Even the most luxurious hotels can lead to a rough night’s sleep. No matter how fancy the room design or how high the thread count, a hotel room simply isn’t home, and that can make it tough to get good sleep. That said, you need quality rest to get through busy days on the road, so it’s important to have a game plan. Here’s how to make sure you get the sleep you need in hotel rooms.
Request a room that’s quiet.
If you’re sensitive to sound, you can make an advance request for a quiet hotel room. Your best bet is usually a room at the end of a hallway, far from elevators, vending machines, and the pool area so as little sound as possible will carry over. A high floor is also a good option, and be sure to double check that your room isn’t near a loading dock or other loud outdoor space.
Block out excess light.
For every hotel room out there with fantastic blackout curtains, there are plenty of others with light seeping into the room at the night. Many hotel room curtains don’t close all the way, creating a gap of outside light that streams in all night long. Pack a few clothespins, binder clips, bobby pins, or other fasteners to hold them shut while you snooze.
Cover LED lights like the ones you find on alarm clocks and coffeemakers, and place a towel or pillow in front of any cracks under the door that allow light through. Of course, there’s also the most obvious travel solution to excess light - eye shades - so aim to have those on hand as well.
Play white noise.
If you dread laying awake to the sounds of thumping down the hotel hallway or your neighbors’ loud conversations, drown it out with some peaceful white noise. You can choose a white noise app on your phone for the peace you need. Switch it on and you’re good to go.
Give your pillow some TLC.
If you experience aches and pains after sleeping on certain types of pillows, ask your hotel if there are other pillow options available. Lots of accommodations have pillows with varying levels of firmness available if on request. You might also want to consider bringing your own pillowcase from home, because sleeping against a texture and smell you’re used to can make it easier to drift off to dreamland.
Keep your room cool.
Most people sleep best in a slightly cooler room, so make sure that your air conditioner is in good working order as soon as you check in. If you find a problem, you can have it resolved early in the day instead of struggling with it at bedtime. When you’re ready to start snoozing, don’t forget to turn down the heat.
Stick to your evening routine from home.
Try to keep your nighttime routine as close to your at-home routine as possible. Wash your face and brush your teeth in the same order as you would at home, and if you always read a book for a few minutes before bed, don’t forget to do the same on the road.
Ask for a wakeup call.
Even if you always wake up to the sound of your phone alarm, consider requesting a wakeup call a few minutes after your usual alarm goes off. In an unfamiliar place, it’s tough to predict whether you’ll wake up as easily as you do back home. You’ll sleep so much better knowing that you have a backup option to get you out of bed in time.
Sleeping in an unfamiliar place isn’t always easy, but a little bit of preparation can go a long way. Kick back and get ready to snooze.