Many people find it extremely difficult to sleep in unfamiliar places due to being so far away from their own cosy bed and comfortable routine. Hotel rooms, airports or a friend's sofa are not always the homeliest of places to find yourself if you are fussy sleeper. No matter how tired we are, if we feel uncomfortable, a lot of us are unwilling and unable to sleep. So the question remains: how do you go about getting a good night's sleep in a place away from home? We've put together a few tips that we hope will help all of those who find themselves in need of sleep in an unknown territory.
A comfortable night's sleep away from home begins long before you've checked into the hotel room or overnight flight. It starts at the packing stage of your clothes and personal belongings. Packing comfortable clothes to change into is a must for any traveller. Imagine spending 8 hours on a flight in your office attire or form-fitting jeans - strangely uncomfortable, right? Now imagine sitting in a plane seat in elasticated jogging bottoms with soft inner lining as well as your favourite zip-up hoodie. When it comes to feeling comfortable, there's no competition between the two.
Familiarise yourself with the surroundings
Visualisation is a powerful tool. If you've booked a hotel room for the evening, take a look through the pictures on site to make yourself acquainted with where you will be spending the night. Is it a single or double bed? Is there anything you think is missing that you find important? Are you able to take it with you? Never underestimate the power of home comforts. If you need to bring your headphones to listen to familiar music, then go ahead and bring those too.
Emulate your routine as much as possible
Granted, you may not be able to do everything within your nightly winding down routine, but emulating it as closely as possible will help your body feel more relaxed. If you watch films before bed, bring along a couple so you can listen to them in the background as you try to fall asleep. Listening may prove to be better as the familiarity of the film voices may make you feel calmer as you begin to drift off, whereas the blue light emitted from the technological screen will hinder your ability to sleep. If you're used to exercising before sleeping, then make time for a condensed version, as not only will it be associated with feelings of normality, but it may help to tire you out and relieve stress.
Scents are powerful
Many people find the comforting smell of home one of the reasons they are able to fall asleep so easily. Obviously, when you are away that becomes a little harder - however not impossible! If the smell of fusty car is making you lose your sleeping rhythm, use your hoodie or better yet, a pillow from your own bed to fill your nostrils with the familiar scent of home.
Give yourself time to settle
There is nothing worse than finding yourself in an uncomfortable place to sleep AND not having enough time to get a full night's rest. Give yourself enough time to settle and relax your body for what lies ahead. Start your modified evening routine early and give yourself as much time as you can to fall asleep. Even if you end up heading off to your hotel room earlier than you'd expect, remember the first night is usually the hardest to sleep in a strange bed.