Weekly travel rail, with a sleep tips for travelers, a look at a roadside attraction in the San Francisco Bay area and more.
After a few days of traveling, most of us start missing our favorite pillow, sheets, mattress and even alarm clocks. Familiarity helps make it easier to relax. Below are five common reasons travelers suffer from sleepless nights, followed by advice from Dr. Chris Drake, a bioscientific investigator at the Henry Ford Sleep Research Center in Detroit and the sleep expert for AmericInn Hotels' Sleep Better America campaign.
- Stiffness and drowsiness from long drives.
Dr. Drake's advice: Travelers who put lots of miles on their odometers should take regular breaks to get fresh air and stretch their legs. The worst thing to do is to sleep for long periods on a car ride. This can take away from the body's ability to have quality sleep at night. And remember, never drive while sleepy. Once settled in the hotel, hit the workout room or consider seated Pilates to re-energize and stay healthy.
- Work/deadline stress.
Dr. Drake's advice: Business travelers need to set strict boundaries. It's healthier and more productive to take mental and physical breaks. Schedule a massage, enjoy the whirlpool or take a walk. Relaxing before bed is important for good sleep quality.
- Unfamiliar sleep environment.
Dr. Drake's advice: To make hotel rooms more like home, travelers should bring their own pillow, sheets, blanket and photos of loved ones to create more comfortable sleep zones. Most hotels have thermostats in every room, and customers shouldn't be afraid to ask for help with setting the temperature. To ensure good shut-eye, light-sensitive travelers should invest in a high-quality eye mask.
- Noise distractions.
Dr. Drake's advice: If you’ve been to the area before and you know of a hotel known for providing a quiet and peaceful experience, stay there again. Also try to reduce noise distractions with white-noise machines or a soothing CD.
What: Bosco the Dog Mayor
Where: Sunol, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area
What’s there: Bosco, who was elected honorary mayor of this small town in 1981 – beating two humans in the election – last year had a statue erected in town in his honor. A nearby pub, Bosco's Bones and Brew, has a life-size depiction of Bosco that “urinates” beer.
More info: www.roadsideamerica.com/story/19948
Site to See
Pensacola, Fla., is celebrating its 450th birthday this year, and events to commemorate the anniversary are planned throughout the spring and summer. To check the schedule of events or to see what Pensacola has to offer, go to www.visitpensacola.com.
Good to Know
If you’re an American with relatives in Cuba, rules about traveling to the island are changing in your favor. Congress is loosening former President Bush’s rules and will allow relatives to fly to Cuba once a year (instead of once every three years) and spend more money while there. The new plan also lets more relatives travel (cousins, aunts and uncles, etc.).
GateHouse News Service