The Sleep Travel Arsenal 💤 Edition

I know that I’m constantly talking about sleep in these posts lately and that’s because it is one of my biggest obsessions nowadays

I know that I’m constantly talking about sleep in these posts lately and that’s because it is one of my biggest obsessions nowadays (enough that I’m in the process of creating an entire course on the topic). While traveling, one of the biggest potential blows to my sleep quantity and quality is the constant rotation of unfamiliar sleep environments (to say nothing of the disruption of daily and nightly routines, but that is a whole other topic!).

Many hotels know that this is a challenge for travelers and are beginning to up their sleep game offerings accordingly. For example, The Benjamin Hotel, in NYC provides a “Sleep Team” as well as an on-staff sleep consultant available for private consultations. One of my best stretches of sleep on this recent trip (according to my Oura ring & simple self-assessment) came from The Westin in Ubud thanks to their trademarked, "Heavenly Beds". However, if you are like us and opting not just for thoughtful hotels, but also for a mix of Airbnbs and B&B's....you'll likely agree that the sleep environment that you walk into can feel like a game of Russian roulette. In order to give myself a bit more control over the unpredictable, I've been regularly testing an ever evolving sleep arsenal!!

My Top 20 Items/Practices In My Sleep Travel Arsenal (As Of November 2018):

  1. Plane: 3D contoured eye mask
  2. Plane: Baseball hat (depending on the flight itinerary, this can be important to block out faux light and help your body to adjust to the destination timezone...use Timeshifter to guide you on this).
  3. Plane: Blue-light blocking glasses (I’m always breaking, losing or scratching mine, so I am regularly buying cheapie ones in multiples on Amazon)
  4. Plane: Extra layers (I wrap a big sweater around my waist and/or ask the flight attendant for extra blankets)
  5. Plane & Hotel: Travel massager/jade roller (painful/sore muscles can be distracting when the goal is to relax, get comfy, and ultimately to get sleep. Additionally, the relaxation response elicited by this ritual can have a calming effect)
  6. Plane & Hotel: Silicon ear plugs
  7. Plane & Hotel: Noise-cancelling Bose headphones
  8. Plane & Hotel: Pillow-friendly squishy earbuds (great when listening to Audible, music, or meditation app before bed)
  9. Plane & Hotel: Kindle (set to the lowest brightness setting & in airplane mode to eliminate EMFs)
  10. Plane & Hotel: High-quality Magnesium Glycinate
  11. Plane & Hotel: High-quality melatonin (sublingual or spray)
  12. Plane & Hotel: Oura Ring (Nothing currently better on the market to keep your sleep in check)
  13. Plane & Hotel: Activated Charcoal (Few things will mess up your sleep as much as food poisoning or traveler’s diarrhea. Take this anytime you eat something suspect before bed)
  14. Plane & Hotel: Aromatherapy spray (Calming lavender pillow spray helps you feel at home in any environment)
  15. Plane & Hotel: White noise app (amazing to help drown out babies crying, street noise, neighbors, etc. The screenshot below is the one that I used the other night on the ‘air conditioner’ setting).
  16. Hotel: Black electrical or black Gaffers tape (example below is from our current Airbnb where I used Gaffer’s tape to cover the Vegas-bright electronics glow coming from the router).
  17. Hotel: Black garbage bags to block out windows (we recently switched this over to the black velour below since it also works as a quick backdrop for us when we need to shoot training videos...bonus!).
  18. . Hotel: VERY light sleepwear (goal is to lower body temp as much as possible) ...often nothing is best! ; )
  19. Hotel: At night, unplug unnecessary electronics near the bed to eliminate measurable excess EMF output
  20. Hotel: Use a spare hotel towel to cover any pesky light under the door.
15. Plane & Hotel: White noise app
16. Hotel: Black electrical or black Gaffers tape
18. Hotel: VERY light sleepwear
20. Hotel: Use a spare hotel towel to cover any pesky light under the door.


This list is not exhaustive as there are so many things that you can do to impact your sleep when away from home!

NOTE: Here is a great video that goes more in-depth on the primal reasoning behind why there seems to be is a measurable drop in sleep quality in unfamiliar environments..