Sleep Well When Traveling
As society begins to open back up, making plans to travel away from home are an increasingly significant part of that return to normal. Sleep Center at Comprehensive wants to share tips to ensure people, in particular those with sleep disorders, continue to get good sleep while away from home.
Sleep challenges can come naturally through health issues or stress, but there are ways to improve your sleep you can control, and we recommend their consideration when you’re on the road, as good sleep is key to staying healthy by protecting your immune system. This holds especially true for people with more serious conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Often people take vacations to look to restore and recharge their minds, especially during troubling times. What can be missed, however, is that by breaking routines to get increased peace of mind, you may be taxing your body by not resting it properly. The team at Sleep Center at Comprehensive recommends that people maintain good sleep patterns when traveling by taking a few simple steps before leaving town, while on the road and when finally returning home. This can be done in the following ways:
Ensuring Proper Travel Sleep Before You Hit the Road
An important part of travel prep comes before you’ve even left your home, but thinking about where you’re going and what you will be doing while away. You can start by checking out the air quality where you’ll be going. While we’re used to more challenging air quality in Southern Nevada, something to consider elsewhere is air quality as it relates to elevation. Getting good sleep may be challenging at higher elevations, which can be found in nearby places in Utah, with some locations in the state have an elevation near 10,000 feet above sea level.
Before you leave, make sure prep includes accounting for medications and equipment such as CPAP machines and other oxygen sources. You may not have the time or prescriptions in hand, if the need arises. And with supply chain issues prevalent these days, equipment you need may be back ordered or delayed, so be sure to take plenty of time to line that up before your departure.
If you’re planning on being gone for an extended period of time, you may also want to talk to your physician at Sleep Center at Comprehensive to account for care needs, either via Telemedicine or by having a physician lined up where you’re going that can work with your Sleep Center doctor to ensure continued care.
Safeguard Proper Travel Sleep on the Road
Getting out of town and somewhere new is one of the great joys in life. With that joy can often come a breaking of good habits you had at home. This can include eating a bit more food than normal, going to bed later and maybe some additional time with a book reading.
When on the road, be sure to remain active. Sleep Center at Comprehensive doctors recommend everyone get active for at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week. This doesn’t mean working yourself out vigorously, but just enough to get your blood moving. While on the road, you can back off workouts to give your body a rest but be careful not to be too inactive. Even a little exercise goes a long way.
And when traveling, it’s good to avoid the temptation of eating too much food, even good food. It is okay to give yourself a break but be sure to remain mindful of your dietary needs. If you want to get a burger as a treat, maybe considering skipping fries and/or a sugary drink and have a salad and some plain iced tea. Small concessions with food can make a big difference, while not making yourself feel bad for enjoying a few treats occasionally.
Getting Good Sleep When You Get Home
Staying in vacation mode can be hard to stop once you get home, but when you do get back home it’s good to get back into your routine of good exercise, eating and sleeping patterns as soon as possible. Remind yourself you earned and enjoyed your time off, and you’ll be able to do the same again soon, if you get back into the good habits you worked hard to create.
What If You Don’t Sleep Well?
If you do not get good sleep, and don’t know why, you may have a sleep disorder that’s treatable. Sleep Center at Comprehensive offers the following list of indicators that you may have a sleep disorder that requires attention.
Taking more than 30 minutes needed each night to fall asleep; waking up several times each night and having trouble falling back to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; feeling sleepy during the day, or falling asleep at the wrong times during the day; snoring loudly, gasping, or stopping breathing for short periods; creeping, tingling, or crawling feelings in your legs or arms.
How Sleep Center at Comprehensive Can Help
If you feel any of those symptoms, Sleep Center at Comprehensive is a team of board-certified pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, and administrative support staff who can help. Call us at 702-737-5864 for an evaluation.
The content in this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.