You need to get good sleep. You know it. Your mom has been saying it your entire life. Science confirms it, too: Sleep deprivation causes economic losses into the hundreds of billions of dollars every year in nations around the globe.
Even though we know how important sleep is to our personal performance, it’s a challenge under the best of circumstances. Throw in a red-eye flight and late-night networking events, and getting a full eight hours while travelling for business can feel like a lost cause.
It’s not. Here are five ways to get more sleep and be more productive while working on the road.
When you’re travelling for business, spending a day sleeping off your jet lag isn’t an option. Start by adjusting your bedtime a few days before the trip to prime your body for the change. Then, switch your clock to your destination’s local time as soon as you’re on the plane, and start eating meals accordingly. Choosing a flight that arrives in the evening is a big help, too. You can grab a meal and get some sleep to help your body’s clock continue to adjust. And then get outside in the morning; exposing yourself to sunlight on that first day can jump start your brain for a productive day.
If you can find the time to do something you enjoy while you’re on a business trip, do it. Visit a museum, take a walk, eat at a nice restaurant or sneak in a little fishing. Taking your mind off work is a good thing, even if it’s just for an hour or two. That little mental break is going to help you get a better night’s sleep and get more done the next day (even if you can’t stop thinking about getting back to that fishing spot).
Phones are sleep’s nemeses. They throw off our ability to slow down our brains. This is all because of the blue-lighted screen. All that light disrupts the melatonin in our brain, messing up its ability to regulate sleep and wakefulness. Though it’s natural to gravitate toward your phone and the TV in a quiet hotel room, fight the urge. Shut down everything that glows a little early, and read a book or go over some papers (if you have to do some work). You can check your email (and finish that game of Words with Friends) in the morning.
Screaming babies, late-night parties, a travelling high school marching band — any one of them could make an appearance on your plane or in your hotel. So travel prepared. Pack a sleep kit containing ear plugs, eye masks, a travel pillow, and soothing bath products. Having all of these things on hand will help you be prepared to wind down and block out the world around you. A white noise machine or playlist is also handy (don’t have one? We’ve got you covered).
Between day-long meetings, seminars and presentations, finding time to get sweaty during a business trip is tough. Tough, but worth it. Exercise is a great way to improve sleep while travelling. As little as ten minutes on a treadmill or stationary bike helps you be more alert during the day and sleep better at night. To make this task as seamless as possible, scout out the hotel gym when you first arrive, and send yourself a calendar invite for your workout. All you’ll have to do is go through the motions.
Sleep is great for sleep’s sake, of course, but there’s a business case for taking all these steps to maximize your z’s: You’ll be more productive with a good night of sleep behind you. That’s why Crowne Plaza offers quiet zones and premium bedding work to help you get as much sleep as possible.