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Sleep problems in hotels

Sleep problems in hotels

Old Feb 23, 17, 7:18 am
  #1  
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Sleep problems in hotels

Hi all.

I stay in various standard hotels about five nights a month. Business is usually at a Hilton and pleasure will be the best thing I find on Trivago.

No matter where I am, Ibis or a Hilton, I struggle to sleep.

My work means entertaining until late at night so I often lie in until 10/11am but this means putting up with noise of the maid, other guests and traffic.

Does anyone have sleep problems in hotels (I'm absolutely fine at home)? And if so, do you have any tips and tricks? I have tried ear plugs and eye masks. I am not looking for pills.

The other main thing I struggle with is smoke in bars and social venues. Smoking is banned in the UK so I'm fine at home in London but as soon as I'm in Berlin, Madrid, etc, I leave the place feeling like I have a cold which stays for a few days. I'm a non smoker and find dealing with smokers horrendously difficult (this is not an attack on smokers, I just become ill when I have to socialise with you!).

Thanks
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Old Feb 23, 17, 8:59 am
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I do occasionally have problems sleeping when I travel and I usually take drugs (diphenhydramine - the antihistamine sold as Benadryl in the US, over the counter, but Ambien if I really need to)

I assume that my issues are just I'm getting older and sleep is harder anyway, and my routine is different from home. I'm not drinking as much water, I'm eating different food (maybe at different times - jet lag never used to bother me, but once I hit 40, it does? And for a long time....) The biggest thing that helps me is moisture - consistently trying to up my water intake (at home I drink a gallon a day, so if I get half that when traveling, it's a good day...) and moisturizer for my skin.....

I thought EU had outlawed smoking in bars & restaurants? I haven't had a problem in my European travels in a long time.....
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Old Feb 23, 17, 9:22 am
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What kind of things do you find make you uncomfortable in the hotel? A couple of things that worked for me - the bed comfort is the biggie, I had to experiment a but with hotels to find the chains I like, though I also fin hotels in Europe are very different than the same chains in the US. I also have one of those little battery night lights, I find that makes a huge difference for me, maybe some hidden insecurity or something. I also have a travel fan which I find helps give just enough moving air to make the room feel a little less stuffy. But i think you have to figure out what it is in your case that makes it harder to fall asleep when traveling.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 9:30 am
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I've shoved a towel underneath the door many times. Between the light & sound pollution, this definitely helps.

Have you tried a sound machine? There are plenty of apps you can download for your phone/tablet and plenty of YouTube videos of various soundtracks meant for sleeping. The old standby for this was to take the clock radio and tune it between FM stations for white noise, although many properties I stay in now lack a radio.

Re: smoking, a Neti pot or similar nasal irrigation. I don't enjoy the feeling of doing it, but afterwards it's worth it. I use one if I've been around a lot of coughing/hacking people, after being to a smokey place, and the fiancé uses one when pollen is high.

I also carry a small portable fan and usually have it aimed towards my face/chest on low. Between the noise and gentle breeze, it usually helps me focus on sleeping rather than what's going on around me. I'm also very sensitive to humidity, especially when sleeping, and the fan helps me stay breathing. Perhaps not the most convenient thing when traveling internationally, but domestically I carry a small space heater to help with dehumidification. Heater on, aircon on = nice dry room.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:31 am
  #5  
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Thank you! I have just ordered a nasal irrigation pot! Good idea and exactly what I need!

The suggestion of a towel underneath the door is also very good.

Has anyone used Lavender?
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
I do occasionally have problems sleeping when I travel and I usually take drugs (diphenhydramine - the antihistamine sold as Benadryl in the US, over the counter, but Ambien if I really need to)

I assume that my issues are just I'm getting older and sleep is harder anyway, and my routine is different from home. I'm not drinking as much water, I'm eating different food (maybe at different times - jet lag never used to bother me, but once I hit 40, it does? And for a long time....) The biggest thing that helps me is moisture - consistently trying to up my water intake (at home I drink a gallon a day, so if I get half that when traveling, it's a good day...) and moisturizer for my skin.....

I thought EU had outlawed smoking in bars & restaurants? I haven't had a problem in my European travels in a long time.....
Smoking is banned but there are still some (a lot) of places that ignore the ban. In my experience, Berliners are especially good at flouting the smoking ban. If you do a quick google search, it is apparent that most places get away with it.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:39 am
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Alcohol consumption can disturb sleep; as your body gets rid of it, you get a bit of a rebound effect. Staying hydrated can help with some of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, too.

I use an app on my iPad/iPhone with sounds of a rainstorm (or other sounds) to drown out extraneous noise, and I think that helps. (Appzilla if you're looking for it.)

Fluticasone nasal spray helps me when I'm around sinus irritants.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 4:56 pm
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I've found my sleep overall improved by paying more attention to "sleep hygiene," as my doctor had recommended, without identifying any particular resources that might help me. When I was in London last year, I stopped in a bookstore and saw a relatively new book (and for purposes of physical book sales, perhaps limited to the UK) called "Sleep" by Nick Littlehales. I checked with Nook/Amazon, and it was available electronically: https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Myth-Ho.../dp/B01ISFAU1W.

Any other good book on the subject would be as valuable, and it's arguable that Littlehales oversells his point--although once you think of a bedroom as just a place to sleep, you knock out a lot of other things that can disrupt sleep. Looking specifically at hotels and traveling, I now try to block light coming through the hotel door with a towel or an extra pillow at the base, I unplug or cover any digital clock/radio in the room, and I try to hide all the other potential light sources, such as power lights for chargers, cell phones, and TVs although there are plenty of rooms with smoke detectors with lights that are more difficult to access.

I especially found valuable Littlehales's emphasis on a set awake time, bedtime and awake routines, a cool room temperature (64-66F), and 90-minute sleep cycles. Try to get five per night, be comfortable with four, and if you get less, find spots during the day where you can make up for the loss with naps. His approach made me feel more in control of my sleep patterns, and it's amazing how that feeling keeps me from worrying too much if I have a hard time falling or staying asleep. And the lessened worry actually makes it easier to fall asleep, especially when I'm traveling.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 8:10 pm
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My first night in a different place is always a bad sleep. The body can't fully relax, it stays semi-alert for dangers. Worrying you won't be able to get a good nights sleep compounds the problem. Even if you don't take it, knowing you've got a sleeping pill on hand helps with that. To help relax, do everything you can to replicate bedtime at home. If you have favorite pajamas, bring 'em. If you are used to a bedtime snack, have one. I change the thermostat fan to On rather than Auto to keep some air moving constantly. My Paperwhite Kindle helps a lot because it can occupy my mind with the room lights out and makes no noise. It turns itself off when you've fallen asleep.
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Old Feb 24, 17, 8:49 am
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This is where a doctor that has experience with good sleep hygiene can really help. He/she can evaluate your routine/environment at home and compare this to your average routine/environment at a hotel and make adjustments. It could be a tweek or two that can make all the difference. Such as lowering the temperature by 5 degrees in your room.
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Old Feb 24, 17, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by eastflyer123 View Post
Has anyone used Lavender?
I sometimes use the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, both at home and in hotels. It's more than just lavender, and it is a relaxing smell. For me, I wonder if part of the effectiveness is the ritual of using it which triggers my mind that it is time to sleep. One could probably concoct a cheaper version using essential oils, but I like this formula.

Also, if you're bothered by smoke smells (as I am), just having something to either get rid of or mask smoke smells could help.

PS, it is cheaper in the UK, but also available via retailers like Net-A-Porter. There are often good deals on travel size kits (and the travel size spray is obviously much better for actually traveling; the 75 mL bottle is bulky); I have one that has a mini pillow spray and a roller ball of something called No Stress, which I really like.
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Old Feb 24, 17, 8:11 pm
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Have you been tested for obstructive sleep apnea aka OSA? I had a sleep study last August because I was dead tired by 2 pm everyday. It seem I stopped breathing about 20-30 times an hour. I'm on an auto CPAP every single night. It took about one month, and the change was amazing. And now since I've lost a boatload of weight, my pressures are much lower. Hopefully when I meet my goal, the OSA will go away.
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Old Feb 27, 17, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by eastflyer123 View Post
Hi all.

I stay in various standard hotels about five nights a month. Business is usually at a Hilton and pleasure will be the best thing I find on Trivago.

No matter where I am, Ibis or a Hilton, I struggle to sleep.

My work means entertaining until late at night so I often lie in until 10/11am but this means putting up with noise of the maid, other guests and traffic.

Does anyone have sleep problems in hotels (I'm absolutely fine at home)? And if so, do you have any tips and tricks? I have tried ear plugs and eye masks. I am not looking for pills.

The other main thing I struggle with is smoke in bars and social venues. Smoking is banned in the UK so I'm fine at home in London but as soon as I'm in Berlin, Madrid, etc, I leave the place feeling like I have a cold which stays for a few days. I'm a non smoker and find dealing with smokers horrendously difficult (this is not an attack on smokers, I just become ill when I have to socialise with you!).

Thanks
I used to have your exact problem.....

New bed, meant not a good nights sleep for me on the first night. The 2nd night was always better, and the 3rd was usually great.

From 1997 to 2007 I was leaving home Sunday nights, staying at a different hotel each night until I got home on Thursday night or Friday. Driving around then, I always preferred staying at Hampton Inn's (HGI, CY by Mar, or Fairfield Inns in that order). In 2002, I bought a bed for my house that was the same mattress that they used at Hamptons. It made a huge difference for my sleep at Hampton Inn's.

Starting in 2009, I was staying at Double Tree and Hilton properties for the majority of my stays. Both hotels used the same mattress, so I purchased one of those from https://www.hiltontohome.com

Last year, the wife and moved into a bigger house, and we bought a new King bed from them again, and put the Queen I bought in 2009 in our guest room.

I got this tip from some co-workers, as it worked for them, and it worked for me. It really made an improvement for me, whenever I am staying at Hilton or Doubletree properties, but it doesn't help when I am staying somewhere else, I still struggle with that first night. It was recommended to me by a large crew of long term road warriors. I can say it worked for them, and it worked for me.

I don't know if you can get the bed in the UK, or not. If you can't, you may be able to get another hotels bed, and try to become loyal to that one.
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Old Feb 27, 17, 3:46 pm
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For me it's the pillows. If there was room to bring my favorite pillow, I know it would help.
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Old Feb 27, 17, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
For me it's the pillows. If there was room to bring my favorite pillow, I know it would help.
There is. I do it all the time.

You need this:https://www.amazon.com/Travelon-Spac...lon+space+mate

and this: https://www.amazon.com/Tofern-Univer...mp+vacuum+bags

Pillows compress way down. My suggestion is to put the pillow in teh bag, put the bag and pillow into the bottom of the suitcase and pump the air out after it is in there. That seems to make it fit the best.
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