Not being able to sleep can feel horrible – but insomnia while traveling is even worse. Sleep deprivation, according to research, can impair your cognitive function, which means riding your bike after a sleepless night might be dangerous. More than that, however, insomnia will leave you feeling tired, irritable, and anxious, and the less you sleep, the worse it gets.
When on the road, a myriad things can cause insomnia. Jet lag if you’re flying and riding, noisy hostel roommies, or simply being in a strange country on your own can induce insomnia thanks to stress and excitement.
So if you’re experiencing insomnia while traveling, here’s what you can do to combat it.
Peace and Quiet
If you know you’re sensitive when it comes to a good night’s sleep, don’t stay at backpacker hostels. They may be fun and much more economical than hotels, but they’re also noisy – and you never know what your roommates will be like. They might come back after a pub crawl at 4am and wake everybody up, they may snore, decide to get up at 2am to catch their next bus, or just have a party right there in the room. Get a private room, a hotel room, or an AirBnB place for some privacy and restful sleep.
Blacking It Out
In many countries around the world, noise is perceived differently. Loud music, traffic noise, and loud conversations are the norm in many parts of the world, so even if you’ve got your own room, there might be music blaring loudly until midnight or later, and asking people to turn the volume down might not work. Invest in some good quality ear plugs and a sleep mask to black out the noise and lights for some peace and quiet.
Sometimes, you may get insomnia simply because you’re stressed or anxious. To prevent your mind from racing, listen to a guided sleep meditation – there is a variety of them available on Youtube for free, and they can work wonders in helping you calm down and drift off to sleep.