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How to Sleep Better at Hotels

by BetterSleep
Jul 18 • 4 min read

Travel sleep can be great. Picture a cottage on the beach with the gentle sounds of waves. Unfortunately, a lot of travel involves a loud hotel, an uncomfortable bed, and a clunky air conditioner. You can use these tips to make the most of a bad situation.

Get Past the First Night Effect

Studies have proven that poor sleep the first night in a new setting is natural. Regardless of the location or how comfortable it is, expect to sleep less the first night. Once you accept this, you can feel good about subsequent nights. They shouldn’t be as bad as the first one.

Select Your Room Carefully

When you arrive at the hotel, request a room that will be quieter. This typically means away from the elevators, ice machines, and housekeeping closets. In most hotels, a room on a higher floor and in the middle of the hallway is best.

Embrace Darkness

The darker you can make the room, the better it will be for your sleep. You can use a towel to block out light coming in under the door from the hallway. If the curtains don’t block enough outdoor light from the windows, towels or a blanket can help. Travel with a sleep mask in case you can’t get the room dark enough.

Turn Down the Thermostat

According to science, everyone sleeps better in cooler temperatures, so turn the thermostat down before you tuck in for the night. Set it to 65 degrees; for an ideal sleeping temperature. Keep the extra blanket handy in case you get too cold during the night.

Get Some Exercise During the Day

If possible, be active during the day, outside if you can. The combination of exercise and exposure to sunlight primes you to fall asleep at a reasonable time. If you’re stuck at a work conference, use any break time you have to get outside for a quick walk.

Take it Easy on Food and Drinks

You might be able to get away with late-night food or a couple of drinks before bed at home but be extra cautious when on the road. Avoid caffeine after lunch and skip the dinner drinks and nightcaps. The caffeine will make it harder to sleep, while the alcohol will wake you up in the middle of the night. Eat only a light dinner at least a couple of hours before bed.

Stick to Your Routine if Possible

Sleep benefits from a routine. When you sleep and wake at the same times every day and use the same pre-bed routine, your mind and body adjust. You start to get sleepy when you’re supposed to go to bed. Keep as many of those routines as you can when traveling. If you normally shower or meditate before bed, for instance, stick with these habits.

Have Your BetterSleep App at the Ready

The BetterSleep app provides different multiple tools that come in handy during less-than-ideal sleeping arrangements. Use the soundscapes or white noise to drown out disruptive sounds, like outside traffic or noisy neighbors. Try a soothing meditation to get ready for sleep or a gentle exercise session that will relax your body and mind.

Sleep in a hotel isn’t always the best, but you can make it better. Prioritize your sleep with these tips so you can enjoy the trip more, whether it’s for work or pleasure.

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