Traveling: Getting by without Sleep Aids

lady laying in bed in pajamas

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Whether done for work or for pleasure, traveling can be time intensive and demanding at times. No matter the distance involved, traveling can also be physically difficult to adapt to as a person adjusts to being in an alternative environment, in changing surroundings, and in possibly different time zones.

One the common challenges that travelers may face is being able to get adequate rest while on the road. The combination of the many changing factors involved with traveling can making sleeping seem almost close to impossible.

Many individuals who are traveling might resort to sleeping aids or medications to help induce sleep and relaxation, especially if traveling frequently. However, what if you are an individual who is in recovery from addiction or who is susceptible to misusing or abusing drugs?

Relying on sleeping aids, such as prescription medications or even over the counter substances may not be your best option. Thankfully there are some natural alternatives that may be helpful and safer for an individual who is susceptible to drug abuse.

Natural Alternatives

plane flyingThere are some natural herbs and supplements that may be helpful in reducing the time it takes to fall asleep, which may be helpful for someone who travels frequently and having issues with sleep in general. These include the hormone Melatonin and the herb Valerian, both of which have been shown to help individuals effectively improve sleep quality.

Other natural supplements that may be helpful include the herb Chamomile, which is often taken as a tea, Kava Kava, Trytophan, and Catnip.

Each of these natural supplements function differently and may react different to other substances, so it is always important to consult your physician before taking any over the counter supplements as a form of sleep aids. Like any other substances, natural sleep aids can also produce side effects, so be sure to understand what you are taking before trying something new.

Over the counter natural sleep aids, such as herbs, are not regulated by the FDA, which increases risks of unknown substances in what you are purchasing. If you are looking for a natural sleep aid, be sure to ask you doctor about suggestions that may be most appropriate for you.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

If you are a frequent traveler, what natural sleep remedies have been effective for you?

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions and co-occurring disorders.  These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.  We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.  

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 29th, 2015
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