How to get a better night's sleep in a hotel

Unfortunately for many people, a poor night’s sleep is an all too common issue when staying in hotels. Because hotels can feel unfamiliar, this can make it hard to get a quality night’s sleep. The good news is that no matter which hotel you book, there are some things you can do to help improve your chances of a good slumber. So whether you’re on a business trip or enjoying a long weekend break with your partner, here’s how to get a better night’s sleep in a hotel.

How to get a better night’s sleep in a hotel:

1. Make the room sleep-friendly

While the hotel room will be set up in a certain way, that’s not to say you can’t make some changes to mirror your own bedroom at home. Some of the best things you can do to keep the room as sleep-friendly as possible are to have it as quiet, dark and cool as you can.

If you’re concerned about exterior and interior noise that may affect your sleep, use some earplugs to cancel out the sound. Make sure you draw the curtains or close the blackout blinds to keep your room dark too. The ideal temperature for sleeping is between 15 - 19°C, as recommend. Use the heating or cooling to adjust the room to the right temperature to help you get a good night’s sleep.

2. Mattresses matter

Prior to making your booking final at a hotel, it’s worthwhile giving them a quick call to speak to someone about the materials the hotel’s mattresses are made from. This is essentially because the materials will impact the quality of your sleep, as advise.

For example, if the hotel has mattresses constructed of foam or polyester, they won’t breathe in a satisfactory way, which means that regardless of how low you set the air-con or how wide the windows are open, your body is still likely to get clammy, sweat, and generally overheat, making for a sub-par night’s sleep. On the other hand, mattresses that are made from materials such as cotton, wool, cashmere or horsehair are a far more breathable option that let you remain cool and give you an improved chance of high-quality rest.

3. Eat well to sleep well

While you might like to skip the salads and lean towards steaks, burgers or other fancy treats on the menu when you’re travelling, doing so can stall your bedtime bliss. We’re all well aware of the temptations but that doesn’t mean you should go for them. A lighter meal is much more of a sensible option if you are going to bed a few hours later because heavy meals can lead to indigestion.

Don’t be tempted to indulge in late-night snacks from the minibar either. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study which found that eating late at night raises glucose and insulin levels, which can increase your risk of health issues such as type 2 diabetes.

Another good tip to remember if you get room service is to place the finished tray outside the room. This is because the smell of food during the night can disturb your sleep cycle. Oh, and don’t go reaching for the pillow chocolates and free coffee before bed either. These both contain caffeine and will stimulate your brain and body – never a good thing when you’re trying to get to sleep!

4. Bring some home comforts

Sleep experts advise taking some home comforts along with you to help make the hotel room more comfortable and put you at ease. You might be well aware of this from personal experience but we’re most definitely creatures of habit. Sleep is one such fundamental habit so, therefore, the more you can mirror your home bedtime routine, the more likely you are to enjoy higher-quality sleep.

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Disclosure: this post was written by and is in collaboration with Sleep Advisor. All views remain those of the writer.