How to Get a Good Night’s Rest in a Hotel
By Brian Acton
Quality hotels make every effort to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible. But even an attentive staff, full amenities, and a comfortable bed can’t guarantee you a good night’s sleep in a hotel. Because you’re sleeping in a new environment, away from your own bed, you might find it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
There are a few things you can do to combat this “hotel effect.” Follow these tips to get a good night’s rest the next time you’re staying in a hotel.
- Request a Quiet Room
If you already know you’re a light sleeper, you should request a room with a location that avoids disturbances. Requesting a room on the highest floor and furthest from the elevators will help you avoid the noise of guests and staff as you sleep.
- Get the Right Pillows
It can be difficult to sleep on hotel pillows. Even luxury hotel rooms may have pillows that don’t offer the right level of support or aren’t made of your preferred material.
You should test out your pillows when you arrive in your hotel room. If you don’t like the current pillows, call the front desk and see if they have other options. Alternatively, you can take a travel pillow
along on your trip so you know you’re covered wherever you go.
- Block Out Noise
Are the city’s ambient noises disturbing your sleep, or is the silence of the country keeping you up? Either way, environmental noises (or the lack thereof) can throw off your sleep. In this case, soft music or white noise from a fan or sound machine could help you get some shuteye. You may even prefer earplugs.
If you haven’t packed supplies, the hotel might stock fans, sound machines, or earplugs for guests. If the noise is really disturbing - for example, nearby construction sounds - you may need to request a different room.
- Adjust the Temperature
You should adjust the hotel room’s thermostat to a comfortable sleeping temperature as soon as you arrive. That way, you can verify that the air conditioning is working properly and ensure that there will be plenty of time for the temperature to adjust before you go to sleep.
- Block Out Light
Many hotel rooms already have blackout curtains or dark blinds, but even a sliver of light can feel invasive when you’re in a new environment. You can get creative and seal out light by lining towels along the front door and using clothespins to pinch curtains or blinds together.
Alternatively, you use a sleep mask to block out all light.
- Do Not Disturb
The “Do Not Disturb” signs are put in your room for a reason. Make use of them! Hang the sign on your door at least an hour before bedtime, and don’t take it off until you’re fully awake in the morning.
If you anticipate getting calls in your room, you may also want to tell the front desk you don’t wish to be disturbed until morning.
- Follow Your Normal Routine
If you follow a specific routine at home to relax before bed – such as reading a book or taking a bath – you should try to maintain that routine during your hotel stay. It can help you maintain your normal sleeping patterns.
Eat Right and Exercise
Traveling doesn’t give you an excuse to skip healthy habits. Consistent exercise and a balanced diet promote healthy, restful sleep. Try to hit the hotel gym before work, or do some of your sightseeing on foot. And while you shouldn’t necessarily begrudge yourself some decadent room service, don’t overdo it. Make sure to balance your meals.