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How To Sleep Better When Traveling

Tara Youngblood Jul 26, 2022

Sleep better traveling

You finally dozed off after driving 13 hours straight. You hoped to get some solid sleep before traveling through two states to your destination, and you wanted nothing more all day than to just lie down, stretch your feet, and relax.

Then someone down the hall laughs. The hotel sign outside blinks slightly through a gap in the curtain. The elevator next to your room screeches as it arrives at your floor, and the microwave clock catches your left eye’s attention.

You grab your phone to check the time. You’re up for the rest of the night.

Traveling can be fun whether you’re driving or flying, on business or with family and friends, or simply getting away from your busy schedule for a while. But staying away from home isn’t always entertaining when it comes to getting quality sleep.

How to Sleep While Traveling

Waking up completely rested from a good night’s sleep while traveling is most likely all travelers’ goal. However, it’s not always easy to obtain. In an effort to help you receive quality sleep during your travels, we’ve listed some of the best tips to help you sleep more comfortably while traveling.

Deep breathing exercises when traveling

Breathing Exercises

Traveling can be exhausting and stressful. Getting your body and mind ready for sleep with breathing exercises and yoga can help reduce anxiety and stress leading up to sleep. Learn how Yoga Nidra for sleep can help you relax leading up to bedtime.

Below are a few meditation exercises specifically designed to perform before bedtime:

Read More: Meditation: A Simple and Safe Way to Help You Sleep

Study: Performing yoga can help with sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency. [1]

Listen to Relaxing Music

Music has a strong and mixed effect on the mind and body. Music can slow your breathing, lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, ease muscle tension, reduce anxiety and stress, and release hormones.

Sleep Study: Music can improve sleep quality [2], including chronic sleep disorders including insomnia.


Packing a full suitcase can sometimes become challenging, but packing aromatherapy when traveling is easy. If you're having difficulty falling asleep quickly, aromatherapy can help with relaxation. Types of aromatherapy include diffusers, clay masks, hot and cold compresses, bathing salts, aromatic sprays or mists, and more.

Give Yourself Time to Fall Asleep

Trying to fall asleep in a new environment can be tough, so give yourself more time to fall asleep, even if it means going to bed a little earlier. It can take about a day to adjust to your new schedule if you're traveling across time zones. If possible, try to set your alarm to match the timezone you’re visiting so that you are well adjusted once you’re there.

Relaxing in hotel room

Find a Home Away From Home

If you’re traveling to a location where you’ll have to book a hotel room, consider all of your options before booking. In today’s rapidly growing, peer-to-peer economy, companies like Airbnb and vrbo are starting to take off. With these programs, users are able to book rooms, apartments or entire homes at their travel destination.

Not only will you find a great deal, in addition to avoiding hotel fees and generally higher prices, but you will also be able to feel more “at home” than if you were staying in a hotel room. In addition to following the tips above, this could help you sleep better while you are traveling.

Planning a trip, booking a flight, reserving a room, and organizing your itinerary are important for traveling. So is sleeping. Getting the right amount of quality sleep while you travel is vital for you physically and mentally while away from home.

Ensure a Great Hotel Experience

Some hotel pillows will always be too flat, and elevators will most likely screech every time they arrive at a floor, ice makers will hum, outside lights will somehow find a way to shine in your room, and hallways will continue to create some of the loudest noises.

But according to Smarter Travel, you can ensure a great hotel experience even before you arrive at the hotel: [3]

  • Request a room on an upper floor away from the elevators.
  • Book a room midway down the hallway away from ice makers and vending machines.
  • Avoid rooms facing a pool due to loud noises from pool guests and echoes from the water.
  • Research if the hotel will be undergoing renovations.
  • Ask the hotel about pillow options.

Packing for a trip

What to Pack

Here are just a few suggestions to combat the “new sleeping environment blues” when away from home:

  • Cozy pajamas that will help you feel like you’re at home
  • Favorite t-shirt
  • Cozy bathrobe or slippers.
  • Continue with your normal routine: if you typically feel best getting to bed around 10 pm, try your best to stick to that.
  • Pack the right accessories

Pack Your Favorite Pillow

Your sleeping space will most likely be limited to a hotel bed, someone’s couch, or a bed you’re just not used to while traveling. The familiarity of bringing your favorite pillow or travel pillow from home could provide more comfort than you realize.

Sleepme travel kit for better sleep

Sleepme Sleep Kit

You finally doze off after driving 13 hours straight. You’re going to get some serious shuteye before you travel several more hours to your destination, and you want nothing more than to just sleep.

You never heard the laughter coming from the hallway. You blocked out the hotel sign light and the microwave clock, and you never noticed the elevator screeching next to your room.

You wake up rested.

Designed to create a calming space to relax and unwind, our sleepme Sleep Kit will help you sleep deeper and better wherever you are.

Find these sleep tools inside numerous compartments with the sleepme Sleep Kit travel bag:

  • Blue Light Blocking Glasses
  • LED Blocking Stickers
  • Sleeping Eye Mask
  • Ear Plugs for Sleeping
  • Aromatherapy Pillow Spray with Lavender
  • Curtain Clips

People often use pant hangers or clothespins to clip curtains together. No need to do that. Our Sleep Kit clips will secure curtains so they can better insulate your sleep space from outside light.

Common Sleep Disturbances in Hotels

A study conducted with 2504 men and women discovered 95 percent of participants were affected by different sleep disturbances, from noisy hallways to lousy pillows when staying away from home.

Participants reported the following disruptions in order from highest to lowest prevalences when staying in hotels: [4]

  • Poor pillow
  • High temperature
  • Poor mattress
  • Poor duvet/bedding
  • Noise from the street
  • Bad indoor climate
  • Too much light from windows
  • Noise from ventilation
  • Noise from the corridor
  • Noise from other rooms
  • Noise from restaurants or pubs
  • Small bed
  • Low temperature
  • Noise from an elevator
  • Noise from lobby

The key to helping travelers sleep better in hotels is – hoteliers – according to one study. While a mint on the pillow is nice to see in the morning, hoteliers should focus on encouraging travelers to realign their circadian rhythm, or internal clock, to the new time zone. This will “enable guests to get a good night’s sleep on the destination’s clock, rather than that of their origination point.” [5]

Final Thoughts

Don’t let your sleep suffer while traveling. Enjoy time with your friends, family, or just by yourself and get the quality sleep you need. Quality sleep doesn’t have to stay home while you travel. Take it with you.


[1] Halpern J;Cohen M;Kennedy G;Reece J;Cahan C;Baharav A; “Yoga for Improving Sleep Quality and Quality of Life for Older Adults.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine. View Study

[2] HX;, Wang CF;Sun YL;Zang. “Music Therapy Improves Sleep Quality in Acute and Chronic Sleep Disorders: A Meta-Analysis of 10 Randomized Studies.” International Journal of Nursing Studies, U.S. National Library of Medicine. View Study

[3] Elissa Leibowitz Poma, “33 Ways to Sleep Better at a Hotel.” SmarterTravel, SmarterTravel, 2 Mar. 2020.

[4] Pallesen, Ståle, et al. ““I Wish I’d Slept Better in That Hotel” – Guests’ Self-Reported Sleep Patterns in Hotels.” Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, vol. 16, no. 3, 20 Aug. 2015, pp. 243–253, 10.1080/15022250.2015.1074938. Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

[5] Maas, J. “Beyond the Pillow Mint: How Hotels Can Help with Jet Lag.” The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 3, June 2003, pp. 37–43, 10.1016/s0010-8804(03)90268-0. Accessed 27 Apr. 2019.