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How to Get Enough Rest When You’re Traveling for Business

Airborne Jet Plane

Business travel may seem like a fun event. It breaks up the monotony of the daily grind and gets you out of your normal environment.

However,  there are some who don’t look forward to these trips in the least. One of the biggest reasons is that they find it difficult to sleep. 

The change in environment is too big, time zones are different, and the fast-paced travel is stressful. 

If your job requires you to travel, you need to learn a few tips and tricks that allow your body to unwind and your mind to lull itself into a deep sleep.

Here are seven ways to do just that:

1. Adjust to the Time Zone Before You Land

Depending on where you are going, you may be landing in an area that is several time zones ahead or behind your home. 

Instead of waiting until you get there to adjust, do so incrementally the week before. 

If you are going somewhere that is hours ahead of you, try to adjust your bedtime earlier by an hour each night. If your destination has a time zone that is later, try staying up a little later each night.

The same rule applies to the flight there. If you are arriving in a location that will be sleeping when you arrive, try sleeping on the plane. 

If it would normally be your bedtime, but at your destination, it will be in the middle of the day, do your best to stay awake on the plane.

2. Unless The Trip is 2 Days or Less

If your trip takes you through a few time zones, but you’ll be home in less than 48 hours, all that adjustment just wouldn’t be worth it. You’ll just send your internal clock into confusion.

In instances where you have a quick trip there and back the next day, it is best to stick to your normal home routine, no matter what the locals are doing. 

3. Bring the Essentials

Whatever you use to help you sleep at home, you should bring with you when you travel for business. Our sleep patterns are very habitual. That is why it can be difficult to fall asleep when you switch things up.

If you use a white noise machine or a sleep mask at home, use it when you travel. If you sleep on the left side of the bed, sleep on the left side of the bed in the hotel. Resist the urge to take up the whole bed.

If you need a completely dark room, try to find a hotel with blackout curtains. It also doesn’t hurt to have melatonin and magnesium on hand as a sleep aid.

4. Fit in a Workout

Exercise is an amazingly good way to tire out a body that doesn’t want to sleep. If you often find yourself too jittery to sleep while traveling for business, this may very well be your cure.

Try to fit in a thirty-minute sweat session each day that you are on the road to help you get your zzz’s at night. 

If you are in a hotel with a gym, you already have everything you need. If not, check out this easy hotel workout. 

5. Put The Devices Away

Business professionals have a bad habit of being glued to their laptops or smartphones. 

Although it is understandable, since these technological devices are the very thing that we work on, there is a time and place for everything. 

To allow your body to sleep, you should put all screens in time out at least one hour before bedtime. This includes the television.

This hour would be a good time to do some light reading from a paperback (no tablets), perhaps some light stretching, a personal hand massage, or whatever you do to wind down.

6. Limit Caffeine Intake

When we are tired and need a little pick-me-up, we often reach for a cup of coffee or an energy drink. Although in moderation this is fine, you shouldn’t rely on caffeine too much.

One or two cups of coffee in the morning is ok but when you drink caffeine in the afternoon or evening it can disrupt your ability to sleep.

Try to limit your caffeine intake to the mornings and don’t overdo it. 

7. Use Down Time for Sleep Time

Without enough sleep, our ability to stay productive on a business trip dips exponentially. Even if you fail to get enough sleep during the night, you may still be able to find golden minutes of nap time during the day.

These power naps can be just the thing you need to perform at your best on this business trip. You will then remain productive and complete tasks like these. 


Traveling for business can be difficult. If you can’t sleep well, it can be downright unpleasant. Use these tips above to stay fresh and bright-eyed during your next business trip and perform at your best. 

More on this topic:

Post-Covid Travel: Top Destination Recommendations for Business Travelers

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