Getting your beauty sleep is essential, especially when traveling, because all that moving around, the different time zones, and unusual routines take a toll on your body. As you sometimes can’t control what environment you might find yourself in, and since adventure is so much more fun, when you become a professional gypsetter, you often end up sleeping in the most unexpected places.
I have slept on floors, in cars, in soft cozy beds in built-out vans, on buses, trains, planes, on sofas, in luxurious hotel beds, on a sun-lounger, on bunks, in a castle, in a tipi, at a scary mansion, in penthouses, inside an arcade racing game car (that’s an entire story of its own!), shared a bed with four people, and had an entire 5 bedroom house all to myself and took turns sleeping in each room. Which means that one of my greatest talents in life is my ability to sleep like a baby, absolutely anywhere. Which is a very important skill to have when you travel a lot.
Today I am going to share with you four important techniques on how to sleep like a gypsetter.
Learn to Relax
Being relaxed is imperative for getting a good nights sleep in ANY case so I always make sure I’ve had plenty of exercise so that my body is tired, and don’t ingest any caffeine or other stimulants after noon. Drinking a warm, calming cup of chamomile and stretching are both really useful for relaxing in preparation for a good nights sleep.
I have a bed time routine that helps me relax, that I can do anywhere which is both journaling and meditating. This helps me get any thoughts that might disturb me out, and I give my emotions permission to let go of the day to ensure that my sleep is sweet and clear of internal worries or disturbances.
On Hard Surfaces
A former Japanese health pioneer, Katsuzo Nishi published a book in 1927 detailing a system of exercises and practices which include sleeping on a hard surface such as a board, to help with spinal alignment and circulation. He argued that sleeping on hard surfaces actually can cure back problems and promote deeper sleep, which many alternative visionaries agree with.
Sleeping on hard surfaces is simple: you can either sleep on your back or on your front. The sides are pretty uncomfortable, especially if you have bony hips like I do. Fully relax your entire body and let yourself melt onto the floor or surface that you might be finding yourself on. Placing a pillow under the knees may be beneficial for some people, especially at first, and this has the added benefit of increasing circulation and oxygen to the brain. Once you get used to the idea you may come to realize that hard surfaces are a perfectly viable solution, and fall into a deep restful sleep. I’ve always enjoyed a hard surface every now and then. ;)
Airplanes, buses and trains come to mind when I think of sleeping upright, and there is certainly an art to it but for most people (except for those who are over 6 foot I suppose) sleeping in a seated position can be completely comfortable. You do need to be prepared though.
I always travel with a one of those U-shaped travel pillows to provide support to the head and neck while sleeping upright, and sometimes even bring a normal pillow with me, especially for plane trips. The premise is the same on all accounts but I will give you an example of how I sleep on long flights.
On long journeys I always choose the window seat, not only for the lovely view, but also because you can use the side of the seat for comfort and support. I place the larger pillow between myself and the window and lean my body against it for comfort, softness and to create a sweet sleeping position. Or if I only have the travel pillow with me, I place it snugly around me neck and then lean into the corner between the seat and the window until I find a comforting situation. Then I either stretch my legs out as far as I can underneath the seat in front of me. Or (yes, unfortunately I’m one of those passengers) I tuck my feet into the crevice in the seat in front of me to create a kind of sitting up fetal position. It’s most comfortable! Then I tuck a blanket around me, making sure my seatbelt is fastened around it on the outside so the flight attendants don’t disturb me, and pull my eye mask over my face. Et voila! I’m asleep within moments.
This one needs little explanation. I mean, how much guidance do you need to sleep in a happy cloud of high quality sheets and softness! I like to lie right in the middle of the bed and spread my arms and legs out wide so I can fully enjoy the luxury bed experience. Unless, of course, I’m sharing. Then my positioning depends on whom I’m sharing with!
One of my favorite hotel beds are the beds at the Hyatt. For some reason their mattresses, sheets and pillows are superiorly comfortable and luxurious. Just like the little bear says “Not too soft and not too hard, just right!” I always promised myself that when I buy a home to base my gypset lifestyle from, that I would buy the beds they have at the Hyatt. I even did a little bit of deep-vein-Internet-research, and discovered that these beds are in fact made by a company called Sleepmaker. Bingo! (Actually, I have never said bingo in my life, I have no idea how that just crept in!) You get the picture. I know where I’m getting my bed from!
Getting a good 8 hours sleep per night is imperative, especially when traveling, I mean, how are you supposed to charm people’s pants off when you have dark rings around your eyes and a crumpled expression in your face, coupled with a dark mood that might just bite if you’re not careful?! So making sure you get the best night sleep possible is always an important technique to conquer.