Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to get to sleep the night before a trip? Between excitement, anxiety and stress, our bodies and minds are put to the test. Find out why this happens and how to deal with it to get a better night's sleep before you leave.
Sleep disorders, a universal problem
Sleep, although fundamental to the proper functioning of our body, is becoming a real problem in our society. The overabundance of technology, the acceleration of the work culture and the countless stimuli that come with it have taken precedence over our rest time. Sleep disorders are becoming more and more frequent and can be exacerbated when going on a trip, whether professional or personal.
The night before departure: a difficult sleep to find
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, it's likely that you've already spent a sleepless night thinking about the time you'll have to get up to reach the airport or train station. This “cuenta regresiva”, or countdown, has a direct impact on our sleep: we travel with the accumulated fatigue of the hours before departure.
The culprits: emotion, anxiety and stress
These three factors can disrupt our sleep before a trip. But why does this happen? What is it that keeps us awake when we need it so badly? No matter what techniques we use to fall asleep, our eyes stay wide open and the hours fly by.
Hormones involved: cortisol and adrenaline
The answer lies in the increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline (also called epinephrine) in our bodies. When these hormones are elevated, our heart rate tends to increase, which is common when we are stressed or excited. At night, this results in difficulty falling or staying asleep. In addition, excitement causes us to think about the next day and imagine different scenarios, which requires concentration and is incompatible with sleep.
How to avoid this sleep problem?
As you lie exhausted but sleepless, you begin to imagine how tired you will be the next day if your eyes don't finally close. You then think about your own insomnia, and the more you focus on it, the faster your mind speeds up and the less sleep you get. To avoid this, here are some tips.
Get into a routine and prepare to leave
According to The Sleep Charity, the first thing you should do is make sure you go to bed at your usual time. This, of course, means getting everything ready for the next day in advance.
You don't want to go to bed with a to-do list still hanging over your head, as this will give your brain the perfect reason to ruminate endlessly. Take a preemptive approach and try to finish all tasks before you go to bed. Pack your bags, place your tickets, documents and other essentials in your bag, and this way, your mind will be more serene to find the much desired sleep before your trip.