Being tired throughout the day is not beneficial to your day-to-day lifestyle and getting a good night’s sleep when travelling and sleeping in a strange bed can be even more challenging, particularly when flying across time zones and being faced with jetlag. You may be pleased to know though that you are not alone. Luckily, GSK MaxiNutrition, retailers of protein powders, have come up with some simple rules to follow that can help you sleep better both at home and when travelling.
Sleeping in the darkness
Your body produces a hormone named melatonin each night and this is known to determine a healthy sleeping pattern. Our production of melatonin is affected by light, which is why you should avoid sitting in front of computer screens or bright lamps before bedtime. If you live in an area where there are lots of streetlights, or it is during the short nights of summer, then consider blackout curtains in the bedroom, shutters or an eye mask to help your body maintain melatonin levels.
Stay away from the alcohol
Although people seem to think that alcohol makes you tired, there is scientific evidence to say that it doesn’t. It’s known as a ‘biphasic’; a substance whose influence changes over time. Researchers at Brown University found that it affected sleep most profoundly when drank in the late afternoon and early evening: the ‘Happy Hour’ effect.
Managing your body clock
Your body has its own clock and it’s your job to know it better than anyone. Comprised of your circadian rhythm which controls sleep patterns, this is one of the main things to help you sleep better. You can help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day of the week. One study by researchers at the University of Colorado found that camping for seven nights reset the body clocks of participants by up to two hours, an effect they think was caused by the darkness, quiet and a shared sleep/wake time among the group.
Your body temperature
During the day, your body temperature will rise and at night time, it’s known to fall. That’s why your bedroom should be cooler than recreation areas in your house. Warm bedrooms can disrupt your sleep by affecting the natural drop in body temperature, which bottoms out at around 5am for most people. The right temperature for you will depend upon your body, so you need to experiment to find the correct level.