We’ve had a very long weekend here in Malaysia the past 4 days, with an additional surprise holiday today, and that’s been boon and bane for many. I returned from my holiday back in my hometown yesterday, and was caught in horrendous traffic along the highway, so I hope no one else is!
As someone with problems falling asleep, travel has always been a hard nut to crack for me. On the one hand, I love travelling. On the other, bedtime in a different room or bed or environment, has always been a bit of a problem, because I have trouble falling asleep. I know I’m not alone!
Here are a few suggestions I have for people who have similar issues, having tried and tested various methods over the years. I’d be happy to know of others, because I’m always on the lookout for anything that helps me go to sleep better, and wake up more rested.
Wear Ear plugs to block out noise
I used to be a fairly heavy sleeper when younger, but now, noise bugs me. I decided to try ear plugs on a bit of a whim, and I never travel without a pair now. You can find ear plugs in the local pharmacies, which I originally used. But I don’t like them, as they are made of a stiffer sponge material, that does not lend itself easily to being inserted into your ear. They are also quite expensive, or I only found them elsewhere.
My ear plugs of choice now are by Hearos, which I bought on iHerb and which you can too. It’s very affordable, at between US$2.50 – US$4.30 for 6 – 14 pairs, which is very affordable. But what I particularly like, is that they are very comfortable and very easy to use, and are long lasting The foam material is very soft and easy to roll and insert into your ear, and it expands and fits your ear canal nicely, blocking out most noises. They come with a handy holder, which I find very useful, and I always make sure it’s in my toiletries bag because travelling with ear plugs has become a necessity for me!
I don’t wear ear plugs to sleep at home, but I do every time I’m sleeping away from my comfort zone. This is especially helpful when you have to share rooms or may have a noisier environment than you are used to – hotel rooms aren’t the quiet oasis they tout themselves to be.
Wear something comfortable to sleep
I used to carry my warmer pyjamas with me when I travel, especially to hotels, because the air-conditioning tends to be very strong. But I learned the hard way, that this is usually compensated by thick duvets provided by the hotels, and I’d end up slowly roasting in bed and barely sleeping while I wrestle to regulate the temperature. So, these days, I travel much lighter. My Uniqlo Airism camisoles are my best friends for travel. Light to wear, lightweight to carry and keeps me cool because I’m sensitive to heat.
Essential oils can help you sleep better
I’ve been facing some sleep issues recently even at home, and in recent times, essential oils have helped me. I usually use a dab of lavender oil on my wrists and behind my ears before bed, and I find it helpful to help me relax. Previously, I used to drop the lavender oil on a piece of tissue on my pillow. That helps too. I find that because these oils are familiar to me, they mask any smells I might be uncomfortable with, and puts me in a more comfortable place, which makes it more conducive to sleep.
I was introduced to Young Living essential oils by a friend, and I’ve been trying some of their oils. While I’m not into the whole MLM concept of sales (I’m not a member and probably never will be), I have to admit that some of these oils are pretty decent. They smell good, and seem to be of decent quality. They can be a little pricey, depending on the ones you pick, but I thought the lavender oil which I use most often, is fairly priced for its quality and quantity. I’m not so sure about the others. They usually come in small bottles which are easy to carry, and if you’re the nervous sort when travelling, can help you relax while travelling as well. I’ve dabbled a lot in essential oils and aromatherapy over the years, so MLM aside, it’s quite nice to have a range of essential oils that I can dabble around with easily. Time was that getting good quality essential oils cost you an arm and a leg, or could only be sourced overseas :P
I’ve been using an essential oil diffuser at home as well, but it was too bulky to carry around. But that helps me when I’m at home and having trouble sleeping, or just feeling stressed and out of sorts.
I have tried taking melatonin pills which used to help me for a while. But I did not like the dependency on taking pills so I stopped, and returned to trying out essential oils again. I just feel better not popping pills because I’m one of those who’d rather not :)
In my case, getting tired doesn’t quite work for me. Even when I’m dog tired, I can have problems falling asleep, so I have to do what I can to help me along. If you don’t have sleep problems, be thankful you don’t! :P
Do you have any other tips for dealing with sleep problems while travelling?
I also realise that it’s a long weekend elsewhere in the world, so I’m guessing there’s a lot of travelling going on. Did you go anywhere during the long break or how did you spend it? :D