When it's crunch time, meeting planners wind up working long hours under high stress. While it might feel like there's always more to do, it's important to take a break and get a good night's sleep at the end of the day. According to a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, 90 percent of Americans with excellent sleep health say they are very productive at getting things done, compared with 46 percent of those with poor sleep health.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get at least seven hours of sleep per day, but planners on the go might have a particularly hard time falling asleep in a new city or an unfamiliar room. Try the following tips from Omni Hotels and Resorts to get some solid shut-eye before your conference kicks off.
1. Keep a Regular Schedule
Travel can disrupt your routines in all kinds of ways -- from eating at odd hours to waking in the middle of the night. To nip jet lag in the bud, you'll want to adjust to the local time zone as soon as you land and avoid napping if you can.
As tempting as a nap might be, it will only keep you up later at night. Instead, stay active during the day and then head to bed at your usual time. Waking up and going to bed at the same time as you normally would back home will help your body stay on track and make it easier to fall asleep when the sun goes down.
2. Don't Eat or Drink Too Much Before Bed
It's not just about what you eat, but also when you eat. According to the National Health Service, a late-night snack before bed can cause indigestion.
You might also want to reconsider that second round of drinks. The National Sleep Foundation discourages drinking any alcohol or caffeine for at least three to four hours before bedtime, as they can keep you up.
3. Ask the Concierge For Tips
Blackout curtains and soundproof windows are a weary traveler's best friends. But that's not all hotels have to offer. Some properties, such as the Omni Hilton Head, have "Sleep Kits" on hand with eye masks and ear plugs. Others offer sound machines and aromatherapy products.
"For meeting planners, we send up to their rooms a journal with a pen and a lavender-scented eye mask from the spa with the following message: Before you go to bed tonight, write your thoughts down in this journal for a good night's sleep. Looking forward to crushing day one of your conference tomorrow," said Johanna Marlin, director of sales at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.
Stop by the concierge when you check in to see what is available at your hotel.
4. Take a Bath
After a long day, there's nothing better than settling into a warm bath and letting your worries slip away. According to Medical News Today, warm baths can help relax the body and induce sleep. The best time for a bath is one to two hours before bedtime. Adding Epsom salts or aromatherapy oils to the water can also help reduce stress and make it easier to sleep.
5. Try Relaxing Exercises
Heavy exercise before bed, such as a late-night trip to the gym or a midnight run around the neighborhood, should be avoided, as it can cause insomnia in some people. Instead, Sleep.org recommends yoga or stretching.
Before you get under the covers, Liz Hutto, spa director at Omni Amelia Island Planation Resort & Spa, suggests trying the following exercise:
"Relax before you slumber with a restorative yoga pose," said Hutto. "Standing with your feet hip distance apart, inhale deeply and bring your arms overhead. Then, slowly exhale bending at the waist. Clasp each elbow with the opposite hand and just hang. Take 10-15 deep breaths. Slowly bend your knees and roll up to standing. Having the head lower than the heart is a great way to relax the nervous system."
Next you time you find yourself tossing and turning in a hotel bed, remember the tips above. A warm bath and a little yoga might be just what you need to catch some more Zs.