Bloomberg has the story about the sleep researcher Rebecca Robbins who has a couple of ideas of improving rest time in hotels.
What about earplugs or eye masks-do you think those are helpful when adjusting to unfamiliar environment?
Absolutely. I always have a set of high-quality earplugs-get the foam earplugs that block about 60 decibels or above. They're not that expensive but really do the trick. I always pack an eye mask to block out any unwanted light. And a pre-bed routine is really important, too: Start to power your computer down about 90 minutes before bed, and do something relaxing. Another component is taking a warm shower. If you take a nice, warm shower and cool off your room-65 degrees is the best temperature for good sleep at night-that transition helps with sleep onset.
I always take my phone into bed with me-is that something people should avoid doing?
[Laughs] Yeah, we've gotta stop that. Most cell phones typically emit blue, daylight-spectrum light, so one way to get around that is to dim the brightness way, way down. And the other tip if you have an iPhone or any other smartphone is to turn the wireless off. It takes away the worry of emails coming in that you might have to respond to, and that extra step can help you de-stress.
I used to have terrible jetlag and was awake for hours – only to find sleep when it was 7 AM and time to get up for a full day of work. Over the past couple of yearsthis has dramatically improved – here's what helped me:
– some flights are scheduled better than others for jetlag – try to be on them
– for each transcontinental flight have a routine to plan your day before and after the flight
– fly business or first class to sleep when your body is ready to sleep
– caffeine and alcholol help (!) me to rest better – most people's recommendation is to stay away – but it helps me
– for severe jetlag I use Melatonin for 2-3 nights which adds about 2-3 per hours of sleep for me every night
– travel air humidifiers can help adjust to dry, cold climates
– eat more to fall asleep – eat less to stay awake
– long walks or computer work can keep me up unlimited time, use this when you get tired in a new time zone
– don't be afraid of naps – 2 hours in there afternoon may not be a good idea for everyone since it can make it hard to get up but they help you stay up much longer
What's your experience fighting jetlag?