Time Zone Disruptions
Whenever you venture out of your time zone, it’s easy to disrupt your sleep patterns. Only an hour difference may make it a bit harder to slip into snoozing or to wake up in your new time zone. You’re not alone. Leaping across time zones and shaking up your structured day can lead often leads sleep deprivation. It can muddle your brain and reduce your ability to deal with stress, especially if you upend your routine with a time zone change of several hours, or worst scenario, flip day for night. The effects of jet lag have been dogging travelers forever but new studies show that daily or chronic sleep problems have far reaching and dramatic effects.
When Work Gets in the Way
Working on a project? If you’re sleep deprived, it’s often harder to hold onto your thoughts, to reference material, to recall things you were working on awhile ago. Long term memory is hobbled by sleep deprivation. Grey matter density is lost when you suffer from chronic insomnia and tests show that new information can only be remembered for a brief time. If you’re falling asleep at the keyboard, snoozing can revitalize you quickly.
The Importance of Snoozing
Snoozing, short naps under thirty minutes, are reported to help your immune system, your brain and reduce stress but longer sleep, four to five hours at night, leads to the most beneficial and deepest rest or REM sleep. Sleep deprivation can be the result of many things and depend on your age. Babies sleep deeply with far greater levels of REM sleep than adults. They enjoy REM sleep about 50% of the time while adults get only about 20%. Just because you may function decently on five hours of sleep doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for your health in the long run.
How to get more sleep when you’re on the go?
- Consider taking a supplement – Melatonin, a natural hormone, is easy to carry and use on long flights and trips. If you’re in a Marijuana legal state, a micro-dose of THC tincture may help you get to and stay asleep. If you are in a legal state and need something slightly more powerful a Full Spectrum tincture may help. Be sure to experiment before leaving home with a natural and reliable source like Colorado’s 43CBD.com*** I was given tinctures and salves to test but all opinions are my own.
- Exercise – Warm up muscles and use light exercise to relax. Walk the airport concourse; pull over at a rest stop or park and stretch. Walk fast for at least 10 minutes to increase your heart rate and work tight muscles. Find out if your airport has a walking concourse. Some airports are installing Yoga rooms or meditation rooms where you can stretch.
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime – When it wears off in your system, you may suddenly awake or experience thirst and need to get up to use the bathroom, as well as other affects. Drinks with dinner and then give your system a few hours to work the alcohol out. Water helps.
- Know your caffeine tolerance – Some of us can drink a cup of coffee with dinner and still sleep like a baby, others have to cut themselves off at noon. Either way resist the temptation to grab that latte if it’s past the best time for your physiology!
- Stretch in bed. If you’re having trouble sleeping or getting to sleep, put a stack of pillows under your knees while laying on your back, or stretch your legs up the wall (scooting your bottom close to the wall) and sink into the pose. The weight of your legs into your hips and sacrum melts tension and is sleep-inducing.
- Nap when you can and wake up gradually. Often travel demands that we contort into odd positions to sleep. Waking up and moving slowly will help you avoid kinks and sore muscles. Gradually work your spine, perhaps shifting from side to side and reaching up to get more space through your ribs.
- Bring a comfortable travel pillow with you for long car trips and flights. Here’s a post about pillow options for snoozing.
Two other articles about traveling with CBD:
Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2019-10-25/can-you-carry-cbd-plane-across-state-lines
These are just a few suggestions that you can add to your travel tool kit. Laying down on the job might just be the best thing you can do!
*** I was given tinctures and salves to test but all opinions are my own.