Written by: Lana Walsh, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Do you dread going somewhere new because you’re worried about how well you’ll sleep?
This is a real challenge for people who have trouble sleeping. When you have difficulty sleeping through the night, you are more prone to waking up when your environment changes. New sounds, different light patterns, and even the feel of the sheets against your skin can make your night less than restful.
But there is good news. There are some simple strategies you can use to help you sleep well anywhere. The key is to use them every day, no matter if you are at home or away.
Use a White Noise App
I love my white noise app. I use it along with a fan every night. It’s useful for blocking out the random noises you aren’t used to hearing, like the elevator, the extra street noises, or even the creaking and groaning of a different house. More importantly, the constant sound of the wind, static, or babbling brook, calms and relaxes the brain to help induce sleep.
Try this free app I share with my clients.
Wear a Sleep Mask
The slightest sliver of light can be the death of sleep for someone prone to waking during the night. Whether it’s the early morning sunrise or just the streetlamp out the window, light is a killer. I love wearing a sleep mask! It’s not only useful for blocking out the light, but it can truly be useful for stopping the conversation of pesky seatmates on an airplane, or those visitor interruptions at the hospital (my mask has come in handy for both such situations). Nothing says, “I don’t want to be disturbed,” like a sleep mask.
Take Your Own Pillows
Stop the pillow fight! It no longer has to be too soft or firm, too flat or tall, too big or small. Now it can be “just right!” Taking your own pillow will help you sleep better, be more comfortable, and reduce neck and shoulder pain.
Try out the SleepKeeper for an easy, hygienic, and compact way to take your pillow along.
Set The Ideal Temperature
You know how hard it is to sleep in the summer heat without air conditioning. There’s a reason for that. Your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, hitting its peak in the late afternoon or early evening. When your body temperature is at its highest, you are most alert.
As your temperature drops through the evening and into the night, it signals to the brain that it’s time for sleep. The quicker the drop in temperature, the easier it is to go to sleep. The ideal sleeping temperature is 15–19⁰C (60–67⁰F). Be sure to turn down the temperature before you get into bed to help you sleep more soundly.
Practice a Relaxation Technique
The most common thing I hear from clients is that they can’t turn off their minds at night. Stress and anxiety are the number one reasons people have trouble sleeping. Using a relaxation technique like mediation, deep breathing, or tapping, can help you relax and calm the mind which will help you to fall asleep easier.
Try a variety of meditations on the Insight Timer app.
Engage in a Bedtime Routine
Having a set practice before you go to bed, no matter where you are or what time it is helps develop a habit that prepares your mind and body for bed. The longer you engage in bedtime habits, the quicker you will respond to sleep. Every bedtime routine should end with 15 minutes of engaging in a relaxing activity, like reading, to set you in the right frame of mind to go to sleep.
Sleeping in a new location can be difficult, but with a few regular practices and a couple of simple tools, you can still get the rest you crave.
Download my 15 Healthy Things to do Before Bed to create your own bedtime routine.
Lana Walsh, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Lana Walsh is a Sleep Coach who helps people overcome insomnia so that they wake up feeling rested and refreshed. After a decade of dealing with undiagnosed restless leg syndrome (RLS), Lana developed chronic insomnia. For 30 years, she struggled to find the answer to her sleep, trying “literally everything” without relief. When Lana was introduced to the stress-busting process of emotional freedom techniques (EFT, AKA tapping), she started sleeping better. Determined to continue this path, she began researching sleep where she finally found the answer to fixing her insomnia. She is passionate about sharing the secrets to overcoming insomnia and helping people get the same results that have transformed her life. Lana is a co-author of the Amazon Bestseller, "Creating Impact, The Ultimate Guide for Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurs," Founder of "Upgrade Your Sleep: A Powerful Method to Overcoming Sleeplessness," registered CBT-i coach, and Conscious EFT Level 1-2 practitioner.