I Can't Sleep

With my job, I sleep in a hotel room around 200 nights a year. Sleeping on the road can create additional reasons why I can't sleep. If you have trouble sleeping in a bed other than your own, consider these possible solutions:

1. Bring your own pillow. My brother got me a memory foam pillow for Christmas a couple years back and I don't leave home without it. Not only does it provide support for my head and neck, it also gives me added assurance that I am not sleeping with someone else's germs. If you get an allergic reaction from industrial strength detergents and bleach, you might also try an organic pillow case that's been laundered in detergents free of perfumes and dyes.

2. Ear plugs or White Noise. When sleeping at a hotel the number one sleep disturbance is the noise in the hallway or next door. Kids running up and down the hallway, slamming doors or your neighbor's TV is too loud are just a few external noises that can cause many a sleepless night. You can buy a good pair of ear plugs, but if you feel they are uncomfortable try white noise. White noise can drown out external noises and help you fall asleep faster. You can either buy a white noise CD or player, but a fan will work just the same.

3. Keep the room dark and the temperature under 65 degrees. Too much light in a room can cause your body to produce less melatonin. Melatonin is a natural byproduct from our pineal gland that controls our sleep cycle. As we age we naturally produce less. Melatonin supplements are available at your local pharmacy or health food store. If you are big on blankets like me, keeping the temperature in your room at 65 degrees or less will deter you from waking up during the night because you are too warm. This is especially beneficial for those that have night sweats.

4. Don't raid the vending machines late at night. Eating and drinking right before retiring can cause indigestion, acid reflux and a need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Curtailing food and liquids to a minimum will help you to stay asleep. If you need to snack, snack on foods rich of tryptophan. Tryptophan will make you drowsy. Foods such as; nuts, turkey, eggs, seeds, cereal and those loaded with carbohydrates are rich in tryptophan. If you're lucky enough to have a hotel room that has a refrigerator stock up on these items.

5. Turn off the TV and computer games. To help you get in the mind set for sleep and off of your daily stress, bring a boring book, write in a journal or listen to some soft music. I can't sleep if I am thinking about how to kill Goombule in the New Super Mario Bros.

6. Create a sleep routine for the road. If you make a habit of going to bed at the same time every night your mind and body will automatically prepare itself to fall a sleep easy.

7. Getting your roommate or partner on board. Sometimes on a business trip you have to share a room with a fellow employee or if you are lucky enough to work and travel with your partner, like me, you will need to set some rules of the road when it comes to sleeping arrangements. You both might not agree on when to go to bed and/or how dark or cool the room should be. My best advice is to be open about your needs and compromise, compromise, compromise.