Troubles with the Circadian rhythm.....
Human beings and animals all need sleep...in fact, horses and zebras can sleep standing up even ants achieve this state of dormancy.
Newborn babies are able to sleep up to 18 hours per day. Three to five year olds often make do with nine to 11 hours. Adults usually sleep seven to eight hours. Recent research shows that sleeping more than eight hours a day is not good for an adult and apparently people living longest sleep only six to seven hours a day.
Yet, nobody has yet discovered why we sleep.
Sleep and travel go hand in hand. Many airline passengers pay the extra price to fly in business or first class in order to sleep on their flights on the lie-flat beds, instead of trying to become a contortionist and attempting to reach dreamland in a set with a 30 inch pitch.
I am one of those people, who absolutely need the right circumstances and environment to sleep. Frankly, onboard an aircraft flying at 33,000 feet is not conducive to nodland, as far as I am concerned.
That is why, the overall improvement in inflight entertainment aboard the world's major airlines, has been a boon for me. The last time I flew the 14 hours non-stop flight to Australia, I watched four movies, ate two meals, drank numerous cups of coffee and slept for about 30 minutes in total, though my better half maintains, it was more like two hours.
But, what I am attempting to explain is that the average traveller is usually deprived of sleep, when he/she arrives at the destination. This often makes travellers tetchy or irritable and demanding extra services...thus the airport, taxi and hotel operators often see the worst side of our characters.
Of course, it is not helpful, when on business or duty trip, if you stay in a hotel full of holidaymakers, who often party very late into the early hours of the morning slamming doors, shouting and generally spoiling your Circadian Rhythm.
When booking a hotel room, it is always worthwhile checking out their website. If the hotel offers lots of welcomes for vacationers, beware! Even an “ideal convention” hotel is a cautionary note, for delegates tend to enjoy their after-meeting get-togethers with mini bars in full use.
Some of my friends and colleagues vouch for the eye masks and earplugs supplied in overnight kits issued by airlines. I would be afraid of using earplugs in case there was a fire alarm in the hotel, which I would not be able to hear.
We always book a city tour when we arrive in a new destination. However, I am bound to admit, that the guidebook we often purchase at the end of the trip is always invaluable as we often drop off on the tour lulled by the droning of the guide and the mesmeric motion of the coach.
Continent hopping always creates problems for us and our relatives or business contacts. Nowadays with mobile phones, it is not unusual, when staying in the UK, to receive a call at 5.30 am. “Hi, Jonna...oh, did I wake you? Oh, dear, I had forgotten there is a four hour time difference”. This, of course, means that there will be yet another day of sleep deprivation.
If bats can sleep upside down, whales can sleep while swimming, some bird species sleep with half a brain, while the other half is fully awake...why should it be so difficult for some human beings like yours truly to achieve the natural state of bodily rest literally in the clouds?
The topic of sleep has featured in literature for hundreds of years and has been the subject of many notable quotations. The American-born British member of parliament, Henry Channon, once wrote: “There is nowhere in the world that sleep is so deep as in the libraries of the House of Commons”.
Julius Caesar considered it to be an indication of the type of men he liked to surround himself with, if they were good sleepers. He once said, “Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed and such as sleep o'nights. Yon Casius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much, such men are dangerous”.
Speaking Out by Jonna Simon