Does this scenario sound familiar? After a long day of traveling, you check into your hotel room, feeling completely exhausted. After getting settled in, you instantly head to bed, ready to get some sleep. Instead of falling asleep, however, you lay there tossing and turning, unable to sleep.
You may be surprised to learn that many people have trouble sleeping when they stay at a hotel. Oftentimes, people blame this on traveling to different time zones or on jet lag. As it turns out, however, there is actually a lot more to it than that. Keep reading to find out why some people can’t sleep at hotels. As an added bonus, you can also discover some helpful tips on how to get better rest on your next trip.
Recent scientific research has discovered a strange phenomenon that could explain why falling asleep is a lot harder the first time that you stay somewhere new. As it turns out, one hemisphere of the brain stays more alert than the other the first night that you sleep somewhere that you have never been before. Known as the first night effect, this is a large part of why you may struggle to fall asleep when you first check into a new hotel room.
On top of that, when you are sleeping in a strange environment, there are a lot more things that can wake you up during the night. For instance, traffic outside in the parking lot, a noisy air conditioner, other guests walking by your door, or the sound of a shower running in the room next to you can all disrupt your sleep.
Even if you live in a noisy environment at home, your body is familiar with the sounds around you. In a strange place, however, all of the sounds are new. Until your mind has a chance to establish whether or not those sounds indicate threats, your odds of sleeping soundly during the night are pretty slim.
If you travel to the same place fairly often, try to stay at the same hotel each time. Staying in a place that you are already familiar with can help counteract these effects, making it easier to get to sleep.
You can also do your best to make the sleeping environment feel more like home. Try using earplugs to block out strange sounds or wearing a sleep mask to create darkness in the space. If you are traveling by car, consider bringing along your own pillow to make your sleeping conditions a little bit more familiar.
You can also try performing relaxing activities before bed. For instance, spending a few minutes reading a book or quietly sipping a cup of tea can help your mind relax, letting go of the stress from the day. This can make it a little bit easier to fall asleep.
Aromatherapy may also be beneficial. Try using scents like lavender or vanilla to create a relaxing environment that is more conducive to sleep. By combining all of these techniques, you may be able to overcome the common problem of not being able to sleep when you stay at a hotel.