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After the original post 5 Tips for better sleep on your cruise vacation, the question about how is the best way to deal with crossing over multiple timezones when traveling was posed. Dr. Robert Oexman gave us these tips:
1. You can start shifting your bed time and wake up time by 2 hours each day prior to your trip. Most of us do not have the luxury of doing this with work schedules.
2. Here is the most reasonable solution. Keep your regular bed time prior to your trip
a. One you arrive at your destination, and it is still daytime, get out and get plenty of sunlight. One of the strongest ways to reset our body clock is to expose ourselves to light; especially sunlight.
b. Exercise is another good way to reset our body clock. Walking outside is a great way to keep us alert and reset our body clock.
c. If at all possible avoid napping. If you do nap, keep it to 30 minutes or less. If you get sleepy go outside and walk.
d. The quicker you adapt all of your behaviors to the new time zone, and stick with it, the faster you will adapt.
e. Research has shown that melatonin can be taken to help with adapting to the new time zone. You can take it 30 minutes prior to the time you want to fall asleep. The dosage does not need to be more than one milligram.
3. Crossing time zones from East to West is easier than traveling West to East. When traveling West to East you usually travel at night. Get as much sleep as possible on the flight. Melatonin is a good solution for helping you get accustomed to the new time zone. You can begin taking it on the plane the first night. When traveling from East to West you usually travel during day light hours. Take a brief nap in the middle of the flight but try and stay awake most of the time. Once you are at home you can take melatonin at bed time to help you adapt to the new time zone.
Dr. Robert Oexman serves as chair of the Sleep To Live Institute’s Sleep and Wellness Board, and he received his Doctor of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, and his Master of Business Administration from Missouri State University. His graduate studies include the science of ergonomics and sleep disorders medicine and the effect they have on quality of life.
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[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/09/21/sleep-cruise/”%5DMany of us go on a cruise vacation looking to recharge from the daily grind. Getting plenty of GOOD sleep is an important part of coming home refreshed and rejuvenated. We asked Dr. Robert Oexman Director of the Sleep to Live Institute for his top 5 keys for getting plenty of sleep on your next cruise vacation.
5 Tips for better sleep on your cruise vacation:
1. Ear plugs: Whether you plan to sleep in late or retire early, cruise ships are busy 24 hours a day. To prevent being awaken by the late night crowd or early morning risers use ear plugs to stop the noise. If the ear plugs are uncomfortable you can usually cut them in half so they fit in the ear more comfortably.
2. Eye mask: if you have an inside state room you will not have to worry about early morning light. If you have an outside stateroom the early morning light may prevent you from sleeping in as long as you wish.
3. Pool side napping: One of the great pleasures about vacation and cruising is the ability to sleep any time you wish. Most people take advantage of our natural tendency to be sleepy after lunch to catch up on sleep that we may have lost the night before or the weeks leading up to vacation. If you have trouble sleeping at night you may want to skip on the naps during the day. Napping during the day decreases our sleep drive at night. If you find yourself getting sleepy around the pool, get up and take a quick swim or walk around the deck.
4. Alcohol: People who normally drink very little at home will see an increase in the alcohol consumption when vacationing. Alcohol will decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep but it will decrease the quality of our sleep. People who drink have very fragmented sleep but will often not remember all of the awakenings. If you are going to drink, do not drink more than one alcoholic drink per hour. Make sure and drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume. The combination of alcohol and sun exposure will dehydrate you very quickly. Always quit drinking alcohol at least one hour before bed time. Do not drink caffeinated drinks to “sober you up” before bedtime. Caffeine will only add to the sleep disruption later in the night. Water is the best liquid to drink at bed time.
5. Food: The midnight buffet is always a great treat on a cruise. If you are going to enjoy the buffet make sure and eat foods that are easy to digest. Stay away from high fat foods and limit the sweets that have chocolate which contain caffeine. If spicy foods upset your stomach at normal meal times you can guarantee they will disrupt your sleep when you are trying to sleep immediately after eating from the buffet.
Have specific Questions about getting great sleep while on vacation? Please leave them in the comments.
Photo by Planetchopstick on Flickr
We will continue the Cruise and Sleep subject later this week. We will get tips from Dr. Oexman about how to maximize sleep when crossing several timezones.
Dr. Robert Oexman also serves as chair of the Sleep To Live Institute’s Sleep and Wellness Board, and he received his Doctor of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, and his Master of Business Administration from Missouri State University. His graduate studies include the science of ergonomics and sleep disorders medicine and the effect they have on quality of life.
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