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Sleep is often an underestimated aspect of health. Being sleep-deprived can have serious consequences on your mental and physical health. One of the times sleep is unavoidably affected is when you are traveling. Traveling present the perfect kind of scenario to ruin your sleep! First the fact that you are not in your bed, under your covers (and perhaps in the arms of your sweetheart!); on top of that you are traveling. How does one avoid insomnia under such circumstances? I am here to tell you just that!
Sleeping Well While Traveling
Clothes
Woman in deep sleep in plane
The kind of clothes you wear while sleeping affect your body movements and hence your sleep. At home you can wear night-wear. But wearing night-wear on a flight can be rather awkward. Look for comfortable alternatives. You can wear track pants and a loose t-shirt. You may even done yourself in a pair of shorts if they make you feel more comfortable than track pants. Do not wear thick or tight clothing while sleeping - it is important that your body be able to breathe. If you are finicky about your feet, then wear socks. The basic key here is to wear clothes you are most comfortable and relaxed in.
For Men: I am not a sexist, but honestly - it is so much easier for you guys! You can wear just about anything; and I mean it when I say anything!

For Women: One important tip would be to carry a set of undergarments that you would be comfortable sleeping in. If you are absolutely not okay with wearing undergarments while sleeping, then I would suggest you go for a plus-sized t-shirt, or you can layer up - wearing a camisole inside a t-shirt can help. Another option would be to not wear undergarments, but then to keep a jacket or a sweater at hand. Once you wake up, you can quickly go into the washroom and wear your inners.
Pillows
Woman sleeping on pillow in plane
This is one things we all dearly miss while traveling, for it is rather difficult to carry a pillow along with your luggage! Some alternatives to a pillow include an inflatable pillow. All you have to do is blow it up! One more option could be to use a soft handbag stuffed with clothes that you don't mind getting crumpled. You could also roll a bedspread into a makeshift pillow.
Blanket
Woman sleeping with blanket in plane
Some airlines provide the passengers with a blanket, so you won't have to worry about it. But it is always better to check on this before you board - you don't want to be cold and shivering on the plane! The best alternative to a blanket would be a shawl - especially a warm Pashmina (Cashmere) shawl. They are very light-weight, easy to carry, occupy almost no space in the bag, and are very very warm indeed! If you do not want to carry a blanket, then remember to pack clothes accordingly.
Music and/or Books
Woman reading book in plane
Many people have the habit of reading books or listening to music before they go to sleep. It would be a good idea to carry the same with you while traveling. If you are used to reading some spiritual book before sleeping, nothing like it. That kind of stuff soothes the mind and calms you down and helps you relax before you go to bed. Same effect can be brought upon by some good soothing music, especially instrumental songs. You might be required to switch your phones off, so it would be advisable not to carry your music on the phone. If your phone is equipped with the facility of turning it onto the airplane mode, you are good to go.
Meditation and Deep Breathing
Meditation is probably one of the best things you can ever do to your mind and body. Many people like to meditate before they go to bed; it helps them feel rejuvenated when hey get up. Meditation can also give you worry-free, peaceful sleep. If you are a light sleeper, this can be very important. Deep breathing also works wonders - I speak from personal experience. Deep breathing is when you block out all thoughts, and concentrate only and only on your breathing. You observe your breathing pattern, listen to the air enter and leave your body. It has an amazing effect. If you are not very fond of meditation, deep breathing may serve the same purpose.
Eat Healthy and Eat Less
Woman eating light food in plane
It is advisable to eat less while you are traveling. It helps you overcome motion-sickness, and it also helps you sleep better. Also make sure you eat healthy food. Avoid eating salad and raw food, as more energy is consumed to digest them. Eat something that is light on the stomach. At the same time, avoid eating junk food and oily foodstuffs. They make you uneasy, especially if you consume them just before sleeping. Also avoid consuming beverages like coffee - they are sure to drive your sleep away!
Sleeping Pills
Sleeping pills
This is a rather controversial topic. Sleeping pills should be your last resort. If in spite of taking care about all the above things you are unable to sleep well, only then would I advise you to consult a doctor and ask him/her about medication available to take care of your travel-insomnia. The simple reason to be so careful about this is that one may become habituated to taking pills and depend on them so heavily that sleeping in one's own house without popping a pill becomes difficult; and that is never a good thing to happen. It is hence best to consult your physician before you decide to consume sleeping pills. On the other hand, you can go for sleeping pills alternatives that may just do the trick without taking the risk.
Sleep is something that is more or less compromised on when we are traveling around for pleasure or work. But with the above easy to follow tips, I am sure you are bound to get a good night's sleep, no matter where you are! Hope you sleep like a baby! Sweet dreams!