How to Sleep Better in Hotels?

While we all love the ambiance and facilities (mainly room services) hotels have to offer, some of us find it difficult to fall asleep away from home, whether it’s at someone’s place or a hotel. 

But if you have to travel for work often, you can’t give up on sleep because of your situation. That’s why it’s important to know how to get better sleep in hotels. 

Why Do You Have Trouble Sleeping In Unfamiliar Places?

There is no doubt in admitting that our bodies work in very interesting ways. In fact, not being able to get better sleep in a hotel also has a physiological reason. The phenomenon, known as the first night effect, is characterized by shorter sleep time, difficulty in falling asleep, and shorter REM sleep. 

Hotel hallway.

Under this effect, your body might keep itself more active to protect you in case of an attack or an unprecedented situation. Since you’re in a new place, your body does everything it can to keep you safe. That’s why it stops you from sleeping in unfamiliar places. 

Researchers have also noted that the brain’s left hemisphere’s activity increases during the first night. This region is relatively dormant when you’re at rest. So, when you’re away from home, the brain keeps this region active to deal with danger. 

Therefore, you can wake up easily and quickly in case there’s an unexpected action or noise. However, while the action is normal, we still need to get some sleep too. Hopefully, this guide will help you find the easiest way to fall asleep in hotels. 

Always Research Before Booking

Before you pick any hotel, make a habit of doing your research beforehand. This practice will help you get better sleep in new places. Always ask questions such as the type of beds does this hotel have? What kind of security do they provide? Do different types of rooms have different beds? Once you do all your research, it will be easier to make adjustments accordingly.

For example, many people are sensitive about what kind of bed they sleep in. This is why most beds in hotels have a medium level of firmness, as it suits most sleepers. 

However, if you weigh above 230 or below 130 pounds, chances are you might find it a bit too soft or firm. Thus, by researching beforehand, you can easily talk to the hotel management to change it before your arrival.

Set Up a Home Away From Home 

Staying at a hotel introduces your body to many new things, ranging from a different bed to the entire interior decor of the room. To make your body feel like you’re still at home, you should incorporate some of your homely features into the hotel room. This will help your body with sleeping in unfamiliar places.

An easy way to do this is by bringing your pillow along. This might come as a shock to you, but many people face difficulty sleeping due to an uncomfortable pillow. This makes getting one from your home a necessity! 

Besides the comfort of having the same pillow, your body will also be relatively relaxed by the familiar laundry scent and fabric texture. 

If you can, make sure to book a room that has a bed of the same size as the one you have at home. This will trick your body into thinking that you are still in your own bed, leading you to get better sleep.

What To Do When Making a Reservation?

None of the sleeping tips will help you get better sleep if you’ve booked the wrong kind of room. 

Therefore, when making a reservation, make sure to go through these helpful tips:

  • Make sure it’s a quiet room. To ensure that, you should book a room on the top floor. Secondly, go for a room that’s distant from the elevator. 
  • Ask the timing for whenever the trash gets collected if your room or window is near the dumpsters.
  • As easy as it may be to visit the poolside, don’t take a room overlooking the pool. It is because people often gather there during the night. Since water acts as an echoing medium for noise, you’ll experience disturbance while trying to sleep. 
  • If you’re staying at a low-rise hotel, opt for a room at the back. These rooms are comparatively quieter since they’re far from the parking lot. 
  • If you’re a non-smoker, don’t opt for a smoking room unless it’s the last one they have and you direly need a place to stay. The smoke smell left behind by the previous guest might keep you up at night. 

Quick Fixes To Get Better Sleep In Hotels

Hotel staff definitely tries their best to make the stay as comfortable for you as possible. However, they don’t have much control over what goes on inside your room. 

Here are some sleeping tips and fixes for common problems people face in hotel rooms. 

Stuffy Air 

If the air is over-deodorized or dry, you can open the window. However, if they’re sealed, or you don’t want to open them due to the excessive noise outside, you can turn on the air conditioning or the fan. 

Add moisture to the room by turning on the shower. Once the water is hot, leave the bathroom door open so that the moisture can fill the whole room. Doing this makes the room more breathable. This helps with sleeping better in unfamiliar places.

Soft Mattresses 

Sometimes, the mattress is too soft for you to get better sleep. When you’re reserving the room, choose a queen or full-sized bed rather than going for a king-sized one. Smaller mattresses are generally softer. 

Request a different room if you only discover the mattress is too soft after getting inside the room. 

Make Sure Your Room is At the Right Temperature

Sometimes the reason behind having trouble sleeping in unfamiliar places is a pretty high room temperature. According to the 2012 study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, the ideal body temperature for sleeping is 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence whenever you enter your room in any hotel, always turn the thermostat down. 

Eliminate All Noise

You need a quiet space to get better sleep. Therefore, try requesting one far from other noisy areas like a storage room, vending machine, elevator, or ice machines whenever you pick a hotel room. 

Tip: The higher your room is in your hotel, the further away you will be from street noises.

If you would still prefer a beautiful street view, you can always pack noise-canceling earphones or earplugs. They will be your lifesaver, especially if you are a light sleeper. 

Creating white noise is another way to eliminate other noise. The simplest way to make white noise is by turning your bathroom fan on.

Blackout Curtains Are Key

Having a completely dark room is a really crucial part when it comes to making a nice, sleepy environment. This is why almost all hotels provide blackout curtains with their standard rooms.

If you are having trouble sleeping, try using them. Blackout curtains prevent sunlight or any other light from entering the room, which usually disturbs your sleep. 

However, if your hotel room doesn’t offer blackout curtains, talk to your hotel management. See if there is a chance to transfer your room or get those curtains. Of course, to avoid this, you can always bring an eye mask with you to block out any kind of light.

What to Pack for a Hotel Stay?

Holiday Inn hotel.

If past experiences have alerted you that your body isn’t accustomed to falling asleep easily in hotels, here are some packing tips to prepare for the stay. 

  • Bring your earplug or headphones for sleeping along. Yes, they’re a bit uncomfortable, but they’ll surely help you sleep well. 
  • If you have sensitive skin, keep a sleep sack with you. 
  • Pack an eye mask as it will do for you what the earplugs do for the ears. An eye mask is especially helpful in rooms without blackout curtains. Make sure you’re getting a contoured eye mask to prevent restriction of eye movement. 
  • The cleaning chemicals used by hotels often have overpowering scents that might make it difficult for you to doze off. That’s why it’s best to bring a linen spray from home.
  • You should also pack something that reminds your body of your home. For example, a pillow or a particular homely scent could help. 
  • Take along your favorite scent or essential oil to make your body feel at home. Certain smells such as vanilla or lavender can help you relax as well.

CBD For Sleep

If you are extremely sensitive to sound or light when it comes to sleeping in unfamiliar places, try taking CBD for sleep. Research shows taking CBD for sleep purposes has proven to be extremely effective. 

Trending Tips on CBD Products


While some of us love hotels, others dread the idea of spending the night there. Not getting enough sleep at night can make you a little too tired for sightseeing or a business meeting the next day.  

However, the sleeping tips in this guide will help you sleep better in hotels from now on. 

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