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Courtesy of Emma Reeves

Travel tips: The art of sleeping on demand

If there’s one thing stereotypical students are good at, apart from studying and drinking of course, is sleeping. For many of us a train or bus journeys in and around the UK are relatively short and quick; twenty minutes, an hour or two maximum, so sleeping isn’t necessary. However when backpacking abroad, it’s a necessity. So when it comes to being able to sleep on demand usually on busy transport (sometimes accompanied by Chickens or other creatures), the average Joe or Josephine struggles. Over the years I have visited a fair few places and been on a lot of long haul flights, buses, trains, and even a camel (long story) and feel I have adequate experience to provide a list of helpful tips on mastering the art of sleeping on demand. Can be applied anywhere and everywhere with similar results – may cause side effects such as: snoring, dribbling, talking, walking or even dreaming.

1. Get comfortable.

Yes, an obvious starting point but an important one nevertheless! If you have a reclining chair, recline it. Just try not to squash others in the process. Spare seat next to you? Use that extra leg room. You never know how long it’s going to last! Also try and get a window seat if possible, aisle seats are notorious for people thundering past and toes being trampled on.

2. Get warm.

Anything from a jumper, onesie or blanket will do!

3. Peace and quiet.

A pair of earplugs is always handy, failing that your headphones will suffice. For me I love listening to quiet music through my headphones.

4. Darkness.

If you’re in a brightly lit place use a sleep mask, this is great for blocking out everything that would distract your naked closed eyes.

5. Get in the zone.

The main rule of sleeping on demand is to focus on the act of sleeping, so don’t eat, read, watch a film, go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube etc etc. Just focus on sleep and relax. If you struggle to relax at night sometimes doing simple breathing exercises works wonders in helping to relax your mind and prepare your body for sleep. If you find you do need to eat do it before you get onto the bus, train or plane you are about to board and you’ll find getting to sleep much easier.

About Hannah Banks


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