While most of your nights are probably spent in a bed, there might be moments when you find yourself needing to sleep in a less-than-desirable location. Here’s a prime example: when you’re traveling and are forced to sleep while sitting in a plane, train, or car. What can you do so that you can actually sleep and feel rested in the morning? Start by stashing these five items in your bag.
- A comfortable eye mask: Light can reach your eyes even when they’re closed, which means that those dim, overhead cabin lights in the plane or headlights from other cars are no good. An eye mask can keep you in the darkness that you need for a good night’s sleep. If you don’t like the feeling of something pressing against your eyelids, look for one with molded cups.
- A soft travel pillow: Ever try to rest your head back while on a plane or train without a pillow? It seems like the moment you fall asleep, your head starts bobbing to the side and wakes you up. To avoid this pain in the neck, toss a travel pillow in your carry-on. You can go with the kind that wraps around your neck or one that looks like a smaller version of your normal pillow (many expand so they don’t take up much room in your bag).
- A warm blanket: While being in a cool environment (think: 60 to 67 degrees) is good for sleep, some planes and trains can be especially chilly. Packing your own travel blanket means that you can be comfortable no matter the temperature. When you’re done sleeping, roll it up and use it as a lumbar pillow.
- Noise-reducing earplugs: Why do you need to stick plugs in your ears? It’s because you can’t control how loud your fellow passengers are going to be when you’re trying to fall asleep. You can get super cheap ones or splurge on earplugs that help regulate ear pressure or play soothing white noise.
- Lavender hand cream: This isn’t just to fight dryness—the soothing lavender scent can help relax you and prepare you for sleep. Smooth some on your hands, take a deep breath, and feel yourself drifting off.