Sleep And Travel
When people travel quickly across several time zones, they face the problem of jetlag, causing their internal biological rhythm to be out of sync with the new destination time.
Sleep problems tend to be more common when people travel from west to east, as it is harder to go ahead than to delay sleep time.
But it's not the only cause of tossing and turning for travelers. Driving just one hundred miles a day, staying up too late while being entertained by business assodates, adjusting to new surroundings, and other usual pitfalls of the business world cut into sleep time.
'However, the uneasiness of jet lag is compounded by some physical problems due to being restricted in a plane for hours. 'The dry atmosphere in the cabin can lead to headaches, dry skin, dehydration and the right conditions for easily spread colds and flu.
Travel (motion) sickness:
Travel sickness affects many people of all ages, but younger people seem to be more prone to its effects. Sufferers can experience motion sickness in cars, on planes and on ships, especially when conditions are undulating or violent!
The main organs of equilibrium or balance are located in the inner ear. Each consists of three fluid-filled canals, which contain tiny hairs. These react to the changes in the position of the head and send out this information to the brain where it is processed.
Motion sickness takes place when there is excessive stimulation of the semi-circular canals; as a result the brain detects main changes in the position of the head, yet sensory input from the eyes seems out of step. This confusion in sensations is thought to cause motion sickness.
Here are a few steps, which can help to make the travel experience a more comfortable one:
- Get plenty of sleep in the nights leading up to your holiday, it may be the single best thing you can do.
- Anticipate the time change for trips by getting up and going to bed earlier if traveling to the east and later if travelling to the west, a few days before you depart.
- Select a flight that allows early evening arrival and try to stay up until it is 10pm local time. Make the best of long hours on airplanes.
- Refrain from caffeine, including coffee, tea, cola and even chocolate, as it stimulates the body's adrenaline production, making you feel more edgy and alert, thus disrupting your sleep.
- The dry air on the plane causes dehydration, try to drink water regularly and avoid alcohol as it encourages dehydration and causes headaches.
- Set your watch to the new time zone. As you board the plane, change your watch to your destination time.
- A light or moderate workout is much better than none. It will take your body some time to wind down.
- When you arrive at a hotel, try to get a room far from observable noise sources, such as ice machines and elevators. Check the drapes to make sure no light pours into the room; see if the pillows and mattress are suitable; and put away the work a few hours before bedtime.
- On the first day or two in your destination city, spend time outdoors during daylight hours. Staying out of bright light for several hours before bedtime in the new time zone might help you fall asleep at the right time.
- Watch your diet. Alcohol, caffeine, and sugar will inhibit sleep anywhere, but such stimulans can be particularly disruptive when you're feeling the effects of jet lag.
- Be cautious about drugs. The drugs should be taken under supervision of am medical practitioner.
- A hot milky drink before bedtime is a relaxing way of preparing for bed and can help you to sleep better and feel better.
Road Travel and Drowsiness:
Drowsiness can cause accidents. Before going for a road travel, be sure that you had enough sleep last night otherwise you may feel sleepy while driving and this can cause accidents.
Before hitting the highway, especially for a long trip, you should:
- If you are going for long trips, go with a companion.
- Get a good night's sleep. By this you can avoid drowsiness while driving.
- Stop for every two hours if you are going for a long trip.
- Avoid medications and alcohol before driving because this may cause drowsiness and may impair performance.
- Consult a physician for diagnosis and treatment before going for long trip if you are suffering with daytime sleepiness
Adjusting to New Surroundings:
Many people have trouble sleeping in a different environment or in a hotel room than they are used to. These tips may help you sleep better when you are away from home:
- Check your room for possible sleep disturbances including light shining through the drapes. Block the lights using a sleep mask.
- Take a room which is away from the entrance areas, elevators.
- Bring along a blanket and a pillow that you are used to. These may help you sleep more comfortably.
- Check your room temperature. Your sleep can be disturbed if the temperature is high or if the temperature is very less.
- Get some personal things from home to relieve the feeling of being in a new environment.