Sleeping in strange spaces

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There will come a time in most people’s lives when they will be required by adventure or by desperation to sleep in a less than ideal environment. For most travellers this will be at an airport, on a plane or in a bus or motor vehicle. For others, it could be on the couch, in the car or even in the bathtub. Wherever you may find yourself sleeping, here are some guidelines to getting the best sleep you can in a bad spot.

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1. Get horizontal

It is far easier to sleep if your head, neck and spine are well supported. The floor or a bench may make for a better night’s sleep than a chair with poor head support. If you do find yourself forced to sleep upright then grab as many pillows, towels, clothing items as you can and use them to support your lumbar spine (hollow in your lower back), as well as to provide support for your head and neck.

2. Get warm

Firstly, if at all possible get indoors rather than trying to sleep outdoors where the weather is less predictable. Secondly, use whatever clothing, coverings or co-sleepers (who are in agreement) to keep warm. Towels, surfboard covers, sheets of cardboard and large plastic bags can help keep the heat in. There is no point in worrying about glamour – if it helps you sleep, put it on.

3. Get the right kit on

Remove any uncomfortable items of clothing (neck ties, belts, bras and high heels) to allow better blood flow. A dark corner is better for sleeping but can be less safe so pick perhaps a more secure, brightly lit spot and use sunglasses or a scarf wrapped around your eyes to block out the light. Earplugs are helpful but may not be at your disposal, however, prestick, cotton wool balls or chewing gum have a similar effect. Alternatively use headphones to block out loud announcements or fellow party guests.


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