New place, noises, smells, or all that excitement from traveling — these and many other factors could mean that you don’t get the best night’s sleep when you’re staying at a hotel. Even experienced travelers aren’t immune to that.
The good news is, you can adapt to change in the surroundings and relieve anxiety to sleep better. It only takes a few simple tips to follow. Here they are.
#1 Do Your Research To Get The Best Night’s Sleep
First things first: Prevention is your main goal to get the best night’s sleep.
Before planning any trip, gather the main information about the area you will be staying in. Obviously, you don’t want to settle in a hotel that is popular among noisy crowds.
You also wouldn’t like your accommodation to be located near ports and depots, night clubs, or other areas that work 24/7 and attract nightlife enthusiasts.
And don’t forget to check the hotel’s reviews. If the area is quiet, you can still face disturbances if, for example, the hotel room walls are thin. So, make sure the reviews don’t mention issues like this.
To get the best night’s sleep, it’s also a good idea to pick a hotel room based on how familiar it looks to you. For example, if your bedroom has large windows and a king-size bed, try to book a room with the same characteristics. This way your accommodation will feel more like your home, which may help you feel more relaxed and sleep better.
#2 Make Your Hotel Room Dark and Quiet
You can improve your sleep significantly by removing all irritating factors: mainly sounds and lights.
Darkness triggers the production of melatonin, our sleep hormone. According to a study published in the Nature Journal, melatonin is synthesized in retinal cells that are susceptible to light. That’s why it’s important to keep your surroundings dark.
Speaking of noises, they usually are a major disruptive factor. And the worst thing is you can’t always know in advance how quiet or noisy your hotel room will be. So, it makes sense to get prepared just in case.
And here’s how you can do this to get the best night’s sleep :
- Pack a sleep mask with you. If the curtains in your room cannot block all the light, you can use a sleep mask for the same effect. Be sure to choose a comfortable model that won’t get hot or press your head too much.
- Switch off. Gadgets became an important part of our lives, but if you want to sleep well, it’s better to put them away. The screens of smartphones and tablets emit blue light, which can inhibit the production of melatonin and even provoke insomnia. Besides, blue light negatively affects eyes and can cause headaches.
- Use earplugs. To cancel the surrounding noises, you can try earplugs made of foam or silicone. When choosing earplugs, make sure that they aren’t too rigid or floppy and that they will hold tight inside your ears.
- Try white noise. Surprisingly, you can mask external noise with other noises. White or red noise will work best in this case. It can overlap with other sounds and kind of mute them for your brain so that they won’t be irritating anymore. Use a white noise generator — there are many portable options out there — or simply download an app with white noise samples and play them.
Also, if you arrive early, try to expose yourself to sunlight — have breakfast or lunch at a restaurant with a terrace or just walk around the neighborhood. Light will help you adjust your internal clock and help you naturally get sleepy by the evening.
#3 Train Yourself to Fall Asleep Faster
You can try yoga, visualization, and many other relaxing activities to get the best night’s sleep.
Or, you can simply use one of these ways to train yourself to sleep on your back!
Besides being the most comfortable position for your spine, back sleeping can aid in faster drift-off by:
- reducing tension headaches — the ones you get from stressful events, such as a flight, for example;
- removing the load from your chest and making you breathe more easily;
- reducing the congestion of your nasal airways, if any.
And by adding breath techniques from yoga, such as the 4-7-8 method or alternate nostril breathing you’ll get a powerful combo that will get you to fall asleep faster in literally any place.
#4 Take a Warm Shower
Taking a warm shower makes you feel cozy and may relax deep muscles, relieving tension and stiffness you might have after a journey.
But that’s not the only benefit.
Warm water can raise your core temperature a bit. And when you slip into a cooler bed, your body will start to cool down. This, in turn, can boost your melatonin levels and make you sleepy.
Studies report that a slight drop in our body temperature is linked with sleepiness and maintaining sleep throughout the night. By warming your body up in the shower you make the contrast more significant. In this case, the melatonin boost will be more pronounced and will ensure faster drift-off.
#5 Use Melatonin
Finally, the most effortless way to get the best night’s sleep when you’re staying at a hotel — or anywhere else — is to take melatonin pills.
Containing a synthetic analog of our sleep hormone, they can help you combat ‘the first night effect’ in the hotel room. Unlike other sleep medications, melatonin doesn’t need a prescription and you can buy it in many countries.
However, melatonin can produce side effects when taken in large quantities, so consulting your doctor before the trip is highly advised. They will help you choose the right dosage of melatonin supplements and avoid unpleasant overdose symptoms.
The Importance Of Sleep
We know that poor sleep can affect almost every aspect of our life. From work and cognitive behaviour, to social situations and mental health. There’s even evidence to suggest that poor sleep affects us physically too.
Check out our piece on The Importance Of Sleep and learn how Sleep Therapy could help you to get the best night’s sleep.