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It wasn’t easy, but you’ve perfected the fine art of falling asleep in your own bed, with the help of a white noise machine, the perfect pillow and blackout shades. Then you go on vacation, and all bets are off—the hotel comforter is scratchy, the air conditioner keeps making a funny noise and the temperature is constantly shifting between North Pole and Sahara Desert. Problem solved: Here are seven ways to guarantee a great night’s sleep, even when you’re traveling.

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vacation sleep bed
Twenty20

Bring Your Own Pillow

Fact: Whether you’re staying at an old friend’s, Aunt Peggy’s or a four-star hotel, the pillows are never going to be as comfy as the ones at your house. Just accept it and bring your own pillow along. (It’ll help you sleep better on the plane, too.)

vacation sleep phone
Twenty20

Download a White Noise App

When you’re sleeping in a hotel, having a room that’s next to the ice maker can mean the difference between a great night’s sleep and a disastrous one. Don’t leave it up to chance—download a free white noise app and play it while you’re settling into bed to mask any unfamiliar sounds.

vacation sleep oils
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Pack a Vial of Lavender Essential Oil

We know—TSA restrictions. You want to pack as few liquids as possible, and you already have your salt spray, contacts solution and that amazing conditioner you swear by. But one little bottle of lavender essential oil in your carry-on can do wonders when you’re trying to sleep, our friends at the University of Maryland Medical Center tell us. Just dab a drop on each temple and take deep breaths. You’ll be dreaming in no time.

vacation sleep readin
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Give Yourself Extra Time to Wind Down

After a long day of work and errands, crawling into bed is easy. But when you’ve spent the day lounging by the pool, it’s no wonder you’re wired when it’s officially time to hit the hay. Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent, dim the lights and pick up a good book—you’ll be snoozing by page five, we promise. 

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vacation sleep object
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Bring the Stuff That Feels Like Home

We know, we know, you want to pack light. But even bringing one object that you’re attached to can mean the difference between a night of tossing and turning and a great night’s sleep. It could be a silk sleep mask, a photo of your family or your childhood teddy bear.

vacation sleep dessert
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Go Easy on Dessert

What’s the biggest difference between being on vacation and being at home? Um, maybe that giant piece of tiramisu you downed at that amazing restaurant by the beach at 11 p.m. Sugar can affect your sleep, so limit your midnight snack intake to a bite or two.

vacation sleep time
Twenty20

Stay on Local Time

When you’re crossing multiple time zones, it can be tempting to take a four-hour nap in the middle of the day (hey, it’s midnight at home). But even if it means a day of complete and total exhaustion, it’s better to stay awake and adjust to the local time zone. (You came to Paris to explore, not stalk your ex on Instagram at 3 a.m.)

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