How to reset sleep schedule after travel

If you've just returned from an adventure-packed journey or a business trip across time zones, you might find yourself struggling to get back into your regular sleep routine. In this comprehensive guide, we'll share practical tips, backed by science and real-life experiences, to help you reset your sleep schedule after travel. 

The Impact of Travel on Sleep

Before we embark on our sleep reset journey, let's first understand the reasons behind the disruption of your sleep schedule due to travel. When you traverse multiple time zones, your body's internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, becomes disoriented. This leads to a phenomenon commonly known as jet lag, where your sleep-wake cycle becomes out of sync with the local time.

According to research published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews, it takes approximately one day to adjust for each time zone crossed. So, if you traveled across three time zones, it may take you around three days to fully recover and reset your sleep schedule.

Adjusting Your Sleep Schedule

Now that we know the culprit behind our sleep schedule woes, let's explore some practical strategies, supported by scientific studies and personal experiences, to reset it effectively. Follow these tried-and-true techniques to get back on track and enjoy restful nights after your travel adventures:

Gradual Time Adjustment

One of the most effective ways to reset your sleep schedule is by gradually adjusting your bedtime and wake-up time. Dr. Charles Czeisler, a sleep expert at Harvard Medical School, suggests shifting your sleep and wake times by no more than 30 minutes each day until you reach your target sleep schedule. This gradual approach helps your body adapt to the new time zone without causing significant disruptions.

For example, if you traveled westward and need to delay your sleep schedule, try going to bed 15 minutes later each night and waking up 15 minutes later in the morning. Repeat this process until you reach your desired sleep and wake times.

Embrace Natural Light

Exposure to natural light plays a crucial role in resetting your internal clock. Research published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that exposure to natural light helps regulate melatonin production and synchronizes your body's circadian rhythm with the local time.

Make an effort to get outside and soak up the sunlight during the day. Take a walk, enjoy your morning coffee on a sunny patio, or simply sit by a window to get that much-needed light exposure. If you're traveling to a destination with significant time zone differences, try to align your outdoor activities with the local daylight hours to aid in adjusting your sleep schedule.

Mindful Napping

If you're feeling fatigued during the day, a well-timed nap can provide a quick energy boost. However, be mindful of the duration and timing of your naps. Keep them short (around 20-30 minutes) and avoid napping too close to your desired bedtime to prevent interference with nighttime sleep.

Napping strategically can help bridge the gap between your disrupted sleep schedule and the new local time. For example, if you find yourself feeling drowsy in the afternoon, a short power nap can provide a temporary energy boost without compromising your ability to sleep at night.

Optimize Your Sleep Environment

Creating a sleep-friendly environment can significantly aid in resetting your sleep schedule. Make your bedroom a sanctuary of relaxation by ensuring it's cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using our oversized weighted sleep mask, which provides a comforting pressure to calm your senses and promote deep, uninterrupted sleep.

Studies have shown that weighted blankets and sleep masks can help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and improve sleep quality. The gentle pressure from the weighted mask mimics the feeling of a comforting hug, releasing neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin, which aid in inducing sleep. Our oversized design ensures maximum comfort, allowing you to drift off into dreamland effortlessly.

Healthy Sleep Habits and Self-Care Practices

Resetting your sleep schedule goes hand in hand with adopting healthy sleep habits and self-care practices. Let's explore some additional strategies to support your sleep reset journey:

Stick to a Consistent Schedule

Consistency is key when it comes to resetting your sleep schedule. Establish a consistent sleep and wake routine, even on weekends. This trains your body to anticipate sleep at a specific time, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up refreshed.

To help you maintain a consistent schedule, consider using a sleep tracking app or setting reminders on your phone. These tools can help you stay accountable and ensure you're getting enough sleep at the right times.

Limit Exposure to Blue Light

Electronic devices emit blue light that can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Minimize exposure to screens, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, especially in the evening hours.

If you must use these devices, consider installing blue light filter apps or wearing blue light-blocking glasses to reduce the impact on your sleep. These tools filter out the blue light wavelengths, allowing your body to produce melatonin naturally and promoting better sleep.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can help calm your mind and prepare your body for a restful night's sleep. Consider incorporating the following practices into your bedtime routine:

  • Deep Breathing: Engage in deep, slow breaths, focusing on your inhales and exhales. This practice activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

  • Meditation: Set aside a few minutes before bed for meditation. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and bring your attention to your breath or a soothing guided meditation. Meditation can help quiet the mind and ease you into a peaceful state before sleep.

  • Gentle Stretching: Perform gentle stretches or try a relaxing yoga routine to release tension from your muscles and promote physical relaxation.

Patience and Persistence

Resetting your sleep schedule after travel requires patience and persistence. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and your sleep schedule won't be reset overnight. Be kind to yourself, embrace the process, and celebrate small victories along the way. With time and consistency, you'll regain your sleep schedule and bid jet lag farewell.


Remember, sleep is a precious gift we give ourselves each night. By implementing the strategies shared in this guide and nurturing healthy sleep habits, you'll not only reset your sleep schedule but also promote overall well-being. Bon voyage to a blissful night's sleep!

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