Some people have no problem sleeping anywhere. My girlfriend is a typical example of such a person. As soon as her head hits the pillow, she’ll be out like a light and impossible to stir. In fact, sometimes my girlfriend will be out like a light long before her head has hit the pillow and I’ll end having to carry her from the sofa – while she lies limp and deadweight – to tuck her in so that she doesn’t wake up in the morning in front of the TV.
I myself however am not so lucky. I can sleep when I’m in my own bed – just about – but put me in a different environment such as a hotel room and I’ll suddenly notice every (imaginary) lump in the bed and every bead of light coming from outside.
If you are more like me and less like my fortunate girlfriend, then you’ll probably find that going to a hotel even for one night is a recipe for a tired week ahead. But it needn’t be that way. If you want to get a good night’s sleep, then observe the following tips that I’ve learned from many a sleepless evening.
Bring an Eyemask
Those beads of light that I mentioned can be a serious problem if you’re sensitive to light and like to sleep in the darkness, but many hotels won’t have curtains as thick as you would like and you’ll find that the hall light is almost always on outside. The easy solution of course is to bring an eye mask which will afford you complete darkness.
Beads of light are one thing, but worse is the noise of people coming in at all hours and talking loudly outside your room. Again there’s an easy solution though, which is to bring your own earplugs. Experiment a bit before your trip with different brands as they can be very variable.
Have a Relaxing Evening
One of the big problems with sleeping in a new place is that you know you’re in a new place. There is a strong psychological element here, and you’ll find that you only work yourself up more by thinking about it. The solution is to try and make your evening leading up to sleep as relaxing as possible. Take a warm bath, don’t eat anything or drink any caffeine for a couple of hours before bed, and sit up reading for a bit in order to give yourself a chance to ‘unwind’.
Bring a Blanket and Pillow
Another way you can combat the ‘new room’ problem, is to try and make the bed in your hotel room a little more like your own bed back home. One way you can do this is by bringing your own blanket and pillow which will help you to make the bed cosier and warmer and give you more or less firmness under your head as you like.
Choose the Right Hotel
Most important of all though is to look around and choose the right hotel or bed and breakfast. Read reviews, look at the area and avoid staying somewhere that’s likely to have a lot of footfall past 1am. Choose well and you may even find you get a better night’s sleep than normal.
Today’s featured writer, Mike Swan, works for Benting House Inn, one of the best bed and breakfasts in Toronto. An avid traveler, he likes to share his travel experiences with his readers.