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Sleep for Adventure Travelers

Sleep for Adventure Travelers

Nov 22, 2021

Ok, so sleep is important all the time for absolutely everyone. There is no doubt about that. For adventure travelers, sleep plays a crucial role in making the best of your trip. Sleep deprivation is known to cause a number of pretty serious problems, most of which have the potential to wreak havoc on a good adventure.

Coordination and Judgement

Unlike the average work trip or vacation to see the in-laws, adventure travelers know they are going to be up and moving. Whether you are hiking, snorkeling, skydiving or rock climbing all of these activities require coordination and focus. Depending on the situation, sometimes one missed step could have very big consequences. Lack of sleep can impact your equilibrium and judgment, both of which are incredibly important.

A 2016 study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles demonstrated a distinct disruption in neuron to neuron communication associated with sleep deprivation. This delay caused notably slower cognitive responses and impaired judgment. When you are rock climbing and you think the next foothold is closer than it really is, that could make for a rough day.

tired on the trail

Physical Recovery

After a long day white water rafting or mountain biking, your body is likely to be a little sore. No one wants to have their trip ruined because their legs are too sore to keep pedaling. Sleep is crucial for the body to physically recover from any sort of exercise.

Working out, of any sort, typically creates small micro-tears in the muscle fibers used. During sleep, these fibers go through a reparative process. This is when muscle growth occurs and strength is gained. If sore muscles are not allowed to recover, tears will continue to form and injuries are more likely to occur.

Activity Level

Dragging yourself out of the tent after only an hour or two of rest could make for a rough safari or fishing expedition. Your ability to take part in all of the activities on your list is largely determined by your ability to keep your eyes open during them. Not only will you find yourself groggy on your trip, lack of sleep could also leave you grumpy. That, my friend, is no fun for anyone. What good is a great adventure if you are too tired to enjoy it?


Making Memories

Adequate sleep is closely tied to the mind’s ability to record and recall events. Photos can certainly help, but being able to recall details and emotions associated with your travel adventure is an important part of the adventure itself. Little things like what you ate and how amazing the sky looked are often more important than facts like how long the hike took. Make the most of your experiences by allowing your brain time to store the information.

How Adventure Travelers Get Better Sleep:

There are a number of tricks to making sure you get an adequate amount of shut-eye wherever the journey takes you. Sometimes a combination of multiple tips is ideal and well worth any extra effort. 

Adjusting to the Time Zone

Changing time zones can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm. This is basically the internal time clock that controls when you naturally feel like being asleep or awake. Using natural sunlight wherever you land can help your brain to adjust faster. If you venture east, try and get a little bit more morning sun. If going west, shoot for a bit more evening sun. This can trick your brain into finding a state of natural balance (homeostasis). If you can avoid napping once you land in your new time zone, this may also incite a faster adjustment.

airplane over the ocean

CBD oil for Sleep

CBD is a natural cannabinoid that is known to help the body restore homeostasis. It also promotes a sense of relaxation without the high that its cousin THC is known for. This natural cannabinoid, taken before your desired sleep time, can both help you to fall asleep and also to experience a more restful sleep. An added benefit of CBD oil is that it is also an antioxidant. This means that it has the ability to fight off inflammation-inducing free radicals. This can lead to better physical and mental recovery.

Strategic Napping

The generally recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is seven hours per 24 hour period. Depending on your particular activity, adventure travelers may find that their schedule just doesn’t allow for seven straight hours. Luckily this time can be made up during the day.

If you are only able to get five hours a night, making it up with two hours later in the day could make a world of difference. If you can’t make that happen but need a quick pick-me-up, getting 30 to 60 minutes should leave you waking up refreshed for a least a bit longer. Anything over an hour could potentially lead to a drowsy wake-up though it has more reparative benefits. Anything over two hours is considered sleep.

The bottom line is that sleep deprivation can totally undermine the experience for adventure travelers. If you have gone through all the trouble of putting together an epic trip, don’t let lack of sleep hold you back!