I came to a (likely crazy and completely sleep-deprived) realization at 3:58 AM: maybe I'm permanently stuck on the European timezone.
Now, stay with me...
I am a terrible sleeper. I fall asleep around 10:00 PM only to wake up thinking that it MUST be just minutes before my alarm goes off. I glance at the time only to realize that it's 11:30 PM. 😳
The downside? Feeling tired all day and caffeinating myself to power through.
The upside? When I travel, adjusting my sleep times isn't such a big deal. Because, well, I just never sleep well to begin with!
In all seriousness, I figured my day-to-day sleep tips may be helpful to others -- either while traveling or in general.*
- Melatonin Supplements - these non-habit forming supplements help me get to sleep and stay that way. I love the bi-layer Nature's Bounty brand, but find that 5mg can often be too much for me. So, I use this little pill cutter to get the dosage down to only what I need.
- Kindle - I make a point of reading on my Kindle before going to bed. I turn the screen light down to its lowest setting, and read until I fall asleep. I also make sure I'm reading a stress-free book. One that makes me dream about traveling is a double bonus! Like this, this, this, and this.
- Routine - Before bed, I try to set a sleep routine. I'll fix myself a cup of chamomile tea and I use lavender lotion and essential oils to help calm me. I also try to set a rule for myself to not look at my phone once I'm in bed.
- Lighting - At home, we use Hue lighting to dim the lights, and set sleep and wakeup routines. It's not exactly helpful when traveling, but is a good help at home!
- I keep a notebook on my bedside table. A lot of times just clearing my head of everything that's going on in it can make sleep happen! And sometimes that's when the best ideas happen...like this post! Ha!
Finally, rationalizing my subpar sleeping as being permanently on Europe-time makes me feel a whole lot better. I'm living la dolce vita...or at least forcing myself to dream about it! Buona notte!
*Please consult your doctor if you have ongoing trouble with sleep.