When staying overnight in an unfamiliar environment such as a hotel, many people find it difficult to fall asleep. It makes sense, of course – you’re not used to the mattress, there are sounds you’re not familiar with (like the air conditioner) or expect (like the drunks loudly slithering into their room at 3am), or your brain simply won’t shut off because of reasons.
Fortunately, there are several ways to help you fall asleep in a hotel faster. In fact, there’s even a technique that’s said to help you fall asleep in just two minutes!
We’ve posted about sleeping while traveling in the past, including how to sleep better on long flights and what to do if you’re stuck in an airport overnight and need/want to sleep. This video is not specifically about sleeping while traveling, or even when in a hotel room. Instead, it’s focused on techniques if you’re having problems sleeping anywhere. But they’re almost all appropriate for when you can’t sleep in your hotel room, too.
A few notes about the video:
- re: changing the temperature in your room. Although simple to do at home, it might not be so easy when you’re out of town. Many hotels use electronic/digital thermometers with high/low limited in their rooms nowadays. This post will show you how to override the settings for several brands of thermostats.
- re: the Navy technique. I can vouch for this one. Coincidentally enough, I figured this one out for myself (albeit from toe to head instead of head to toe), years ago and it really does work! After seeing this video, I tried it from head to toe and it works even faster this way. So I totally can vouch for this technique.
Other techniques to make it easier to fall asleep in a hotel:
- Make the room as dark as possible
Use an eye mask. Carry a chip clip (or use a pants hanger from the closet) to close the curtains as much as possible so sunlight doesn’t peek through the center (and thank-you to hotels that use blackout curtains, especially those that overlap in the center!).
- Make it feel more like your bed
Unfamiliar pillows can be as uncomfortable as an unfamiliar bed. If you have enough space and weight in your suitcase, consider bringing your own pillow from home. If you have space to bring your own sheets, consider bringing those, too. If you can’t bring either, consider bringing your own pillowcase so your pillow will still feel more familiar.
- Play white noise or soothing music
White noise helps to drown out outside noises like the ice machine down the hall or the trucks outside. Soothing music, besides offer a way to naturally calm you (that’s why they play it in spas), can potentially get your mind to focus on that, instead of whatever your brain won’t stop thinking about. On a personal note, I have a “talent” of getting ear worms almost all the time – if I concentrate on the soothing music, it puts the music in my head “to bed” as well 😉
- Request where you’d like your room to be
There’s never a guarantee if you’ll it or not, but to help you sleep, you’re generally going to want your room to be away from heavy traffic (that’s usually in the back of the hotel. Your view will stink but you’ll sleep better), a few levels above the hotel’s banquet rooms, bars or restaurants, and about halfway down the hall so it’s away from the elevator, vending and ice machines, guest laundry room, exits, housekeeping closets, etc.
*** Thanks to Kat O. for the heads up about this topics!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary