Travel, staying up late, and eating too much, these are all things that are part of the holiday season that can be fun — but can also lead to less than ideal sleeping situations. It could be sleeping in an unfamiliar place or the strain of travel, but know that when you’re lying awake at night in the basement at Uncle Carl’s house, staring at the ceiling, you aren’t alone. A new study shows that over half of all Americans make up excuses so that they won’t have to spend the night at a friend or loved one’s house during the holiday season. Now that you are through the holidays and back on track, carry these tips forward into the new year so that 2018 travel can be restful.
Travel With Your Favorite Pillow
It may seem like a weird luxury, but bringing your best pillow with you when you’re travelling can make all the difference at night. We sleep better with some familiarity, and the fact of the matter is that your relatives probably aren’t giving you the best pillows for your sleepovers. There’s no harm in that, but it does lend credence to the idea that you’ll sleep better with your own cushion. It never hurts to be prepared.
“Everyone’s pillows are slightly different in terms of firm and height,” says Dr. Carla Fischer, a spinal surgeon at NYU.
There’s all kinds of different research on what’s the best type of pillow, but Fischer says that there’s no real science involved, unless you’re just talking about the psychology of habit. “It’s about what you’re used to. If you have a really flat pillow, then a really thick pillow that can throw you off, and vice versa.”
Try Some Gadgets
While there are a ton of different sleep devices on the market, you don’t have to break the bank when it comes to items that may help you sleep. You can find sleep masks and white noise machines for relatively low costs either at the store or online. These items can help your mind cope with a change in the sleeping environment. They can even help on a plane!
“A sleep mask, earplugs, and a white noise machine are three of the best investments you can make,” says Joseph Chandler, an assistant psychology professor at Birmingham College. “This is especially true when traveling, as noise and light control are key to achieving the relaxation necessary to make the transition into non-REM sleep at the beginning of the night.”
Speak Your Mind
Above all else, communication is key. If you have a bad night sleeping, it’s ok to let your relatives know that you may have to change some things up. Don’t think of it as complaining, as if you’re getting the best sleep you can, you’ll be more refreshed, recharged, and willing to participate in holiday fun. A good sleep is the bedrock of any good day, the holidays included. So get out there, enjoy yourself, and don’t be afraid to take a nap. That extra sleep could keep you off the naughty list.