Frequent travel and sleep

New places, different time zones – this is a place where members can discuss how these impact their sleep and what they do to cope!

Posted 1 Oct 2013 at 9:05 AM
  • 13 comments
  • 3 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    I moved to a new city temporarily for work and will be moving again in a month. I haven't remained in the same place for more than a couple months at a time and am having a difficult time getting into a sleep routine and feeling comfortable in my living accommodations. Any suggestions for adapting to all this travel?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 31 comments
    • 15 helped
    Graduate

    I've no idea, but I have to travel a lot for work, so I stay in hotels quite often. Colleagues have no problems with sleeping in a hotel (they say they sleep as soon as they hit the pillow). I hope this course will work for hotels too (how to go to another room if you're awake in a hotel room?)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 31 comments
    • 15 helped
    Graduate

    In a few weeks i will be traveling 4 timezones to the west, then I;ll stay there for a few weeks and then travel 4 timezones back to the east. (but total Flight time is 15 hours!)

    Is there a good strategy to ensure I can quickly adjust to the timezone differences, without getting true insomnia again?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi vsj,

    I have read one expert's reply to a similar question indicating one could simply switch to the new time zone upon arrival. If a short nap is needed when you arrive, fine but then eat at the regular meal times and go to bed and get up according to your sleep window. I have read some members advise to gradually shift your SW prior to travel, over a few days. You'd have to decided what would work best for you.

    I have travelled overseas several times to the East, a 5 hour difference, and usually make the switch immediately. Sometimes I have a short nap on arrival, 30 minutes or so, as I would have travelled overnight with little sleep. I don't usually get to bed right at the new bedtime as it feels more like 7 pm and I'm not tired so it's probably more like 2 am. I do however make myself get up at my usual time, e.g. 8 am (which my body tells me feels like 3 am), regardless of the time I got into bed. It's easier the second night and gradually I feel fine. It's a bit harder making the adjustment after returning home. It is very easy to get up in the morning but the fatigue hits early in the evening and it is a struggle to stay up til my SW so I stay up as late as possible and gradually that becomes later each evening. It probably takes about a week for the fatigue to dissipate. For you, travelling to the West, it would probably be a bit harder on arrival and easier on your return home, at least that's my experience. I'll actually be travelling West in a week, a 3 hour difference, and I plan to make the switch immediately, staying up as close as I can to my SW bedtime (I'll be very tired) and getting up at my SW although in reality that might be a bit earlier than usual. Then 3 weeks later, I get to do the reverse!

    Hope this helps.

    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

    • 258 comments
    • 67 helped
    Graduate

    VSJ has a good point about what to do when you are in a hotel room on travel. One room is tough, but that's what it is when you are in a hotel. We can go elsewhere or we can adjust our way of thinking about this. What say others?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I just completed a long trip (from East Coast of USA to Israel). I had completed the Sleepio Course just a couple of weeks before the trip and have been sleeping well since then. I have not yet discovered how far my sleep window will expand, but I think that I am approaching that level.

    Outward fight left around midnight and arrived approx 5:00 pm local time (7-hour time difference, 10 hr fight). I decided that my bet approach for this was to avoid sleeping on the plane. So, I focused on watching the free in-flight films. Sure, I dozed off a few times, and probably slept about ON hour total, but I arrived to my destination quite tired. By the time that I got to the hotel, at dinner, and took a stroll, it was after 9:00 pm. I took a melatonin and an ambien and went to bed, exhausted. Slept through the night until about 7:00 am (a little less than my regular amount of sleep and half of my sleep deficit). Took a long morning walk on the beach to get myself acclimated to the local schedule. I was a little tired during the day, but was able to fully enjoy it. And, we were completely on the local schedule from day one. I think that my building up the sleep pressure (and, of course, the sleep medication) were key to my quick adjustment. I took a sleeping pill the second night to make sure that I did not get up too early, and after that, I skipped them.

    We were in Israel for 11 nights, and I slept very well overall. I was really pleased by this, because I have had real troubles sleeping while traveling in the past. We stayed in 5 different places during the course of the trip, and a few of them required me to sleep in beds that I thought might be trouble, but all was ok. There was perhaps only one day where I woke up too early.

    A few things that I did that I thinked helped. We spent MUCH time outside. We also did quite a bit of walking. Although I did drink, I avoided drinking to excess. I avoided caffeine after late afternoon, and I tried not to eat too much just before bed. In short, I made some allowances for the fact that I was away from home and was on vacation and needed to take other peoples' wishes into account, but my sleep needs were also a part of the equation.

    The return trip also left about midnight and it got us back at about 4:00 am local time (heading East, but this 11 hour flight). Like the first flight, I boarded tired and ready for sleep – but because I was going to be arriving at morning, local time, rather than early evening local time, the plan this time was to sleep as much as I could. Like the first flight, they served a meal right after take-off, and then they dimmed the cabin lights. I figured that they would be getting everyone up about 3:00 am Eastern time, so I forced myself to stay up until about 6 pm Eastern time (which was about 3:00 am Israeli time). Again, I took an ambien (but not a Melatonin – I had accidentally packed that in my checked bag). I managed about 3-4 hours sleep, mostly restless, in part because I did not have my CPAP machine and in part because of all of the noise and jockeying in the plane (I had an aisle seat).

    I arrived sufficiently refreshed to manage the 2 hour drive back home from the airport. I should have gotten outside during the day, but just felt like crap, and I spent much of the day on the couch watching television. I tried to keep from dozing off, but probably got at least an hour sleep on that couch. I nice walk would have been so much better! Anyway, I went to bed at 9:00 pm (which is 4:00 am Israeli time). Took an ambien and melatonin. I feel asleep right away, woke up only once for less than 5 minutes, and woke up for final time at 5:00 pm. It is a beautiful morning, and I'll be taking a walk shortly. I'll be resuming my regular sleep window time tonight and trying it without any medications.

    Overall, I think that my strategy of avoiding sleep until an appropriate local bed-time was a good one, and I feel happy that these techniques helped me to minimize sleep troubles during International travel.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 1

    I'm noticing that it takes me longer and longer to recover from jet lag. I could travel for one week and spend the next 2 or 3 weeks trying to get back on my “normal” sleep schedule. This discussion is about how to minimize the effects of jet lag. What has worked for you, what hasn't, etc.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi, I'm living in California now, but travel frequently to China (15 hour time difference) for work. At busy times, I have hit a cadence of 2 weeks in the US, 2 weeks in China, back and forth for a few months.

    My general sleep issues (insomnia, sleep apnea), get exponentially worse during the jet lag period that can last almost a week each way. The first 2-3 nights in China I will only get 2-3 hours of sleep per night, The next 2-3 may be longer, but with frequent wakings. I try not to rely on sleep pills, but I will usually take an Ambien 1 or 2 nights in each direction to help reset myself.

    Has anyone found any tried and true tricks or approaches to getting through severe jet lag (something more than 2-3 hours time shift) more quickly and with minimal days of zombie-like fogginess? I've done a fair share of Google research on this topic, but not recently. Anything based on science, as this program seems to be?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am new to sleepio, having just started the program. I live in America and have to travel to Europe for a week long trip of business.

    Does anyone know how this effects the sleepio program. I probably won't sleep on the flight over and just try to stay up through the next evening.

    Currently I can only get to sleep if I am totally exhausted and have an ambien.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Would love some advice on how to handle this week. I have a 2 night trip from the East Coast to California this week. I'm in week 1 of my sleep restriction. How should I handle this: – Do I try to just stay on East Coast time (since it's so short) and go to bed at my sleep window time? – Do I do my sleep window time in the new time zone? – How do I handle waking in the middle of the night since I won't have another room to go to?

    Thanks for your help!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Hi.

    I have one question, I am about to start the sleep restriction stage (the most difficult and effective) but I will be travelling to different time zone (7 hours of difference) for Holidays.

    Is it recommended to wait until I come back in order to continue the program?

    Thanks!

    Monica

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi!

    Did somebody answer you? what did you do? how do you handle it? I am in the same situation. I will be travelling from America to Europe, and I will be there for 3 weeks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 156 comments
    • 50 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I have seen this question asked, and the answer seems to be either go ahead with sleep restriction, or wait till you get back, personal preference. You might want to ask the weekly expert.

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