World Sleep Day

The business traveller’s guide to sleeping well

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Dump the misconception that travelling for business is fun and glamourous; in fact, according to frequent travellers it’s the complete opposite. Switching between time zones messes with your routine, as well as your diet and more often than none proves to be a sleep deprivation nightmare.

“Good quality sleep has finally taken its rightful place on the health throne as current evidence shows that this is one of the most powerful wellness interventions of the modern era. I find it quite ironic that sleep has become an intervention, rather than a habit, for so many of the chronic diseases we currently face. The role of sleep in the body’s maintenance and repair is priceless and while we look for miracle solutions and immune boosters in the form of medicines we must finally acknowledge - SLEEP IS MEDICINE. Finally we now understand the integral role that sleep plays in brain performance and in the more sophisticated fields of creativity, innovation and problem-solving,” says Dr Darren Green, Multimedia medical doctor and Neurowellness Corporate speaker

And as the globe observes World Sleep Day this Friday, 16 March – an annual event that aims to shine the spotlight on the importance of sleep, Dr Green says getting enough sleep every night is crucial to operate optimally, whether travelling for business or not. He says on average, the body needs to get in about 7-9 hours of sleep a night in order to feel well-rested the next day. And since a proper sleep cycle is 90-minutes long; the body needs around 4-5 sleep cycles a night to make up that 7-9 hour sleep ratio. 

But with an often jam-packed schedule, how do business travellers maintain a routine while travelling, factoring in a good sleep programme, as well as a healthy diet and training schedule. In this snippet, Dr Green shares a few tips on how best to adapt while travelling and offers a few sleep solutions specific to the business traveller.

Grab your goodies:

If it makes life easy at home remember to pack those practical living elements for the trip:

●        Chronic medication

●        Antihistamines

●        Nasal and throat spray

●        Asthma pump

Plan, plan, plan:

Planning for bed is as important as planning for a meeting or a day at the office. Always ensure all sleep elements are in place before bed to ensure maximum comfort and ease: 

●        Eat a healthy, small, well-balanced meal three hours before bed

●        Set alarm on the multiples of 1.5 hour segments – it helps body to wake-up and adjust to the new day.

●        Make use of eye masks if outside light is the problem 

●        Set the room air conditioner to a medium temperature – not too hot or too cold

Sleep soundly rituals:

Sleep rituals go hand-in-hand with before-bed planning, but these are especially important. Dr Green says before-bed traditions are instrumental to help you relax and wind-down, which helps with a good night’s rest. He suggests the following:

●        A cup of chamomile tea

●        A few drops of lavender oil on the pillow

Sleep stuff matters:

The sleep utensils definitely contribute positively to a restful night’s sleep. Dr Green advises to never underestimate the power of:

●        The pillow – it supports the neck and shoulder muscles 

●        The bed – it ensures maximum comfort and allows for a peaceful night’s rest

●        Pyjamas and bed linen – the materials matter, nylon irritates the skin, cotton is best

Leon Meyer, General Manager at the Westin Cape Town – a hotel on the Cape Town International Convention Centre precinct says his establishment is well-geared for the business traveller. He says good sleep is critical for both mental and physical health and that is why the Westin has created an assortment of products and programmes to ensure that every guest has a sound night’s sleep to prepare for the day ahead.

With the hotel’s award-winning Heavenly® Bed, calming Sleep Well Lavender Balm Amenity, and a special menu packed with sleep-enhancing superfoods, “guests will get an incredible night’s rest, ensuring you don’t just get up, you rise!”

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