How to Sleep Better in Uncomfortable and Unavoidable Situations

It’s no secret that most of us don’t get enough sleep . While this is probably our own fault , many of us are unwilling or unable to change our schedule either. So, since we can’t add another hour to our days, finding small spans of time to cram in a little extra sleep may be our most viable option.

This post was originally published on Fast Company .

Sleeping in an unfamiliar hotel room, at a bus stop, or even at your desk can help you recuperate after a tiring day. Here are some ideas for typical sleep deprivation situations.

By plane or train

Aside from flying first class or surcharges for tiny legroom, how can you arrive at your destination refreshed ?

Scold. It’s all about normcore. In other words, the elastic is your friend. If you have no one to impress at the gate (and not ashamed), put on some sweat or yoga / running clothes and call it flying. Carry a suit, work shoes that aren’t jogging anyway to catch the connection, and a small bottle of anti-wrinkle spray to change into while you wait for your luggage to roll on the carousel.

Take a comfortable pillow. Ideally, you got caught in a window seat while flying in red-eye conditions and could curl up in it for the next eight hours. But if you’re stuck in the middle, buy a travel pillow . Wear these U-shaped neck pillows back to front to prevent your head from bobbing forward or to the side when the ride gets bumpy. Inflatable cushions allow you to adjust the softness. Add a sleep mask and isolation headphones to the kit.

Consume carefully. Avoid the spicy bean burrito and second beer before your big trip – acid reflux disrupts sleep . In addition to food , sleeping pills can help. Don’t take new medications before talking to your doctor, but for many, just half a dose of sleeping pills, over-the-counter pain relievers or cold medications can relieve enough of the thrill without the churning effect of the stomach. onboard alcohol.

Dramamine makes the turbulence and wild bus drivers a little smoother and incapacitates most people for a few hours. Melatonin, a natural sleep hormone, can also help you relax. The independent traveler thinks about when and when not to try sleeping pills.

When you stayed at the hotel

Some people sleep best in hotel rooms. Others are confused by the unfamiliar layout, noisy neighbors in the hallway and the agonizing feeling that in the black light the sheets will look like a film set for a grindhouse. If you are in the second camp, the business trip is tiresome. Here are some ideas for how to relax in your hotel .

Circulate air. Open a window and turn the temperature down to a cooler temperature if you can. Bringing in a small fan creates both white noise and moving air, which can help you sleep more soundly – and block out any strange ambient sounds (ahem, newlyweds in the room next door).

Take your pillowcase with you. Avoid the prickly, odd-smelling bedding in your room when packing your sheet and / or pillowcase from home.

Do not be shy. If the room is not adapted to your own sleeping style – the mattress is too soft, the lift or ice maker is outside the door, the window faces the street, etc. – ask for a new room. asking for a room that has recently been remodeled for maximum comfort.

Don’t fight feeling (insomnia). “If you toss and turn after 15 minutes, get up and out of bed,” sleep researcher Rebecca Robbins told Conde Nast Traveler . “But keep the lights dim, go for a walk, do light stretches, or read a book.”

Take a nap in the office

If one more second of waking at your desk feels like climbing a mental sand dune to you, you need to steal your work sleep.

Make sure your company likes it. Sleeping at work is a pretty progressive idea; we know taking a nap is good , but working from nine to five hasn’t fully caught on yet. If 20-30 minutes of your lunch break can be devoted to finding a place to sleep well, you’re probably good to go.

Find a suitable place. A lobby crash can look bad when your CEO’s key investors have an office tour day. Reservations for a 30-seat conference room for personal use are equally egregious. If you’re in an open office, you’ll have to get more creative – look for phone rooms or closets to snuggle against. And don’t forget the DO NOT enter note on the door.

Set your alarm. By napping for 20 to 60 minutes, you will catch your sleep cycle at its deepest and most sluggish point. “Short sleep sharpen your attention and motor skills, and you will wake up refreshed , – said Stephanie Vozza for Fast Company Natalie Dautovich, an ecologist from the National Sleep Foundation . Longer sleep makes problem solving and creativity easier.

When you need to sleep in public

You can plan your itinerary with impeccable detail and end up having to wait awkward times or miss your departure and be forced to sleep in a public place . If you need to, here’s how to do it.

Safety first. The quietest and darkest place in the terminal might be the best place to take a nap, but if you are alone, this is a bad idea. Stay near stocked counters and lanterns to ward off thieves. Keep your belongings locked and as close to you as possible, preferably between you and the wall. Just don’t interfere with anyone else doing their job at your campsite.

Dress in layers. According to travel blogger Amanda Kendl, the key to being comfortable in this dire situation is piling up layers before settling for floor or living room space. Make a pillow with rolled-up clothes and be prepared for changes in room temperature. Throwing a shawl or scarf over yourself can add a psychological level of vulnerability before going to sleep in public.

Request a baby cot. Some airports have baby cots for passengers who are forced to waive weather conditions. Ask politely and a baby cot might come in handy.

Check with those who have been there. Every airport has its own gimmicks and quirks, and most likely someone had to sleep at each of them at some point before you. Donna McSherry’s Guide to Airport Nights contains comprehensive information with helpful airport tips and features.

How to Sleep in Uncomfortable, Unavoidable Situations | Fast Company

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