Cars can often be the trickiest vehicles to sleep in, with the tight spaces often causing an uncomfortable sleeping environment and every twist and turn stirring us from a very temporary slumber. But if you’re planning a road trip this summer, you’ll need to catch a few zeds in between stops to make the most of the time spent outside, in the open air and amongst it. Providing you’re not behind the wheel, of course, and with the help of Neil Robinson, Sealy UK’s resident sleep expert, here are 5 IDEAL sleeping tips for your roadtrip.
KEEP SWITCHING YOUR POSITION
Get the blood flowing in your legs with gentle foot and ankle exercises, and move your arms around to improve blood flow and circulation. Moving around periodically or switching positions occasionally can help prevent aches and pains, and relieve muscle tension to prevent sleep-disturbing cramps. Vital when you’re cooped up in the car for extended periods.
BRING A COTTON BLANKET
Cars are prone to changing temperature very quickly, heating up rapidly in the sun, and cooling down just as quickly in the dark – and that’s not even taking into consideration the air con, and your family’s differing body temperatures. By bringing a cotton blanket or wearing cotton clothing you can layer up or down as necessary. The breathable nature of the cotton material also helps your body to regulate its temperature better than polyester.
BRING YOUR EYEMASK
Whether it’s the daylight, or headlights and streetlights, car journeys are full of bright lights, which can have a negative impact on your slumber. When we see bright light, it stimulates a nerve pathway from the eye to the brain, which can stop us from feeling tired and make it harder to drift off. Wearing an eye mask will help to block out these lights and help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
While it may be tempting to watch a film or read on your tablet during the car journey, but the blue light emitted from the screens impacts our levels of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, as we already mentioned. And that’s not to mention the risk of travel sickness from keeping your eyes glued to a screen. By avoiding technology for a minimum of 30 minutes before you’re planning to get some kip, you can help ensure a more restful time on the road.
REMEMBER TO REST IF YOU’RE DRIVING, TOO
Fatigue is a major contributory factor in road accidents, with concentration and ability to react hugely affected by not getting enough zeds. So, if you’re at the wheel and need a bread, it’s crucial that you do just that. Chang drivers regularly or, if that’s not an option, take regular pitstops to rest and refresh.