Whether it’s a long trip abroad, a regular commute or a few nights at your parent’s house over Christmas, a good night’s sleep can be hard to come by- especially when you're missing home comforts. In our first part of #HowTheySleep we meet explorer Jaz, a regular traveller who likes to experience the extraordinary. We speak to her about what makes a good night’s sleep, and how to overcome a potentially bad night.
Where do you consider home to be?
It has to do more with who’s there rather than the location. Home can be anywhere you feel comfortable and loved. I don't have a set 'home'. I call my friend Diana's house "home" when I'm in Texas because she lets me stay as long as I want and showers me with love, I call my parents house "home" when I stay with them, I call a horrible, dirty hostel room home after a long day of trekking around and exhausting myself in a new place. There isn't one set location that I identify as being my home. I have homes all over the world and I am so lucky for that.
Sleeping in a new bed can be difficult sometimes, especially if you’ve just had an arduous trip. What’s your trick to settling and finding a good night’s sleep?
Cosiness. I like making a giant cosy nest full of pillows, blankets, hot water bottles and getting as snug as possible. I have a bad habit of watching tv in bed and falling asleep to that. I usually put something rubbish on because if I watch something good or listen to a podcast, I fall asleep and miss most of it anyway. It's a bad habit I need to shake.
I love sleeping in a big comfy jumper if it's cold.
How do you survive sleeping in a new space?
I really like it when I find myself in a bed without wifi access, it means I don't fall into the trap of falling asleep to telly. Instead I'll write in my journal or read. I much prefer this. Sometimes I get scared in new spaces, especially if I'm the only person there. But usually I'm comfortable and happy in a new space as long as there is someone else there, they're my comfort!
Where’s the worst night’s sleep you’ve ever had?
I'm usually a really good sleeper so this is rare for me. I think it's probably when I am physically travelling. I just find myself in this weird exhausted headspace trying not to keep checking the time. I find it hard to not give in to jetlag. Once I took an overnight bus in Vietnam and that was a killer sleep-wise. It had these tiny plastic pod like beds and the roads were very uneven so you were constantly jumping in your bed as the bus rebounded off the road. Also the driver was constantly beeping the horn the entire journey. That wasn't great.
On long haul flights, I can never get to sleep, I find it so uncomfortable.
Where’s the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had?
Between May-November I didn't have my own room or bed. I'd been moving around a lot. For the last couple of months, I was sleeping on two old mattresses pushed together on the floor. They would constantly move apart and I would wake up, aching and in between both mattresses, not great! I recently moved into my own bedroom with a new mattress, duvet and pillows to go with it. It was so nice to finally have my own private space that is cosy and guaranteed at the end of the day. I've been sleeping really well since moving in.
What’s your bed-time ritual?
If I have work the next day I try to pick out my outfit and pack my bag the evening before so I don't have much to do in the morning. Brush my teeth, moisturise, straighten my hair and I'll get into bed between 30mins and an hour before I plan on going to sleep to get relaxed. I have fairy lights so I put those on.
I always make sure I have a fresh glass of water by my bed. I hate waking up feeling dehydrated.
*All images taken by Jasmine Mcniven.