Whether you are a regular business traveler or the occasional leisure traveler, you may have difficulty adjusting to sleeping in unfamiliar places such as a hotel room, especially if you are battling jet lagas well. Studies say travel is healthy for the mind and body, but if you cannot get a good night’s sleep, the benefits are lost. Next time you are on the road, here are some suggestions to keep in mind on how to better prepare yourself for a proper night’s rest.
If you are a light sleeper and noise is an issue, try requesting a room away from the elevators, ice machines, gym, or whatever else may be nearby – including the resort’s beautiful swimming pool. While the view of the pool may be great during the day, if the hotel allows late night hours, you run the risk of people drinking and congregating after dark. Be sure to ask about any construction nearby or even current remodeling going on at the resort/hotel that may impact your sleep. Also, if you are not a smoker, be sure to ask about the hotel’s smoking policy – some countries still allow guests to smoke in the rooms, which for those with allergies, can make for a miserable night of rest.
Closing the blackout shades or the heavy curtains will help you adjust if your body is battling the effects of jet lag. It’s tempting to leave the curtains open, especially if you have a stunning view to wake up to, but you may find the unfamiliar scenery and early sunrise may keep you from a full night’s rest.
If your hotel room has a tub, take a relaxing bath just before retiring to sleep. A bath tends to relax your body and help reduce any stressful thoughts floating around in your head. A bath can also lower your body temperature, which may help you sleep better as well.
Some people find a nightcap is exactly what they need to fall asleep, while others swear by herbal tea. Find what works for you – whether it’s a glass of brandy or a cup of chamomile tea. Be cautious though – too much alcohol can inhibit sleep and drinking too much tea might mean you are up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
Please drink responsibly, as your RoamRight policy does not cover loss resulting from or caused by being under the influence of alcohol.
Pack a pair of ear plugs, eye mask, and have soft music and nature sounds for your smartphone. Another option is to download an app to drown out “white noise” that is oh so common in hotels.
If you are sleeping in, be sure to hang or turn on the “Do Not Disturb” on your door. Otherwise you might find the cleaning people knocking at your door by 8 a.m., as some larger resorts start cleaning rooms very early. This is especially common on popular check out days, which can often be weekends when most people want to sleep in.
Worried about not getting up in time for your meeting? Schedule a wake-up call instead of or in addition to setting multiple alarms so you are not worried about whether you will hear it or not.
If all else fails and you are tossing and turning in bed still, get up and walk around for a bit or read something – if you didn’t bring any reading material, many hotels have magazines and local tourist information brochures. Keep it light and perhaps even mundane so you can fall back asleep easier.
Do you have any additional suggestions to help travelers fall asleep in a hotel room?
Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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