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How to Sleep Better While Traveling

07/05/2015 05:53 EDT | Updated 07/05/2016 05:59 EDT
Shutterstock / Kirk Peart Professional Imaging

Remember to pack these travel accessories for sleep

Thick into the heat of summer travel, there's a whole lot of fun days ahead -- and they don't need to be as sleep deprived as you're worried they might be. With a few adjustments to your sleep habits while traveling (and some smart accessories), you won't have to check your sleep at the gate.

Sleeping at the airport

When it comes to sleep and travel, space is a luxury and a necessity. While the price of first class may be out of reach, there's a lot to be said for finding a place to stretch out. If layovers or long haul flights are in your future, exercise your right to sleep at the airport.

  • Secure your stuff -- Feeling safe is priority number one for sleep. If there's a place to lock your belongings, use it. If not, make sure your money, credit cards and passport are tucked inside your shirt where it would be hard for someone to remove without waking you.
  • Stretch it out-- If you're flight's delayed, chances are you aren't relaxed. Try some yoga or simple stretches to elongate your spine and release the tension. If it helps, put on your headphones and let your favorite tunes relax you while you stretch.
  • Change your clothes -- Slip into loose clothing that will allow you to move freely (and make it easier to nap). You might sleep hot at home, but long pants, a sweater and socks will keep you warm in a cool airport.
  • Make a pillow -- Your head needs a soft place to rest so roll up a jacket or scarf. It's as simple as that.

Travel accessories that double as sleep aides

For most of us, there's no place like home when it comes to getting a good night's sleep and there's no denying airplane seats are the polar opposite of comfortable. Add in the noise from other passengers or announcements and getting sleep on a plane feel like a herculean task. Talk about a recipe for grumpy!

Packing a few sleep accessories can relieve some of the nightmares of airplane travel and ensure you arrive well-rested and ready for your vacation.

  • Socks -- Planes are frigid places and feet have a tendency to freeze and fall off. Not exactly conducive to sleep, right?
  • Silk sleeping bag liner -- Most planes aren't equipped with blankets, and again, the chill factor raises the discomfort level to an ultimate high. A sleeping bag liner is (basically) a human-sized pillowcase. They're washable, durable and, as an added bonus, they're a sign that you're on a serious mission to sleep.
  • Eye mask -- Even if you don't sleep with an eye mask at home, pack one for travel. The lack of light on your eyelids will help you relax into a deeper sleep. Guaranteed.
  • Ear plugs -- From fellow passengers talking to loudly to flight attendants passing out drinks to random announcements, planes are noisy. Pack a pair of noise cancelling headphones and head to your sleep zone.
  • Pillow -- This is a must-have in our books. Carrying a pillow through the airport might make you feel like a kid on the way to summer camp but this little bundle of squish can make ANY trip bearable.
  • Reusable water bottle -- Remember when they allowed liquids through airport security and we weren't required to purchase a $4 bottle of water in addition to our $5.50 double mocha frappachino extra whip? Stash an empty bottle in your carry on, prance through security and head for the nearest water fountain. Fill-em-up-Frankie.
  • Vaseline -- This carry-on won't help you sleep but it will keep you healthy. Flight attendants use this trick to stay healthy: dab a little on the inside of your nostrils to keep out germs that hang out in planes. It's good for your lips too.

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