7 Tips for Getting Rest In A Noisy Hotel
Booking a hotel in an unknown area when you are travelling is always a little unsettling. Will you be staying in a good part of town? Are the necessities accessible nearby if you forget anything? And, most importantly, will the room be clean, comfortable, and quiet?
Hotels don’t usually advertise the fact that they are within hearing distance of loud areas like airports, train stations, or racing tracks. If you expect it ahead of time, you can plan for it by bringing earplugs or other noise blockers. But if you’re stuck in a hotel near loud events or with a lot of foot traffic in the hallways, how can you get your sleep?
Keep Your Head Straight and Sleep Through the Noise
Whether you’re on a fun vacation to explore the sights or a business trip, you need your sleep. Just one night spent tossing and turning can ruin the next day’s plans for anyone. Lack of rest makes you moody, irritable, and lethargic – not a recipe for a productive day at all.
No matter what the noise is that’s keeping you awake, you need to be able to ignore it and sleep. Here are some tried and true recommendations to get your rest and let the world keep doing its thing around your room.
1. Bring a white noise blocker
If you’re a light sleeper, this may be the best investment you’ve ever given yourself. White noise is a constant sound in the background while you sleep that lets your brain block out other, more distracting noises. If you play it loud enough, you can’t even hear the other noises at all.
White noise blockers come in a range of products. You can purchase a white noise speaker, download an app on your phone, or even check out the baby department for their version. They all work on the same principle.
2. Run your fan.
Forgot your white noise machine or don’t have one? Running the ceiling fan creates a similar noise, although it’s not as loud. Some people find the ceiling fan to be distracting since it can run consistently for a while and then cause shaking, but it’s still a better option than listening to the horns honking outside your window all night.
3. Request a move.
Yes, it’s a pain to repack your things and change rooms, but the twenty minutes or so that you are put out will be more than worth it if that little switch lets you sleep the rest of the night soundly.
If you’re in a hotel near a lot of traffic noise, ask for a switch to a room on a higher floor. The sound is less likely to carry from the roads to the higher elevation.
4. Listen to a podcast or meditational app.
Find a podcast that you are already familiar with, download a meditation app, or play some calming nature sounds on your phone. Everything you need to create a safe, quiet space in your hotel is at your fingertips. Grab some earbuds, turn on whatever program relaxes you, and set it to repeat or continue so that you don’t doze off just to be awakened by the hotel’s noise again when your episode ends.
5. Learn a new language.
Falling asleep to the sound of a foreign language in your ears can be relaxing and educational at the same time. Download an audio app that teaches a language you want to learn and let it play through your earbuds as you lay in bed. It can drown out the unwanted noises as your brain focuses on the new stimuli.
6. Try deep breathing exercises.
When we were children, we were told to count sheep to fall asleep. There’s a method behind this trick that we can use now that we are educated adults. Focusing on counting calms our brains and distracts us from other noises.
Add in the focus of counting your breaths and your body automatically relaxes more. Breathe in and out slowly, inhaling for a count of one and exhaling for a count of one. Repeat three to five times, then start over again. Relax your muscles as you do so and visualise yourself in a safe, quiet space.
7. Wear yourself out physically.
No matter how noisy it is, if you are just plain exhausted, you’ll sleep through it. This only works if you know ahead of time that you are going to struggle with falling asleep. Hit the gym, wander the streets and explore, and do what you can to tire your body out to the point that it doesn’t care about the planes flying directly outside your window every ten minutes.
You Don’t Have to Stay Up All Night
You’re not stuck tossing and turning and listening to the noises. If all else fails, you can find a new hotel room or grab your car and drive to a quiet, safe place and sleep. You have choices, but a little preparation ahead of time lets you avoid these extreme solutions.
Pack your earplugs and earbuds and download your favourite apps ahead of time in case there’s no WiFi. Plan for the worst and hope for the best when you’re staying in an unknown hotel and you can sleep through anything!