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Why You Can't Sleep in Hotels and How to Overcome It

Why You Can't Sleep in Hotels and How to Overcome it

Can't sleep in hotels? Do you lie awake in your hotel room envying all of the sleeping people because you’re awake and staring at the ceiling? You're not alone.

In fact, for many travelers, getting good sleep is their number one issue when on the road.

The inability to catch those precious Z's while staying at a hotel can be incredibly frustrating. But understanding why you can't sleep in hotels, and how to overcome it, could make all the difference between an exhausting trip and a restful one.

Finding solutions isn’t easy folks - but don’t worry! We’re here to help unravel this mystery of restless nights in unfamiliar beds.

The Mystery of the "First-Night Effect"

Ever wondered why a good night's sleep seems elusive on your first night in a hotel?

You're not alone.

This "first-night effect" is probably the primary reason that you can't sleep in hotels and it is such a widespread occurrence that it's gained the interest of slumber specialists all over.

Evolutionary Roots of the First-Night Effect

Intriguingly, this temporary sleep disorder isn't exclusive to humans.

A wide range of animals also struggle to fall asleep in unfamiliar surroundings, hinting at an evolutionary origin for this behavior.

Sleep Mode vs Survival Mode: A Balancing Act?

Certain theories suggest that our sleeping brains remain partially alert when we are in an unfamiliar setting, ready to wake us up if there's danger—quite like how wild animals behave. When sleeping in a new environment, your brain doesn’t rest as deeply as it does at home, staying more alert to keep us safe.

Factors Influencing Sleep Quality in Hotels

A myriad of other elements can impact how well people sleep during a hotel stay.

The purpose of your trip, whether for business or leisure, plays a significant role.

Morning larks and night owls may also experience varying levels of comfort depending on their schedules versus the hotel's environment. If you’re a morning lark trying to sleep in the evening in a hotel full of people making noise, it can be hard to drift off.

On the other hand, if you're a night owl who would like to sleep in until later in the morning, the early morning habits of other guests may keep interrupting you. 

Common Causes of Sleep Disturbance at Hotels

  • Poor pillow and mattress quality found significant correlations with disturbed slumber according to Taylor & Francis Online.
  • An uncomfortably high room temperature could induce wakefulness too soon into your deep sleep cycle.
  • Noise from bustling streets outside or even just an overactive ventilation system might disrupt sleeping brains causing frequent waking episodes throughout the night.
  • Intrusive light seeping through curtains or from a digital alarm clock is another common complaint among frustrated sleepers who report waking up more often than they would like

Mattresses Play a Significant Role in A Good Night’s Sleep

A significant factor might be the mattress you're sleeping on.

Mattress Matters: A Deeper Look into its Impact

Poor-quality mattresses may induce wakefulness, disrupting deep sleep cycles necessary for restful slumber.

This could lead to waking up feeling less rested than usual or even exacerbating existing insomnia symptoms.

In Search of The Perfect Hotel Room Mattress

The right balance between comfort and support is essential for obtaining a good night's sleep.

If you've ever felt like Goldilocks trying out different beds, remember it's not just about firmness but also material type, size, and more.

Some luxury hotels feature luxury smart beds like Bryte Balance

These types of luxury beds aren’t just places to passively flop. They’re designed from the ground up to actively help you to fall and then stay asleep. 

A Bryte mattress has a core of up to 90 intelligent cushions. Each of these cushions can individually change from soft, to firm and back again within seconds. As you sleep at night, they adjust to keep you sleeping comfortably. 

It also has a suite of applications to help you fall asleep. Somnify, which pairs gentle motions in your mattress with synced audio, Wake Assist which wakes you up with gentle motions and even sleep tracking tools to help you monitor your sleep cycles. 

Amenities like Bryte Smart Bed Technology make it easy to sleep anywhere and anytime.  

Now let's explore strategies to combat poor sleep at hotels.

Strategies to Combat Poor Sleep in Hotels

If you're having difficulty nodding off while on holiday in a hotel, don't fret. There are several strategies that could help.

Dealing with Jet Lag

Jet lag, as we all know, is one of the main culprits behind poor sleep quality when traveling.

This temporary sleep disorder often induces wakefulness at odd hours and makes it difficult for people to get into their normal sleep mode.

The good news? You can combat jet lag effectively.

  • Adjust Your Body Clock: Start shifting your sleeping and eating schedule a few days before departure according to the time zone of your destination. This helps acclimate your body clock gradually rather than abruptly.
  • Cope With Time Zone Changes: Once arrived, try adopting local meal times immediately. Exposure to natural light during daytime also aids in resetting our internal biological clocks faster.

Tips For A Good Night's Sleep In Hotel Rooms

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks or heavy meals close to bedtime which make it more difficult to fall asleep
  • Consider using tools like sleep masks or earplugs if noise and unwanted light from outside bother you - these are especially useful for those sensitive souls whose sleeping brains just won't switch off amidst unfamiliar surroundings.
  • If you enjoy tea, several blends are conducive to good sleep and can probably be found in a nearby grocery store if not the hotel itself.
  • Yoga and other types of light, relaxing physical activity can help you wind down and prepare you body for sleep

Preparing for Your Hotel Stay

To get a good rest, being ready is essential.

Prior to your hotel stay, research the room amenities and reviews of previous guests.

This will give you insights into potential noise levels or mattress quality found significant correlations with guest satisfaction.

Arriving Early

If traveling abroad or experiencing a big change in time zones, arrive one to two nights before any important events. The extra time can also help mitigate the first-night effect and allow your body to adjust to the new environment.

Familiar Objects from Home

To help you sleep more easily while traveling consider packing some of the following when you travel:

  • A favorite pillow
  • A cherished blanket
  • A comforting photo on your bedside table

These familiar objects can make an unfamiliar room feel more like home and promote better sleep quality during a hotel stay.

Final Thoughts

Understanding why you can't sleep in hotels is the first step to overcoming it.

The 'first-night effect' isn't a myth, but an evolutionary response hardwired into our brains.

A variety of factors from your circadian rhythm to room conditions influence how well you rest during hotel stays.

Mattress quality matters more than we often realize, playing a significant role in guest-reported sleep satisfaction.

Strategies like preparing for jet lag and bringing familiar items can help improve your slumber away from home.

If all else fails, remember that individual differences play a part - some people naturally adapt better to new environments than others.

But what if there was a way to ensure consistent comfort and support no matter where you slept?

Bryte, with our smart bed technology, aims at just that—providing personalized comfort for improved sleep quality anywhere.

So, why wait? Get a Bryte Bed or check out hotels with Bryte mattresses and say goodbye to restless nights in unfamiliar beds!

FAQs in Relation to “Can't Sleep in Hotels”

Why do I struggle to sleep in hotels?

"I can't sleep in hotels."

Even the most seasoned travelers often repeat this same woeful refrain. It's quite common actually and there are many contributing factors but one leading cause is called the "first night" effect by sleep researchers. This frustrating phenomenon is when a part of the brain that usually dozes off actually stays at least partially awake when in new surroundings

Why do I get anxious in hotel rooms?

Unfamiliar surroundings make most people feel a little bit anxious. When you're trying to sleep in an unfamiliar place it can be even more vexing. Even an otherwise comfortable room in a nice hotel can make you feel anxious when you're trying to sleep simply because it's so unfamiliar.

How do you fall asleep in a hotel bed?

Take a look at sleeping people. They usually are sleeping in a familiar environment with familiar, comfortable things around them.

If you can't sleep in hotels try bringing things from home with you to help you sleep. A pillow, a blanket, and a photo of something or someone comforting among other things are fairly easy to travel with and can make a huge difference while trying to sleep. Sleep masks and/or ear plugs can be helpful by simply blocking out the unfamiliar sights and sounds.

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