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Sleep tips for the road-weary

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(CNN) -- Travel can put a crimp in a good night's sleep, but the road-weary can try some measures to fight fatigue.

A dark environment, a comfortable temperature, an afternoon nap and a soothing scent are among a traveler's best defenses.

A little fatigue may be inevitable, but here are a few simple steps sleep experts suggest to get you back to top form:

  • Even relatively small amounts of light can reset the body's internal clock, so find as dark an environment as possible when traveling.
  • Try to get a window seat near the front of the plane when flying. It's quieter and you'll have more control over the amount of light surrounding you, particularly with your own window shade. Bring along an eye mask to block more light.
  • When staying in a hotel, bring a nightlight or penlight if you get up at night. Using the least amount of light possible to get around helps avoid disturbing the body's circadian clock.
  • Try to keep the thermostat in your hotel room between 68 and 72 degrees. That's the optimal temperature for most people, but adjust to the temperature that is best for you. Make sure your hands and feet are extra warm.
  • Lavender oil or a spritz of lavender linen spray on your sheets often helps with restful sleep. The Sense of Smell Institute found that lavender increases the amount of time spent in the restful, restorative phase of sleep.
  • A nap during the day helps make up for midnight tossing and turning for people who normally sleep well but don't get enough sleep one night. Naps also help when you know you're going to have to stay up later the same night.
  • Try not to nap too close to bedtime or for more than 90 minutes. Doing so can throw off your body's internal rhythm.
  • The only people who shouldn't be napping are those losing sleep from insomnia or depression. Napping can worsen these conditions.

    CNN producer Shahreen Abedin contributed to this report, which first appeared on CNN.com in March 2005.

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