A holiday should be an enjoyable, relaxing experience – but if you can’t sleep well while you’re away, it may end up being something rather different. Most people sleep best in their own homes, so it can be difficult to get used to a hotel bedroom. Here are a few tips to allow you to wake up in the morning refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
Freshen up the room’s air
Overly hot, stuffy rooms are unlikely to be comfortable places to sleep, especially if you’re staying somewhere with a warm, muggy climate. If your hotel has air conditioning, make sure it’s switched on as soon as you arrive. You can stop the air drying out too much by leaving the door to the bathroom open after you’ve had a hot shower. If there’s no AC, then sleeping with the window slightly open is often a good idea, as it will allow air to circulate.
Get the right bed
There’s no more important item of furniture in a hotel room than the bed, so be choosy when you’re making your reservation. Look for hotels that advertise new beds, since these are likely to feel smoother and more comfortable. Bear in mind that larger mattresses are often softer than smaller ones, so a double bed rather than a king-size one may be more suitable for you if you prefer a little more support at night. Don’t feel pressured into accepting a room if you don’t like the bed.
Bring a little piece of home
One reason for sleeping poorly on holiday is the unfamiliarity of your surroundings. You can help make your hotel room feel a little more like a home by packing a photo or two in your luggage and placing them on your bedside table. It’s also a good idea to take something small from your normal evening routine and bring it with you on holiday. For example, if you usually have a particular drink or snack before bed, ask room service to make it for you and bring it up at the appropriate time.
Avoid night noise
Many hotels, even quite expensive ones, are less peaceful than you would hope. Sometimes the problem is noise from public areas or other guests’ rooms filtering through thin walls; sometimes it’s the sound of traffic from the street outside. Rooms on higher floors are usually quieter, as are those at the rear of the building. A top-floor room will have no noise from above, either. Finally, pack a pair of earplugs – though make sure you’ll be able to hear if the alarm goes off.
Keep the room dark
Lots of people find it easier to sleep when the room is dark. If the curtains don’t quite meet in the middle, and are letting light in, try clipping them tight with a couple of clothes pegs – strange but effective! Another option is to try a sleep mask, which is basically a blindfold! You’re unlikely to be given one on the plane when you’re flying to a European destination, so it’s best to buy one before you leave home: even the highly rated best-selling pure silk sleeping mask only costs a few pounds on Amazon, and is well worth the investment.