The Effects of Business Travel on Your Health and Sleep

When it comes to health, both physical and mental, balance is important. Without time to disconnect, reflect, and sleep well, our bodies and minds can easily become overwhelmed, run down, and less prepared to take on busy days. 

We understand that business travel can be demanding. It’s not always optional and will often require travel outside business hours, as well as time working in different locations, perhaps even in different time zones. 

There are three main aspects of your life which all this travel might start to affect:
Sleep
Nutrition
Mental Health 

If you’re worried that business travel is taking a toll on your health, follow these tips and make a few simple changes to reconnect with yourself. You’ll reap the rewards in all aspects of your life. 

Sleep
Whether you’re a frequent business flyer or you’re regularly driving across the country, it’s likely that your sleep is suffering. 
It’s recommended that adults take time to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, which can often be hard to achieve. 
If you are struggling to take time to create a stable sleep, try the following:

1. Download a sleep app to help monitor your routine
2. Switch off or step away from electronics at least an hour before bedtime – try reading instead
3. Improve the quality of your sleep by creating a relaxing environment, free of distractions

If your schedule demands you be somewhere – in a meeting, on the road, or at the airport – particularly early or late, consider booking a room in a nearby Novotel. Spending the night means you won’t need to wake up too early or worry about travelling home when you should be asleep. Instead, take time for both your body and mind.
Nutrition

Nutrition plays a crucial role in overall health, contributing to energy levels and the normal functioning of the body. When you’re in and out of meetings, on the road, or flying regularly, it can be difficult to take time to fit in three healthy meals a day. 
While it can be difficult – follow these simple guidelines and keep on top of your body’s nutritional needs:

1. Eat a good breakfast – if you don’t have time in the morning, grab a banana or a sugar-free muesli bar, or prepare overnight oats the night before and keep them in your fridge, ready to eat quickly in the morning
2. Keep lunch light – vegetables, fish, meat, beans and grains are all great energy providers and will help you avoid an afternoon slump
3. Take your own food on the road and on flights – avoid fast food and airplane food wherever possible
4. Stop consuming caffeine four to six hours before bedtime
5. Eat dinner at least two to three hours before bedtime – if you’re hungry late at night, have a small, healthy snack 

If you follow these tips and remember to stay hydrated, try to drink two liters of water a day. This can help to avoid fatigue and stay on top of things so you can make the most of your time
Mental Health
Constant travel can be a threat to your physical health if you aren’t careful, but with the right sleep routine and nutritional balance, you should be able to avoid getting run down. However, your mental health is a different thing altogether, and it can seem much harder to control. 

If business travel is taking its toll, there are steps you can take to improve your mental health and stay positive, motivated, and ready for whatever life throws at you. 
Meditation
Meditation is the practice of mindfulness – through focusing your mind on an object, thought, or activity, you can train your awareness and achieve a greater level of mental clarity, calmness and help you to unwind. 

If you’re new to meditation, download an app to help guide you as you get started. With daily practices of just ten minutes, you can make steps to transform your mental health and start approaching each day with the best possible attitude. 
Meditation apps:
Calm

With just a little consideration, you can take steps towards controlling your mental health no matter what your schedule demands. 

Whether you’re commuting and working nine-to-five, driving the length of the country for meetings, or jetting between cities to deal with new clients, the basic practices are the same. Your health is worth the extra effort, and once you get into the habit of taking time for yourself, you’ll find all aspects of your life benefit.
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