Getting Enough Sleep When You're on the Road

I Can't SleepA couple of weeks ago, Memphis based 101.0 KISS FM posted this image on their Facebook timeline. Can you read it?

It generated 318,447 likes and 4,197,296 people, including me, shared it on their timeline. Clearly, it resonated with a lot of people and event planners aren't the only sleep deprived professionals.

I rarely have trouble getting to sleep, likely because I go to bed really  late but from, time to time, it hits me when I am on the road. For example, on my first trip to Asia in 2000, I missed my LAX connection after a delay due to a line-up for de-icing before we left Toronto.

Suffice it to say, by the time I boarded a much later Singapore Airlines flight I was completely exhausted. Ever been so tired you couldn't sleep? Nothing worked. Then, I stumbled on a channel with Chinese popular music. The music was so soothing and peaceful I slept like a baby. That's how I discovered the music of Fong Fei-Fei which is still among my favorites today.

SleepWhen counting sheep doesn't work, here are some other remedies I've found to be effective.

  • Pour boiling water in a bowl, add a few drops of Kwan Loong Oil, and put it beside your bedside table.
    Pick up a bottle of Kwan Loong Oil on your next trip to Asia or in Chinatown. Don't try this with a Styrofoam cup the oil will quickly eat through the cup and you'll have water all over the table.
  • Have a bubble bath. During my first trip to Europe as a young flight attendant, a bottle of  Badedas, which produces a tub full of suds like you see in the movies, was in my hotel room. You don't have to wait for your next trip to Europe to pick up a bottle. Badedas is marketed as Vitabath in North America.
  • Book an in-room reflexology treatment. You'll be sawing logs in no time.
  • Keep a soothing CD or DVD in your laptop case (or add some soothing tunes to your playlist on your smartphone).
  • Watch a soothing DVD. When I stayed at Wynn during IMEX one year, the video with flowers, the carrousel, and scenes from around the hotel on one of its channels, did the trick.

Here are some other tips:

  • Avoid jet lag by going for a walk when it's sunny and doing some exercise on your day of arrival at at a destination in another time zone.
  • Turn off your mobile devices.

  • this works sleepThis works: sleep kit.
    One was waiting for me in my room when I stayed at a Crown Plaza Hotel.
  • If your hotel has a pillow menu, do take advantage of it.
  • Keep a small scented candle in your cold kit. Light the candle and dim the lights.
    I picked one up at IMEX courtesy of Ovation DMC. It came in a small tin with a cover so that it can be transported and extinguished easily.
  • Sip a cup of Sleepytime tea by Celestial Seasonings, mint, or chamomile tea.
  • Gently press or massage acupressure points.

  • If you continue to have problems, get a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea.

The image at the top of the page says "I can't sleep." 

For more tips for event planners on the road, also read Keep Calm and Carry On: 6 Tips to Help Cut Travel Stress10 Ways for Meeting Planners to Recharge After Events, 5 Asian Inspired Ways to Pamper Yourself After Busy Events, Healthy Snacks for Event Planners on the GoWomen Planners: 9 On-the-Road Hairstyling Tips.

What helps you get a good night's sleep when you're on the road? Please share your tips as a comment.

Photo Credit: James B. Brooke

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