Travel and Sleep Guide

Understand travel sleep loss, learn sleep tips, and see accessories for better sleep while traveling.

By Ashley Little

Mar 9th, 2023

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Sleep can be hard to come by while traveling. Whether you’re moving by car, train, boat, or plane, traveling can take a toll on you, and you don’t want to have to worry about adding exhaustion to your list of concerns. 

If you’re hopping across time zones, you’ll face even more challenges. Adjusting to a new time zone is jarring to your body’s natural circadian rhythm and can get in the way of an exciting trip. 

Good sleep is crucial to truly enjoying your adventures. So whether you’re camping, driving cross-country, or hopping on a plane to a new location, we’ve got you covered. Check out our resources below to learn how to get quality sleep while traveling. 

Sleep Loss

When you’re traveling, especially for long distance trips that cross time zones, losing sleep and being thrown into an irregular sleeping pattern is extremely common. This phenomenon is known as jet lag, and it can easily ruin a trip. 

Traveling to a new time zone can affect your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Our internal body clock is affected by light exposure from sunlight and sunset. When you travel across time zones, you won’t be exposed to sunlight/sunset in the same pattern that your body is used to. 

In general, traveling can also just be exhausting. If you have to drive for long distances in a car, or if you have trouble sleeping on a long flight, your entire schedule can be thrown off.

Learn more about the challenges of losing sleep while traveling and what you can do to prevent sleep loss during travel in our resources below. 

Sleep Tips for Travel

Despite the challenges of sleeping well while traveling, it’s not impossible to stay well-rested and keep on your regular sleep schedule. 

Before your trip, you can prepare by gradually adjusting your sleep schedule to your destination’s time zone if you’re worried about jet lag. While you’re traveling, it’s important to stay well-hydrated and comforted. Depending on your mode of transportation, there are specific things you can do (i.e. don’t cross your legs on a plane as that restricts blood flow, make frequent stretch stops in a car). 

Learn more about how to sleep well during various modes of transportation in our resources below.

Travel Accessories for Better Sleep

Sometimes to get the best sleep possible you need the right gear. Sleeping on an airplane can be uncomfortable, but with a travel pillow, blankets, and some noise-cancelling earphones you’ll be set for catching Zzzs. 

If you’re going on a camping trip, your gear is even more important. Sleeping well out in nature requires the right setup. And if you’re road-tripping in an RV, you’ll want to make sure you take a moment to check our list of the best RV mattresses.

Check out our resources below to see some of the best sleep accessories for traveling.