Getting a solid night of sleep in a nice hotel room should be a no-brainer. In theory, you have all of the elements: a big comfy bed, blackout curtains and a room most likely designed with sound proofing in mind. But settling down in unfamiliar surroundings—no matter how well-appointed—is oftentimes a recipe for sleepless nights and groggy mornings.
Here are some before-bed rituals to ensure you rest easy on the road:
Whether you’re catching up with friends, entertaining clients or dining solo, tryptophan is the magic word when thinking about restful nights. You might associate this calming amino acid with turkey-related, post-Thanksgiving dinner naps, but you can also find it in all sorts of less holiday specific fare.
Topping the list of tryptophan heroes are seeds, nuts and soy-based foods like edamame and tofu – so if you’re going for sushi, don’t pass on the edamame. Cheeses are up there, too, making an after dinner cheese course preferable to a chocolate dessert.
Boost Your Melatonin
Melatonin also promises plenty of bedtime benefits. You can buy supplements to boost this sleep-inducing hormone, but it’s far tastier to incorporate into your diet such melatonin-boosting foods as cherry juice, rice, oats and pineapple.
Sip a Glass of Red
The jury is still out on the sleep benefits of a nightcap, but recent research seems to support the benefits of a glass or two of red wine. Aside from pairing nicely with everything from pizza to a New York strip steak, red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that combats blood sugar spikes that occur after meals and encourage tossing and turning.
Strike a Pose
Instead of flipping on the flat screen after dinner and drinks, consider rolling out the yoga mat for a quick before-bed relaxation session. Poses like viparita karani (legs up the wall), bharadvaja (seated cross legged twists) and balasana (child’s pose) all lend themselves to mental and physical tranquility.
Stop and Smell the Lavender
While smell isn’t something that comes to mind when thinking about bedtime, what you breathe in before bed can have a direct impact on your sleep cycle. Consider a pre-bed routine that includes products scented with lavender, lemon and sage, or take a steamy shower and lather up with EO’s Calming Coconut and Vanilla shower gel, stocked in EVEN Hotels‘ bathrooms. Steering clear of invigorating scents like mint and eucalyptus in the PM hours is always a wise move.
Sheets Make a Difference
And finally, when it comes time to hit the sheets, high thread count isn’t the only factor to consider. A blend of cotton and eucalyptus fibers, such as the type used by Even Hotels, makes for bedding that’s not only friendlier to the environment but full of sleep positive attributes. These naturally soft sheets are breathable and moisture wicking, keeping temperatures just right throughout the night.
Ensure Good ZZZs
Instead of packing a bottle of sleep aids into your travel kit, consider stacking the deck with a combo of smart dinner choices, pre-bed stretching and a steamy shower to enjoy your nights away from home.