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Sleeping on Business Trips
Sleeping away from home can often lead to a bad night's sleep. How can you make sure you sleep well?
Sleeping on business trips
Sleeping away from home can often mean a poor night's sleep. How can you make sure you sleep well on business trips?
Business trips often mean meetings, presentations, and making new contacts, so you need to be at your best. Getting enough sleep is vital, but unfortunately, travel problems (including jet lag), stress and tight deadlines orten mean that sleep is sacrificed. This can have damaging consequences.
However, there are a number of things that the busy traveler can do to ensure a good night's sleep while on a business trip.
Look for a sleep-friendly hotel
Check out the hotel
amenities, and if possible, choose a hotel with the following:
- An airport shuttle service - (less stress, more sleep).
- A fitness center: a little exercise will help you sleep. In addition, there may be relaxation-inducing perks such as a pool, sauna or spa.
- Electrical and data ports, sufficient workspace, voicemail, and photocopy and fax facilities - so you can prepare yourself for a meeting and reduce night time nerves.
- Double and king-sized rooms: more space, more sleep!
- Rooms that have as few potential sleep disturbers as possible - the sounds of airplanes, traffic, or construction work are not very sleep-inducing.
- Climate control: keep your room the temperature you want to sleep in.
- Meeting room facilities: if possible, hold meetings in the hotel so you have more time to sleep.
Take familiar things with you
Bring some of your home with you - a
family picture, favorite blanket or pillow, or your most comfortable
pajamas can make you feel at home in your new environment1.
Eat and drink sensibly
Your eating and drinking habits on your trip can
have a profound influence on the quality of your sleep, so try to
Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant, which acts to keep you awake and disrupts your sleep.
Alcohol: A few alcoholic drinks at the hotel bar or during an evening meal may seem to make you sleepy, but the resulting sleep is disrupted and not very restorative2.
Eating or drinking too much before bedtime: This can make getting to sleep uncomfortable, and drinking too much will mean that your sleep is disrupted by the need to go to the bathroom.
Try to choose:
moderate-protein evening meals: Large quantities of protein
help to form stress hormones, which can keep you awake.
Vitamin- and mineral-rich foods: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can affect your sleep, ability to recover and energy levels during the day.
What if I have a sleep disorder?
Going away on a business trip can be a
worrying experience for people with sleep disorders, especially if they
have to share a room with a colleague. If you feel insecure about your
sleeping problems, try getting a room by yourself. If you can't get a
room of your own, be up front and tell your colleague about your sleep
issues. Between 35 and 41 percent of the general population have
symptoms of disturbed sleep3, so a roommate is likely to be
- Travelocity. Business travel. Staying sane while traveling. 2001; http://dest.travelocity.com/Tips
- The National Sleep Foundation (USA). Helping yourself to a good night's sleep. 1999; http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/myths-and-facts-about-sleep
- Sherrill DL, Kotchou K, Quan SF. Association of physical activity and human sleep disorders. Archives of Internal Medicine. 1998; 158: 1894-8