Can’t sleep knowing you have to get up early? Restlessly daydreaming of crystal blue lagoons anxious you’ll miss your flight? You’re not alone.  

By Annabel Fuller

Have you ever had a 5am flight? That’s meant you’ve needed to wake up at 2am to account for travel, check-in and last-minute packing? I know I have. As a normal sleeper, this unusual schedule shouldn’t throw off my sleep that much, but my pre-travel insomnia stops me from getting any sleep the night before travelling.

I’m not a nervous flyer but like 43,200 other Australians, I have a hard time sleeping the night before an important event such as a flight. To find out how to combat this pre-travel insomnia I contacted Tuck a community site with a mission to help people sleep better. One of their sleep experts Sara sent in some tips.

Anxiety and sleep go hand in hand. Berkeley research indicates when your well-rested you are better equipped to handle anxiety. When you are lacking sleep you become vulnerable to excessive worrying. Sara suggests that worrying about sleep can cause lost sleep. Anticipatory anxiety occurs when you are worried about missing sleep. She suggests creating a calming sleep environment and try to focus on getting to bed early. It is important to remember that being tired at the airport is not the be-all, so try not to give yourself a hard time if you can’t sleep.

As common travel anxieties include jet lag, forgetting important items and lack of control, Sara recommends preparing yourself for the trip a few days in advance. Jet lag can be managed by adjusting to your destinations wake times a few days ahead. Likewise, stressing about forgetting important items can be avoided by packing against a list and re-checking everything before trying to sleep. For those who get anxious about being out of control, focus on what you can control. Whilst you can’t fly the plane, preselect a seat you feel comfortable in, choose a hotel that your familiar with and pre-research some local cafes you may like to eat at.

And if you still can’t sleep get out of bed. Instead of focusing on the excitement of the journey ahead try something that’s both productive and calming like reading or journaling.

Follow these tips and before you know it, rested and rejuvenated you’ll be swooning in crystal waters, anxiety-free.