Why You Can’t Sleep When You Travel & How to Fix It

Getting on a red-eye flight to “enjoy” more time at your destination is one of those decisions that can backfire quickly. Before you know it, it’s been three days, and you don’t feel like you’ve gotten enough rest. At times, the excitement and adrenaline that you get from visiting new places can help counteract the negative effects of a lack of sleep. These issues, however, are going to come back to haunt you sooner rather than later.

If traveling makes it harder to sleep, why is “sleep tourism” becoming a trend? The idea behind this travel trend is that people are heading to different destinations to try and get the rest that they’re not getting at home. Whether you’re planning to take one of those trips or you just want to make sure you’re up to the challenge and find ways to sleep properly as you travel here a few things you should know.

Sleep becomes harder to come by when you travel for a variety of reasons. The most obvious ones have to do with the hour differentials between your hometown and where you went. That’s the famous jet lag effect. Why is it, though, that you can still feel tired even if you didn’t take a flight across the Pacific or the Atlantic? Depending on the length of the flight and how you traveled or even the road trip that you took, you may get to your destination owing yourself sleep hours.

When you go to rest your head at your hotel in your vacation destination, you may still find it hard to get to sleep or remain sleeping for extended periods. According to experts in the field, one of the reasons why you can’t sleep well, particularly on your first night in a new place, is a biological effect. Since you don’t recognize your surroundings, your nervous system is going to be on higher alert than usual. This can lead to you waking up in the middle of the night more often. When you trace back what truly woke you from your dreams, it may have been a small sound that you didn’t necessarily perceive consciously. Those unfamiliar sounds and surroundings, though, prevent the body from fully relaxing.

Due to this state of higher alert, you can’t really classify your sleep as good just by counting the number of hours you were out. Subconsciously, your brain may not have allowed you to reach a deeper level of sleep within that time. That’s why when you wake up you can still feel tired.

What are hotels doing to promote sleep tourism, and how can you find a facility that truly helps you deal with at least these first nights at a new location? Since sound is very important, if the room is completely soundproof, you may have won half the battle. Having birds chirping at your window in a tropical location sounds nice, but it may not be ideal for your sleep habits. Also, try to find a room where you can mimic your habitual sleeping conditions. Do you normally sleep with the AC on at a particular temperature? Then maybe you’re going to have a hard time again at that tropical destination with a hotel that only has a fan on the roof.

Try and verify that the room has thick enough curtains so that you can sleep in a pitch-black room. Especially if that’s how you usually sleep. Remember, the key is to try and replicate your normal sleeping conditions so that your body feels at ease. Therefore, while sleep tourism is a concept that is growing in popularity, you may find that sleep is very subjective. If you look on the bright side, that means that you could potentially create your own sleep tourism retreat wherever you decide to travel. If you understand the sleep conditions that you like!

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

Leave a Comment