What is your perfect night’s sleep when you travel? You envision a bed with perfect support, comfy pillows and perfect temperature in your hotel room. Realistically you know that it probably won’t be perfect, but you think you’ll be so exhausted that you’ll sleep though anything.
But, alas, you weren’t, so you couldn’t, and you didn’t, and now you have a meeting to attend. What could have been done to allow you to drift off to — and stay in — dreamland?
Smarter Travel had a list of several suggestions that touch on everything from booking a room to handling interrupted sleep, and we found a few of our favorites.
When Making Your Reservation
Select a room on an upper floor and away from elevators. Midway in the hall is possibly your best option as rooms are away from ice and vending machines, exits, housekeeping closets, and other places typically known for noise. And did you know that rooms on the concierge or suite level typically have higher ceilings which provide more space between you and your upstairs neighbors?
Avoid rooms facing the pool, they’re a hot spot for late night gatherings. Avoid rooms near dumpsters because we all know how much noise garbage trucks make and how early they show up.
Put quiet above view when staying in a low-rise hotel and grab a room in the back. Speaking of quiet, request a room far—like several floors—from banquet rooms and bars as the noise of a penetrating bass is sure to keep you up.
A few little things to consider while booking: like to sleep in the pitch dark? Ask for blackout shades. Make sure yours in a non-smoking room. Ask about pillow options—or BYO if you have space (think driving rather than flying).
Packing for Your Stay
Earplugs cannot be stressed enough. Alternatively, noise machines will help, but they can take more space than little bits of foam. However, white noise apps are available for phones and laptops. An eye mask will help in those rooms where blackout curtains aren’t available, and contoured masks won’t restrict eye movement during deep sleep.
Sleep sack is a great option for those who worry about comfort and cleanliness of hotel linens due to skins sensitivities. And are you scent-sensitive? Spray your room with something like lavender and eliminate the hotel chemicals smell.
Preparing to Hit the Hay
Keep your bed a “sleeping only” area. As much as possible, avoid reading, eating and working in bed. When you do eat dinner, try to resist the temptations of a large or overly rich meal late at night as it interferes with a good night’s rest.
Alcohol is another “no-no” as it impacts sleep quality. Instead sip tea. Chamomile or another non-caffeinated beverage can induce sleep. Melatonin is another sleep-inducing product without chemicals; the supplement mimics the natural hormones that your body produces for sleep.
Set the “Do not disturb” function on your phone to keep interruptions at bay. It will quiet those pesky alerts for texts, emails, and calls before you go to bed so you’re not disturbed. And don’t forget the placard on your door to save you from housekeeping’s early entry.
Just Before Bed
Set backup wakeup calls. Do you normally use your phone? Then continue to do so on your trip, because an unfamiliar alarm clock might not work.
Take a warm, relaxing bath. Adjust your room temperature to somewhere between 60-70 degrees, the ideal range for sound sleep.
Eliminate screen time and choose a book or magazine instead; the light from the phone can disturb your sleep cycle. Ideally, don’t pick a suspenseful story that will keep you riveted (and up all night from an overactive imagination). Another option would be a meditation exercise: there are plenty of apps to choose from to help you with this.
Once in Bed
If you’re not meditating, try deep breathing. Deep, slow breaths can help relax you and your mind.
If there’s a lot of noise from a nearby room, call the front desk and ask them to take care of the situation. If a lot of complaints are called in, the guests could be asked to leave.
Lastly—and this applies whether your at home or away—of you can’t sleep get out of bed. Tossing and turning makes you tense, so get out of bed and try reading a magazine.
How do you sleep when you’re on the road? Do you have any tips and tricks to help you get some shuteye? Share your ideas on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.