Insomnia: Adjusting to Sleeping in New Places and Coming Home
I spent all summer away from home in my motorhome. It was an adjustment when I first started sleeping in the motorhome. It was also an adjustment when I came back home. In fact, I am still adjusting. With all the changes, I have lost quite a bit of sleep.
As I struggle to readjust to sleeping at home, it occurred to me that sleeping in new places is hard. Most of us already knew that. Sleeping in old places is also hard if you have not slept there in a while.
Sleepless nights while traveling
Whether you are away from home on vacation or for work, coming home may feel like a new place to sleep. At least that is what my body thinks. Perhaps it is different for you. I was away from home for almost 6 months. That is quite a long time, of course, but I have the same issue if I am on vacation for a week.
While my recent travels have been quite limited, I generally travel a decent bit. One particular trip I often take is a 14-hour drive, and we drive straight through without stopping. It is impossible for me to sleep in the car, so I find myself awake for more than 24 hours.
Despite being completely exhausted, I rarely get more than 4 hours of sleep the first night after I arrive. At that point, I am too tired to sleep. When I get home, I have the same issue. I must adjust to my sleeping environment all over again.
Recreating my normal sleeping environment
No matter where I go, I keep the same amount of pillows and blankets, if possible. I make sure the room is at the same temperature if I can. I try to make my sleeping conditions the same to make the adjustment easier. It does speed up the transition process, but I still find myself enduring a few sleepless nights.
If you find yourself sleeping somewhere new in your travels, try to recreate your normal sleeping environment. You might find that your sleep pattern is not completely disrupted. It will certainly make the transition a bit easier if you will be sleeping in a new place for a little while.
Adjusting to new sleeping environments
If you have insomnia, you know that losing even the smallest amount of sleep is devastating. I have found that it is easier to adjust if the bed and pillows feel the same as home. I often take my own pillow when I go on vacation.
Nothing like my own pillow
It is not that I do not like hotel pillows. Some are very nice, but they are not my pillow. My pillow is what I am used to, and I sleep better when I have the things I am used to sleeping with at night. My pillow smells like home, and that is comforting. Perhaps it would help you to take your own pillow.
When I get home, I still have the same pillow. After the trip, it smells like where I have been. It is of some comfort until I readjust. Adjusting to a new sleep environment takes time. Do what you can to make it feel like your bedroom at home, and it might speed up your period of adjustment.
Do you have any tips and tricks for adjusting to new sleeping environments? I would love to hear them.
Do you find your sleep is impacted by the change of seasons?