How to get a good night’s sleep away from home
If you’re a bad sleeper, you’ll recognize the feeling that it’s always toughest to nod off when you need a good night the most: ahead of that interview, that journey… that holiday of a lifetime. When you wake up after a rough night’s sleep in a hotel or B&B already fearing your holiday is spoiled, you needn’t blame it all on your (ir)regular sleep patterns: in fact, it’s your animal instinct kicking in, and there are ways to deal with it.
Science tells us that, similar to other mammals when we sleep a part of our brain stays alert to potential dangers, and this is why it’s so easy to be disturbed in a place full of new sounds, smells, and light sources. Unless you’re staying in Bates Motel, you can probably do without these innate security measures – but with no on/off switch to flick, the only way to hush the night watchman inside is to neutralize potential stimuli.
If such disturbances are a particular concern to you, it’s recommended to take measures as early as the booking process. Instead of going online, pick up the phone and talk to the receptionist about the environment of the hotel: you’re looking for a room away from the noise, so that’s way upstairs and probably towards the back, away from the street. The hotel may be able to pre-arrange blackout curtains and even a white noise machine to regulate the sound pollution around the suite.
One great cheat is to bring an unwashed pillowcase from home. The smell, even if you think it is scentless, will add familiarity to your surroundings and reduce your unconscious levels of vigilance. You’ll also benefit from mindful bedtime rituals and preparation, so be sure to consider your diet, your routine, and your nightwear. For more ideas on how to do this and more, check out this new infographic on conquering your inner animal – and claiming that good night’s sleep.
Infographic by: Oliver’s Travels
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