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How to ensure a great night's sleep when traveling on business

Travelling on business can play havoc with your sleep routine.  Jet lag is one thing but even with minor shifts in time zone, trying to sleep well in hotels can sometimes feel like a struggle.

In the latest instalment of our healthy business traveler series, we offer some simple tips that will help.

1) When you travel, your regular routine will be disrupted.  Even those who sleep brilliantly at home can sometimes struggle when on the road.  The solution is to maintain as many elements of consistency between your home routine and your travel routine as you can.  Aim to observe your usual bed time and follow your regular pre-sleep routine.

There may be nights when meetings run late or a business dinner rolls on for hours but keep an eye on the clock and make a judgement on when the event stops being the best investment of your time and may begin to jeapordise how well you'll perform the next day.  Even if you can't follow your home routine exactly, aim to get close to what works in your usual environment.  Just because you're away from home, don't turn your regular habits that work for you completely on their head.

2) Pay attention to your sleeping environment.  At home you have space to organise your life and your surroundings as you would like them.  In hotels, although the rooms are clear and inviting when you first arrive, it doesn't take long for you to make your presence felt so check regularly that you're keeping the space tidy.  Less clutter helps create a relaxing environment for restful sleep.

3) Take time to get the temperature of the room right and establish some clear boundaries for where you work in the room and at what times you work.  The right amount of work, at a desk, will help you stay organised then you can pack your computer away with a clear head for the night.  Beware working on the bed until you feel drowsy and then fall asleep.  This will not lead to a quality sleep.

4) Make sure you have a book, magazine or relaxing music with you in case you wake during the night.  Embrace the fact that you're awake and then distract yourself knowing that you'll fall asleep again soon.  Without some relaxing distractions your mind will whirr with work thoughts and this is likely to keep you awake for longer.