Sleep is a precious commodity for me in my travels. Because the lack of it affects the full appreciation of my trip the next day.
At the same time, I sometimes tend to maximize my trip by exploring more of the new place I have been to even it’s already late at night, sans personal security issues. This then results to eventual lack of sleep.
When we think about it deeply, we rarely think about how scientists have played a role in changing how we sleep or don’t sleep. There is really much more to it, and scientific research has discovered many interesting things about sleep and how it affects everything from health to mental performance essential for traveling.
Scientists Who Changed the Way We Sleep
Research has shown that lack of sleep has been associated with everything from an increased risk of developing heart disease or obesity, to increased incidents of traffic accidents due to sleep deprived people nodding off behind the wheel during a long roadtrip. Science has played an important role in the area of sleep, from understanding sleep cycles, to developing a more comfortable tempurpedic mattress variations, to even inventing something that has inadvertently caused the world to actually get less sleep.
On an interesting note, many people have NASA scientists to thank for helping them to sleep better at night. Yes, the same NASA that sends astronauts into space. This is because of their invention of Temper foam that was originally developed by NASA to use in space flights on aircraft seats to reduce impact upon landing. Temper foam is now used in several mattress brands and is made from open cell polyurethane-silicon plastic allows weight to be distributed evenly, absorbs shock, and will return to its original shape when the person rises from the bed. The memory foam can be customized to help reduce pressure on certain body parts, to help prevent the development of bedsores, and to provide support for the patients.
Furthermore, a study conducted by the scientists at the University of California San Diego have come to the conclusion that people find it easier to problem solve after they have come out of the dream state, or rapid eye movement (REM) cycle of sleep. The popular Beatles hit “Yesterday”, the idea for the Frankenstein monster, among others, are believed to have been products of dreams.
Solve the Sleep Problem
This leads us wanting to solve these issues about sleep. As stated above, scientists have played a big role in helping us understand how we sleep, what is involved during our sleep cycles, and what we need to do to promote better sleep. Some common solution approach include avoiding what deprives us of sleep like caffeine and nicotine near bedtime, making the environment condusive to sleep, and establish a pre-sleep routine to wind down before bed.
Personally, I highly suggest you get enough sleep in your trips or in between them. Take advantage of that long train ride or bus ride from one place to another. It may be difficult to get sick specially when you are travelling alone in a foreign country and have but yourself to depend on.
How about you, what experiences or advise can you share about sleeping problems in your travels?