. Since your circadian rhythm influences your sleep-wake cycles, by leaving the blinds cracked, your body will be naturally inclined to complete all the sleep cycles before you’re up and ready to start your day.