For some people, falling asleep in a hotel room can be difficult, even after you’ve walked for kilometres and taken in the sights. If you’re someone who struggles to get a good night of sleep when you’re away from home, here are some easy steps you can take to make sure you get your forty winks on your next holiday.
1. Use the blackout curtains
Science has proven over and over again that sleeping in a light environment disturbs your ‘body clock.’ The absence of light indicates to your body that it’s time to rest, so make full use of those incredible blackout curtains that are increasingly common across hotels nowadays and draw them tight for a good night of shut eye.
2. Turn on the aircon
Ideally, you want your room temperature around 17 degrees. In preparation for sleep your body lowers its temperature slightly. As you can imagine, the sweltering South African summer makes this tricky! Keeping the room cool aids you in falling asleep…and there’s nothing better than snuggling under a warm duvet when it’s chilly.
3. Keep the noise down
It’s a no-brainer; quiet rooms are better for sleep. Anyone who’s tried to sleep with a party going on next door or construction work starting at 5am will confirm! Your best bet is to try and get a room that’s away from the stairs or lifts, and on a higher level to limit street noise. If you’re particularly noise sensitive, consider bringing earplugs to drown out unfamiliar sounds.
4. Step away from the TV!
It’s always tempting in a hotel room to climb into bed and turn on the TV. After all, they’re normally right in front of the bed and you don’t have much else to keep you occupied without the comforts of home. As lovely as this sounds, if you want to wake up feeling refreshed the next day, it’s best to keep the TV off. The blue light that the TV (and other electronics) emit can keep you from falling asleep.
5. Read a Book
If there’s no TV and no phone for fear of blue light, what can you do? Well, a quiet and peaceful hotel room is the ideal place to catch up on some reading. Researchers say that reading helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels and gives your mind and body some time to relax and unwind before you hit the hay.
6. Have a Soak
Taking a warm shower or bath is a great way to relax for a night of sleep and unwind from the stress of a long day. Scientists say that 60-90 minutes before bedtime is the ideal shower schedule, giving your body time to warm up and then cool down, indicating that it’s time to sleep. Plus, we all know that hotel bathrooms are the best. Huge baths, powerful showers, and soft, fluffy towels all come as standard.
7. Bring cosy PJs
If you’ve made the room nice and cold and showered an hour before bed, you’ll want to slip into something warm and comfortable while you relax in your room. A pair of PJ’s that make you feel cosy, warm, and comfortable is the ultimate way to snuggle down into those clean hotel sheets at night.
8. Hang the ‘do not disturb’ sign
Often, weary travellers will forget to hang up the ‘do not disturb’ sign that you find in your room. If you’re jetlagged, planning a lie in, or just want to be left in peace, this is a vital step. Hotel staff will know not to knock on the door or come in to clean your room, and your precious sleep will be undisturbed!