How Does Travel Impact Your Ability to Sleep and Work?

Many people rank travel among their top three life satisfactions. Some people have to do it since it’s an integral part of their employment. Getting adequate shut-eye while away is beneficial to your health and will help you make the most of your trip.

Despite the importance of sleep, it is common to have sleep disturbances while away from home. Many variables might contribute to disturbed sleep on vacation, but there are concrete actions you can take to improve your sleep quality before, during, and after your trip.

What are the effects of travel on your job?

Work-related travel exhaustion causes a host of problems for the weary business traveler. It’s not uncommon for there to be a plethora of issues that crop up between returning home and getting back to work.

Someone with a phobia of small modes of transportation, such as planes or helicopters, is said to suffer from travel anxiety. Because of your anxiety, you have trouble falling or staying asleep. That leaves them feeling sleepy and unmotivated at work the next day.

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Why Does Travel Disrupt Your Sleep?

There are benefits and cons to traveling, as there are to any endeavor. The inability to get a good night’s sleep when traveling dampens the experience for many individuals.

Travel exhaustion

Travel weariness occurs when the effects of physical and mental tiredness from traveling combine. Signs of travel stress include fatigue, headaches, insomnia, and other physical discomforts.

There are several potential causes of fatigue during traveling, including:

  • Transportation anxiety, including a fear of flying.
  • Worry about potential difficulties on the road.
  • Worry about packing, getting there on time, and other travel difficulties
  • Issues with Motion Sickness
  • Day after day of driving.
  • The timetable has been altered due to delays or interruptions.
  • Lack of ability to fall asleep in an upright position when traveling (e.g., by airline, train, or vehicle).
  • Flying in a pressurized cabin has been linked to dehydration, bloating, constipation, and respiratory tract infections.
  • Alterations to eating and drinking habits, such as an increase in alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • Leg inflammation, stiffness, and reduced physical activity have all been linked to prolonged durations of sitting.

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Tiredness from flying

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that may be triggered by long-distance flights that traverse three or more time zones. When someone travels to a different time zone from their normal one, their internal body clock is still set to their original time zone.

Jet lag often manifests itself in an inability to sleep. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, stomach problems, and an overall bad mood.

A person’s circadian rhythm may take many weeks to adapt to local time after experiencing jet lag, which typically lasts for a few days. Jet lag is often worse after an eastbound flight because of the greater number of time zones traversed.

Schedule Adjustments

Even if a person’s circadian cycle isn’t thrown off by jet lag, adjusting to a new daily routine, and particularly a new bedtime, may be difficult. If your normal sleep routine is interrupted, you may find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

It’s human nature to want to cram as much as possible into a day, particularly while traveling for pleasure or work. This might cause an overload of stimulus and/or an inability to obtain enough rest.

Strange or uncomfortable sleeping arrangements

Studies show that the first night in a new setting causes people to have less restful sleep. The phenomenon now known as the “first-night effect” was initially noticed by scientists doing studies in sleep clinics.

This trend doesn’t seem to be confined to specialized sleep centers. More research shows that the quality of sleep on the first night is worse even in a soothing setting like a spa resort. Some researchers believe this is an evolutionary survival strategy that helps people adjust to unfamiliar environments while they sleep.

Generally speaking, the first night of travel is the worst, and subsequent nights are better. If your accommodations have an uncomfortable mattress or excessive light or noise, you may find it challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Adjustments to one’s eating and workout habits

While most people embrace the opportunity to break from their normal routines, travel may create sleep disruptions due to unfamiliar environments.

Drinking more alcohol than usual or eating bigger meals than normal are also habits that might keep travelers up at night. Regular exercise, which may aid in sleeping, may be reduced or altered when traveling.

In conclusion

It’s not simple to manage your sleep schedule when you’re on the road. To maintain productivity at work and avoid letting travel derail your progress, you need to be familiar with a few key strategies.

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