What to Bring on a Trip if You’re a Light Sleeper
When you’re a light sleeper, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep at home, much less when you’re traveling.
Away from home, you’re in an unfamiliar environment that may not be as quiet and comfortable as you are at home, and that can present challenges when sleeping.
Bringing items from home can help you get a better night’s sleep. These items can help you block out light, noise, and other distractions that can wake you up in the night and interfere with good quality sleep. Familiar bedding, earplugs, and other helpful items can help you get a good night’s sleep even when you’re traveling.
Things Light Sleepers Can Use to Sleep Better On the Go
- Sleep mask. A good sleep mask can effectively block out light and help you get rest. This is especially helpful if you’re sleeping in a different time zone, as your sleep schedule may not be aligned with the local time and sun.
- Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. The ambient noise at night will be different than home when you travel. Depending on where you go, you may hear sirens, loud conversations, traffic, or the sounds of animals, any of which may be unfamiliar to you. With earplugs or noise cancelling headphones, you can reduce these noises that may be jarring and make sleeping difficult. Be choosy about earplugs, as size matters. Too small, and they may not block out enough noise. Too large, and they can become uncomfortable to sleep with. When you find the right size, buy extras so you’ll never be without enough ear plugs.
- Neck pillow. If you’re sleeping on a plane, it can be difficult to sleep comfortably upright, but a neck pillow can help. Consider bringing a blanket for extra padding and comfort.
- Familiar bedding. You may not be able to bring your comforter with you, but you might be able to pack your own pillow on a road trip. Consider bringing bedding items from home, even if it’s just your favorite teddy bear or blanket.
- White noise. Whether you bring a white noise machine or install an app on your phone, white noise can help block out unfamiliar sounds and make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
- Loose clothing. Tight or uncomfortable pajamas can make it difficult to sleep comfortably. Choose loose clothing and layers so that you can stay comfortable no matter the weather where you’re visiting.
- Sleep routine items. It’s important to maintain a normal sleep routine even when you’re not at home, so bringing things you normally use before bed, such as a book to read, can be helpful.
- Sleep aids. If you take sleeping pills or Melatonin at home, be sure to bring them with you when you travel so that you can sleep comfortably. These sleep aids can help you get restful sleep, but be careful to limit dosage and use, as they may also make you feel groggy.
Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.
What do you do to help you sleep while traveling?