The Tumultuous Relation Between Travel And Sleep

Sleep is usually an integral part of our life that we cannot do without. A good sleep schedule results in good mental and physical health. Any disruption to sleep or sleeping conditions results in mood swings, laziness, and dullness, which can affect our work and relations. Therefore good sleeping conditions are an utmost necessity to a healthy lifestyle.

On the other hand, travel is an integral part of one’s work schedule, while on the other hand, it is the joy of life for others. Regardless of the reason, a good sleep schedule makes your traveling comfortable and memorable.

Despite all these, various issues make sleep uncomfortable by disrupting sleep patterns while you travel. Improper sleeping conditions, Jet lags can all contribute to a disruption in sleeping patterns while we travel. Still, specific remedies can help you recover from such issues and make your travel more comfortable. One among them is sleeping on standard mattress sizes.


How Travel Disrupts Your Sleep

Among travelers’ top concerns, lack of sleep is one of the most common. Research has shown that 80 percent of travelers have trouble sleeping while out of town, highlighting the importance of keeping schedules while traveling. Listed are some of the crucial reasons that cause trouble sleeping while you travel.

Travel Fatigue

Physical and mental associated with travel is generally coined as travel fatigue. Its usual symptoms are

  1. Exhaustion
  2. Headaches
  3. Migraines
  4. Sleep loss and other related discomforts

Various reasons are responsible for travel fatigue; some can be listed as follows.

  1. One common cause of travel fatigue is poor sleep. Lack of sleep the night before a flight increases the chances of getting travel fatigue. People who drink alcohol and coffee are also more prone to fatigue after a long flight.
  2. The most common reason for travel fatigue is a suppressed immune system. While the body naturally tries to adapt to changes in air pressure, it may be unable to do the same.
  3. Fear and anxiety about a travel-related issue can also be a reason for travel fatigue.
  4. Motion sickness

Jet Lag

 When traveling for an extended period, you may experience jet lag. This is a common sleep disorder in which your body’s circadian rhythm is still operating at the beginning time zone of your travel destination.

If you’re a frequent traveler, this problem can last for weeks. Jet lag can actually make it difficult to fall asleep and interfere with socializing. Another problem travelers face is jet lag. Even if you’re actually traveling for a short time, jet lag can disrupt your sleep, resulting in a lack of quality sleep.

Change In Schedule

Changing your schedule is another factor that can interfere with your sleep. When you’re on a trip, you may not be familiar with your new surroundings. If you don’t know your surroundings, it can be challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep.

If you have a tight schedule, you’ll find it difficult to sleep and stay asleep. You may also be anxious about the trip, so it’s best to make travel plans ahead of time to minimize stress.

New Or Uncomfortable Sleep Setting

Traveling often means staying in a different bed environment. It is a common issue among travelers that they find it very difficult to sleep in a new bed and a new environment which disrupts their sleeping pattern, and they are tired in the morning after a sleepless night.

Changes To Exercise And Diet Routines

Suppose you are accustomed to a regular exercise schedule and have a preferred diet list. In that case, travel can interrupt both your exercise routine and diet plan, thus resulting in some sleep deviations or disruptions.

Consequences Of Disrupted Sleep During Travel

A lack of sleep can actually have negative consequences in the short term, especially if you are traveling east to west.

When you cannot fall asleep, your energy levels will be low, and you may feel irritable. Additionally, you may have trouble concentrating or working, impacting your performance. As a result, you may not enjoy your trip as much as you should.

A short-term lack of sleep can affect your mental and physical health. It can lead to drowsiness and irritability during the day, negatively affecting your productivity. You may not sleep properly because you are not getting enough rest.

The consequences of an interrupted sleep cycle are long-term. The resulting disruption in your normal sleeping pattern can cause permanent damage. Therefore one must try to always practice healthy sleeping habits.

How To Sleep Better While Traveling

There are various ways which, if followed in the proper way and order, can help you sleep better. Here are some of the ways which will help you sleep better

The first thing you should do is get plenty of sleep the night before your trip. It would help if you took periodic breaks so that your body could adapt to the new environment.

Get proper rest the night before your trip and try to take frequent breaks. If you’re driving, you should be aware of the signs that you might be drowsy. For example, the National Sleep Foundation recommends stopping overnight when traveling a long distance. This will keep you from becoming drowsy while driving and prevent you from experiencing the adverse side effects of sleep deprivation.

Another key to actually getting a good night’s sleep while traveling is to reduce the amount of light you are exposed to. Bright light in the early morning and low-light in the afternoon can shift your circadian rhythm, making you stay awake longer than you would in your home region.

For best results, make sure that your light exposure is maximized in the afternoon and minimize it during the day. It would really help if you also avoided long naps, as these can worsen jet lag. Instead, aim for a nap of fewer than 60 minutes.

As a rule, you should start sleeping earlier, at least one day before your trip, to avoid jet lag and adjust to the time zone of your destination. It would help if you also tried to find a hotel with a comfortable bed and make sure you can stay in a hotel for a few nights after your trip.

When you travel internationally, you should never forget that you may have to adjust to the time zone difference. It takes several days to adjust to a different time zone fully, so make sure to start moving your bedtime a day ahead of time. In addition to changing your routine, you should make sure to keep your sleep schedule. The last thing you want is to be on a plane tired.


Fortunately, there are ways to minimize travel effects on your sleep. If you’re traveling to different time zones, you may experience jet lag. It’s not unusual to experience the disorder on both sides of the globe, as well.

Luckily, there are ways to make the experience less stressful. It’s actually best to plan ahead of time and avoid rushing at the last minute. When you arrive at your destination, your circadian rhythm will still be in sync with your starting time zone, which means that you’ll feel out of sync.