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21 Tips to Improve Your Sleep While Travelling

Updated: May 14, 2023

Travelling can be stressful, but there are ways to help you relax while on vacation. You may not have time to take a nap during your trip, but you should still try to get some quality shut-eye.

There's nothing worse than waking up feeling groggy when there is a full day or exploitation ahead of you.

Sleep is sacred. I love sleeping my 8 hours straight, and if I cannot, I feel sleepy and annoyed all day. That is why, when I start travelling, I wondered what could I do before bed to sleep better?

So I had to find every possible way to get my beauty sleep even when I travel.

why can't I sleep when traveling?

Why Can't I sleep When I Travel?

The causes of insomnia can be different.

It can be because it is not your bed or room, the time zone can disturb your brain's natural mechanism, the different food you are eating etc.

In this article, you are going to find all the natural ways that I use and that work for me.

I hope they will work for you too.

Travel Tip: As soon as you book your next adventure, buy good travel insurance in case you need to “unfortunately” delay, extend, or cancel your trip. I recommend using VisitorsCoverage for short trips and SafetyWing for trips longer than a month. A great insurance company to cover everything about your travel.

Disclaimer: This article contains some general information about natural remedies. Before using any of the items featured here, it is strongly recommended that you consult a medical practitioner to check that it is appropriate to do so. This is particularly important if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have an existing medical condition, and/or are taking prescription drugs.

*Disclosure: This article contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you I guarantee, if you purchase through my links. See it as a way to thank me and support my travel blog for all the information I provide.

how to sleep better when traveling

Read 21 Tips to sleep better while traveling


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1. A few days before departure, start to adapt to your new time zone:

We should need 1 hour for each time zone to adapt, so start a few days before departure to sleep one hour earlier/later, then 2, and then 3.

This will help you adjust to your destination timezone and sleep better on holiday.

bring your own pillow on holiday to sleep better when traveling

2. If you can, bring your own pillow with you:

Bringing with you your own pillow is what my mom used to do when I was a kid.

We used to travel a lot by car, so because she knew it could be difficult for kids to adapt to new rooms and beds, she always brought my pillow for me, so I could sleep anywhere while traveling.

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3. As soon as you arrive at the destination, adapt yourself to the local schedule:

Have breakfast at their time, lunch, etc. If you arrive there at breakfast time, but your body is already lunchtime, eat a snack and wait for the local lunchtime to have lunch.

If the time zone is very different, nap in the afternoon (don't forget to set up an alarm after 1 or a maximum of 2 hours).

In this way, you will be fresher and avoid falling asleep before dinner time and waking up in the middle of the night feeling completely awake, like in the morning.

how to sleep better on holiday

4. As soon as you check into your room, check if anything's bothering you:

Lie down on your bed and check if the mattress is comfortable if it is noisy etc.

Check if the air conditioning is working and if the room's window faces a noisy street. This way, you can ask to get another room immediately before other travelers arrive.

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eye mask to sleep while traveling

5. Never forget your eye mask:

Wearing a good sleeping eye mask is the best way to keep the light out anywhere you are.

On a plane, bus, train, and in your accommodation bedroom. It helps me to sleep. I could never imagine traveling without it.

Check out one of the best eye masks for your sleep here.

earplugs to sleep better on holiday

6. Earplugs:

The best way to have a great night of sleep is to don't hear all the noise around you.

Wherever you are. There are many different kinds and different materials for earplugs. So far, the best and most comfortable I used are the ANBOW Waterproof Noise Reduction Earplugs.

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walking during the day can help you sleep at night

7. Do some physical activity during the day:

Are you exploring a city? Perfect, you will be tired at night, ready to fall asleep for tiredness.

Are you on holiday in a summer location, in a resort where you plan to spend the whole day reading your new novel while "working" on your tan? Fair enough, try to do some exercises.

Beach volley, swimming, snorkeling, etc. will help you get tired at night and fall asleep more easily.

don't drink coffee after 5 pm to sleep better at night

8. Avoid coffee and tea after 5 pm:

Caffeine and theine are enemies of your sleep, so avoid them after late afternoon. Drink a decaffeinated coffee or an herbal tea instead.


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take melatonin to sleep better when traveling

9. Take melatonin:

You can get melatonin in your pharmacy without any prescription. They are supplement hormone that occurs naturally in your body. It helps to control your sleep patterns.

10. If alcohol wakes you up, then avoid alcohol at night:

Yes, I know you are on holiday, so why avoid alcohol? If it keeps you awake at night, think of what is more important, your sleep or getting drunk.

avoid a heavy dinner to sleep better at night

11. Avoid heavy dinner:

Eating heavy meals can make you turn for hours in bed and keep you awake, so try to choose healthier options at dinner.

A good option is to eat more at lunch (I know when abroad we want to try all the delicious local food) and then have a light dinner. In this way, you will also keep yourself fit and avoid getting extra holiday weight.

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don't drink too much water before to go to bed

12. Do not drink too much before bed:

I'm not just talking about alcohol, I'm talking about any drinks like water or tea. Otherwise, you will wake up to go to the toilet every five minutes.

drink a camomile before bed

13. Drink a cup of camomile or tea for sleep in the evening:

After dinner, get a cup of camomile or some other herbal tea that help you relax and fall asleep (like valerian and lavender).

You don't have to drink 1 litre. Just make a strong one in a small cup 1 hour before bedtime. It will help you relax.

have a hot shower before bed help you fall asleep

14. Have a hot shower to relax your muscles:

Before bed, having a hot shower or a bath is one of the best ways to relax your body. Stay under the hot water jet for a few minutes before bed. You will be relaxed and ready to sleep.

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15. Take some natural sleeping pills:

I'm always all about natural remedies. I hate chemicals and I try to avoid them as much as I can.

There are many natural supplements you can buy made with herbs. They work very well for me, so give it a try.

My favourite ones so far are the OLLY Ultra Strength Sleep Softgels, I take them when I have to wake up earlier than usual to catch a flight, and the excitement doesn't let me sleep.

lavender oil helps you sleep at night

16. Add some lavender essential oil to your pillow before sleep:

I add a few drops on a cotton pad on my pillow almost every night before bed, and I love it. The smell is fantastic, and it relaxes me so much that I fall asleep in a few minutes.

I usually buy mine in my hometown, but you can check out this one online.

keep your room fresh to sleep better at night

17. Keep your room fresh:

Falling asleep in a hot room is never easy, so open the window and refresh the air if your room is hot. Make sure to switch off the heater at night.

If you are in a very warm location, switch on the air-conditioning, 17/18 degrees are perfect for sleeping (remember to never sleep with the aircon on all night, it can get you sick).

18. If reading at night makes you sleepy, bring a book with you:

I love reading, I can spend a whole day on the beach reading under the umbrella with my E-reader. But unfortunately, it makes me sleepy at night.

This can be a good way for you to fall asleep, so give it a try. Maybe try to read something very dull. If it works, you have a solution for your night awake.

Travel Tip: carrying with you an e-reader will save a lot of room and weight in your luggage, so think about buying one.

19. Try Bedtime Stories:

There are many apps you can download on your smartphone or tablet. They all have excellent bedtime stories that will make you fall asleep in a few minutes.

Otherwise, try some on YouTube. Those are very good too.

20. Download some apps that help you fall asleep:

Some apps provide natural noise, like the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, the sounds of a forest, or the sound of a thunderstorm (I fall asleep like a baby with that one).

21. Don't check social media or your phone in general before bedtime:

I know you are traveling, so you want to check what is happening back home to your friends, but using your phone at night before sleep keeps you awake, so avoid it.

Check it out during the day instead.

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About me

Hi! I'm Valentina,

but you can call me Vale.

I'm an Italian with a passion for well-planned travels and food.

In my Travel Guide, you will find everything you need to plan your perfect travel around the world.


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