You know the type… they breeze through the airport, never ever running to catch a flight or looking close to tears at the back of the long security line. They manage to look effortlessly chic yet casual, like they rolled out of bed with a relaxed sense of purpose. They even had time to stop and pick up a healthy, delicious-looking takeout meal, darn them! What’s their secret?
We don’t know. If we did, we’d tell you. We’ve eaten WAY too many lousy $10 sandwiches in airports, ourselves. But here’s what we DO know:
Sleep is a superpower.
It’s hard to stay on track with your sleep when traveling, but if you can make it a priority, you’ll reap the rewards. The good experiences will feel that much better; the not-so-good experiences will bother you less. (We recommend calling any unfortunate mishaps “adventures” – said with a smile, if you can manage it.)
How do we suggest you do this? Try treating yourself like a professional athlete. (Hey, not everyone can afford a "Sleep Whisperer"... but we can read about the experience!)
- Do your best to stick to a consistent sleep routine. Parents know how important this is for their kids, but somehow we adults forget that our own bedtime is sacred.
- If you can bring elements of a familiar sleep environment with you, such as a pillow, white noise machine, or your favorite soothing scent – all the better.
- When traveling across time zones, it can be helpful to try to adjust in advance. Light therapy can be useful for accomplishing this. Conversely, if your trip is a short one, you may want to try NOT to adjust to the new time zone. It'll make the transition home that much easier.
- Finally, remember that no one is perfect, and we all have sleepless nights from time to time. Relax – try not to stress out about it – and be glad you’re not about to play in the Super Bowl or something - then approach the next evening with every expectation of sleep success.