When you travel, you have to adjust your body clock especially when you sleep.
There can be as much as 14 hours difference. It’s already night time in your destination but you’re still not feeling sleepy because where you came from, it is morning.
Common victims are long-haul airline stewards/stewardesses who sleep at different hours of the day depending on the aircraft’s arrival. Getting a good night sleep gets even harder when you sleep in hotels and unfamiliar surroundings.
Try to consider the following when booking and sleeping at a hotel:
1. Look at the Location
Avoid the room near the elevator. One time, I was given a room near the elevator. I didn’t complain because I thought it was convenient to be near the elevator. My mistake. I often sleep light when it’s my first time to sleep in that place but the little sleep I got was even interrupted constantly by the sound of the elevator going up and down.
Some hotels have disco or bars. Avoid the floor next to it or you’ll be dancing and thumping while you sleep.
It’s one thing to be a floor away from the hotel’s disco, it’s another thing when your next door neighbor is having a private party. If this happens, pack up and request for another room.
2. Escape the noise with Earplugs.
Keep them at arm’s length in your bedside table, just in case.
3. Watch what you watch.
If you want to watch a cable TV show to doze off, choose a show that’s not a gorry war movie or a scary horror and suspense thriller. They will make your imaginations run wild especially if you’re alone. Instead of helping you sleep, they will keep you awake. If there’s a timer on the TV control, set it to turn off the TV after an hour or so. If you fall asleep while it’s switched on, it may wake you up later. It may also wake up the next door guest if he’s not wearing earplugs. As an added courtesy to your neighbor, keep the volume at a reasonable level.
4. Close the curtains.
My previous job required night shifts. I had to sleep at 8 in the morning. I had to make my room as dark as possible with thick curtains to avoid the irritating sun’s glare and to recreate the darkness of the evening.
5. False Alarm.
You may have set your mobile phone’s alarm or the repeat alarm on based on your prior schedule. Or you may have intended to set the alarm on but have not adjusted the time to that of your destination. Either way, your hard-earned sleep will be interrupted.
6. Don’t Disturb.
Hang a Don’t Disturb sign on your doorknob. You may request the same from the operator to for incoming calls till you wake up. Have the reception take note of messages.
While there’s the inevitable slamming of doors and the whining of vacuums by housekeeping staff, there are things which can be avoided to make sure that you get to sleep in bed and not in the boardroom or in the theater. Imagine all the wrong attention and embarrassment you’ll be getting as you snore in the wrong places. With too little sleep, you will also end up cranky and irritable ruining your day and that of the people around you. Research shows that a good sleep of about 8 hours can help your brain work better. So make sure to sleep well to get that brain working for your business presentation, or to get that energy needed to travel around.
Photo of hotel room courtesy of the Capsule Inn Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.