This advice could work for anybody who hasn’t slept for any reason, but since travel often involves being awake for long hours, enduring sleepless nights, and staying up way (way) past our bedtimes as we cross time zones and hemispheres, I’d say there’s a fair amount of exhaustion we travelers have to deal with. Here are my tips for getting yourself back on track after losing out on rest.
Try to get back on your “normal” sleep schedule.
Whether you’re feeling off because you’ve just jumped 6 time zones or merely because you caught a red eye flight and threw off your sleep schedule, it’s always best to try and get back to your normal sleep schedule as soon as possible. I know it’s hard, but try to stay up until at least early evening in your destination before you go to bed. Otherwise, you’re going to throw off your sleep schedule even more.
Take a power nap, but make it short.
If you’re truly exhausted and having trouble continuing on, a short power nap (think about 30 minutes) can be a lifesaver. I know it’s tempting to make it longer, but you’ll feel groggy if you sleep for too long. Just get a little bit of rest and then stay awake until evening.
Drink some water.
Drink a lot of water when you’re feeling exhausted. Hydration can help.
Get some sunlight.
Your body’s circadian rhythms are likely all out of whack. Getting some natural sunlight can help. No time like the present to relax poolside!
Get some light exercise.
I emphasize the word light here. It can help to take a brisk walk or do some yoga, but if you try to do anything strenuous, you may end up injuring yourself in your state of exhaustion.
Take it easy.
Don’t try to fill your day with too much or anything overly strenuous. Now is the time to relax by the pool, take a leisurely stroll around town, or go out to a nice dinner. This isn’t the time for rock climbing or dirt biking. Maybe leave those activities for a couple days into the trip when you’re feeling better rested.
Caffeine in moderation.
Caffeine can help in situations where you’re exhausted, but don’t overdo it. Any more than two cups of coffee will be counterproductive.
Stay away from sugar.
You might be tempted to reach for some sugar in order to get an energy spike, but I encourage you not to. You will temporarily have a spike in energy, but then you’ll crash…hard.
Hopefully these tips help you get back on track so you can get out and explore sooner! Happy Travels!
Do you have any tips you swear by in order to get back on track when you lose sleep? I would love to hear about them in the comments!
You can read more from Heather Hopkins on her blog.