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    The downside of business travel

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    Being away from family, a lack of time to explore and having to live out of a suitcase are among the worst things about travelling for work.

    A poll of 2,000 business globetrotters found more than one in five dislike being away from home.

    Struggling to eat healthily, having to work longer hours and missing out on family time are also among the disadvantages. Others hate having to spend so long travelling to and from their destination and the disrupted sleep patterns which come with being away from home.

    In fact, the study found the average business traveller loses an average of 45 minutes sleep each night while working away, getting just five hours and 13 minutes of shut-eye. And four in five have trouble sleeping when travelling away from home.

    The findings emerged in a study by hotel company IHG, which has launched a pilot scheme introducing circadian lighting to help improve sleep for guests while they are on the road.

    Sleep expert Dave Gibson said: “Whether short or long-haul, long-stay or short-stay – travelling takes its toll on the body and mind. Regardless of journey time or destination, sleeping somewhere different to home is enough to disrupt your sleep. Our body has an internal clock, our circadian rhythm, which manages our sleep-wake cycle.

    “Of all the environmental drivers of sleep including temperature, sound and food, light has the biggest single influence on our body clock. Simply, when we travel – this natural cycle is disrupted and it can lead us to becoming less productive – which is not ideal when we’re travelling for work.”

    The study also found being in a different environment is the biggest cause of a restless night’s sleep for those travelling away from home followed by unfamiliar noises and working late.

    Jet lag, trying to nod off in a new bed and the temperature of the room are also to blame.

    Almost two thirds of those polled via OnePoll even stated they felt more tired when they were away from home. To aid sleep, nearly half either try listening to music or watching TV to try and fall asleep. More than a third take sleeping tablets and nearly a quarter use Valerian root to get a good night’s sleep.

    Top 10 biggest irritations about being away from home when travelling for business

    1. Being away from the family (42 per cent)
    2. Travelling to a new destination and not having time to explore it (31 per cent)
    3. Living out of a suitcase (29 per cent)
    4. Lots of time in transit (28 per cent)
    5. Disrupted sleep patterns due to being in a new environment (27 per cent)
    6. It’s hard to eat healthily (27 per cent)
    7. Working longer hours (24 per cent)
    8. Missing out on events at home (24 per cent)
    9. Hours spent in stuffy meeting spaces (20 per cent)
    10. Disrupted sleep patterns from being in different time zones (18 per cent)

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    Katy Phillips


    All stories by: Katy Phillips