The beverages we drink while traveling have a significant impact on our sleep health.
Imagine it, you’ve planned the perfect vacation. Every detail has been accounted for, and you’ve mapped out the days to be filled with sight-seeing and adventures. However, just after the first day of vacation, you already feel drowsy, moody, and don’t feel like you have the energy to go on all the adventures you had planned previously. You’ve planned the vacation of the century, but all you want to do now is go back to the hotel and take a nap!
When your sleep cycle has been disturbed it can affect your mood and energy levels throughout the day. However, the solution to getting a better night’s sleep during travel may be as easy as simply changing the drinks you are consuming. Let’s discuss 3 popular drinks that are often the culprit for sleep troubles:
Coffee is the most popular drink in the world. There are coffee shops on every continent and in almost every airport – it’s a global epidemic! The caffeine contained in coffee enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and takes effect as soon as 15 minutes after the first sip. Caffeine has a half-life of about 6 hours, which means it can disrupt your sleep cycle if you’re not careful.
Symptoms of coffee may include:
– Anxiety and Irritability
– Rapid heartbeat
– Excessive urination
– Sleep disturbance/insomnia
Solution: Drink decaf coffee during the afternoons and evenings while traveling to avoid possible sleep disturbances at night.
Alcohol-impaired sleep can be disruptive no matter where you are, but when you’re traveling, it can put a damper on your daytime energy. Most people assume that alcohol helps them sleep better because of the sleepy feeling they get after they consume alcohol. While alcohol may make you feel sleepy, that doesn’t mean it helps you get quality shut-eye. Alcohol affects the levels of chemicals in the body that signal us to sleep or wake up. Therefore, you may fall asleep quickly after a glass or two, only to wake up feeling wide-awake in the middle of the night.
Solution: Drink non-alcoholic beers and wines at social gatherings or before bedtime to avoid alcohol-impaired sleep.
Even though some sodas are “caffeine-free,” drinking soda before bedtime can cause sleep irritability due to the carbonation. Carbonation is known to cause bloating and stomach pressure, triggering heartburn at night. GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, flares up at night which leads to bodily discomfort that can keep you up all night long.
Solution: Drink caffeine-free herbal tea to avoid sleep discomfort and disturbances.
The bottom line is: Sleep affects your daytime energy levels and mood, but by being mindful of the amounts of caffeine, alcohol, and carbonation that are in the drinks you consume during travel – you can help your body get the sleep it needs so that you can have the fun you want!