How to Sleep Better in Hotels

Tossing and turning on work trips and vacation? Can't sleep in your hotel room? Try these simple solutions from Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep.

Tossing and turning on work trips and vacation? Can't sleep in your hotel room? Try these simple solutions from Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep.

01 of 04

Stuffy air

hotel-open-window
Problem: The air is stuffy, dry, and completely over-deodorized.Simple fix:If you can, open the window—you’ll sleep better in fresh air, Breus advises. If the windows are sealed (or if you’re in a particularly noisy or polluted city), turn on the fan on the air-conditioning unit as soon as you enter the room to get the air circulating. Then add moisture by running a hot, steamy shower and leaving the bathroom door open. Getty Images

Problem: The air is stuffy, dry, and completely over-deodorized.

Simple fix:

If you can, open the window—you'll sleep better in fresh air, Breus advises. If the windows are sealed (or if you're in a particularly noisy or polluted city), turn on the fan on the air-conditioning unit as soon as you enter the room to get the air circulating. Then add moisture by running a hot, steamy shower and leaving the bathroom door open.

02 of 04
sleep-hotel-bed
Staying in a relative's guest room or even a hotel might make it harder for you to fall—and stay—asleep. Arand suggests bringing your own accessories—a familiar pillow or blanket, earplugs, and sleep mask. You can also ask your doctor if he or she recommends changing your dose for the duration of your stay. Even people who don't regularly take sleeping pills might need some extra help in this situation; if you expect to have trouble sleeping while away from home, ask your doctor for a prescription medication you can use short-term. Istockphoto
03 of 04

Too-soft mattress

queen-size-bed-hotel
Problem: Uh oh! The mattress is too soft.Simple fix:When you make your reservation, choose a room with a queen- or full-size bed instead of a king one. "Smaller mattresses have a tendency to be firmer," Breus says. If you find that the bed is uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to request another room. Ask for one that’s recently been redone. Why? It’s more likely to have a newer (read: firmer) mattress. Getty Images

Problem: Uh oh! The mattress is too soft.

Simple fix:

When you make your reservation, choose a room with a queen- or full-size bed instead of a king one. "Smaller mattresses have a tendency to be firmer," Breus says.

If you find that the bed is uncomfortable, don't hesitate to request another room. Ask for one that's recently been redone. Why? It's more likely to have a newer (read: firmer) mattress.

04 of 04

Thin walls

hotel-room-key
Problem: The walls are incredibly thin—you can hear everything.Simple fix:Book a corner room on a high floor, so you’ll be farther from street noise and less likely to have two bothersome neighbors. But if you end up near a high-volume-TV lover, bring a small white noise machine or earplugs (with a noise-level rating of 32 or less, so you can hear your alarm and the smoke alarm). Or put white noise on your iPod. Getty Images

Problem: The walls are incredibly thin—you can hear everything.

Simple fix:

Book a corner room on a high floor, so you'll be farther from street noise and less likely to have two bothersome neighbors. But if you end up near a high-volume-TV lover, bring a small white noise machine or earplugs (with a noise-level rating of 32 or less, so you can hear your alarm and the smoke alarm). Or put white noise on your iPod.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles