Ice machines rattling. Elevators that ding. Bachelorette parties can be found just down the hall. If you're hoping to get a good night's sleep while staying at a hotel, the sleep gods have their work cut out for them.

Get a Better Night Sleep With These Easy Tips

We've put together one of the most thorough guides on sleeping in a hotel, including everything from what questions to ask when booking a room to how to quickly deal with noisemakers so you can get back to sleep.

During the Reservation Process:

  • Make sure you have a quiet space. When booking a hotel room, there are two requests that are absolutely necessary and well-known: a room on the upper floor and away from the elevators.
  • Make a reservation for a room halfway down a corridor. Because it's distant from the ice and vending machines, guest laundry facilities, entrances, cleaning closets, and other places where noise can be created, this is usually the quietest part of the floor.
  • If the hotel has one, request a room on the concierge or suite level. Those rooms often have higher ceilings, allowing you a little more breathing room from the people above you.
  • Stay away from rooms with a view of the pool. While the vista is lovely, pools may become late-night gathering spots despite marked closing times, and noise reverberates off the water.
  • If there are dumpsters or recycling bins outside your windows, inquire about garbage collection times. Get a different room if the time is too early for you.
  • Request a room in a low-rise hotel at the back. They are usually calmer (especially if they aren't near a parking lot). The peace is worth it, even if the view isn't great.
  • If the hotel has them, request a room at least two or three levels above function rooms, bars, or other public areas. You'd be shocked how deep a pulsing, thumping bass beat can go.
  • Inquire about any ongoing or recently completed improvements at the hotel. These are usually done in sections, one level or area at a time. You should stay away from floors that are currently being renovated. However, you should try to stay on a floor that has recently been refurbished, since it will be cleaner, smell nicer, and have newer beds and linens.
  • Inquire about the availability of blackout blinds in the guestrooms. These are the big, thick drapes that block out the light, and you want them.
  • Make sure your room is smoke-free. If you don't smoke, the smell of old cigarette smoke will make you feel uneasy (awake or asleep)
  • Inquire about the many pillow alternatives. Find out if pillows with varied levels of firmness are available if you're prone to neck or back ache from using the wrong cushion. Some hotels have a secret store of firmer ones in guestroom closets or at the front desk. If the hotel does not have what you require, try bringing your own.
  • If you're travelling with a friend, request two beds. If you sleep alone, you'll get a better night's sleep than if you share a bunk with someone you're not used to being around.

Planning To Hit the Hay:

  • It's not a good idea to read, eat, or work in bed. This isn't always practicable, however, because hotel rooms often have limited seating. However, try not to use your bed for anything other than sleeping.
  • Late at night, avoid eating a large or extremely rich dinner. The capacity to sleep soundly is hampered by a stomach that is churning away digesting a large meal.
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. Despite the fact that alcoholic beverages can help you fall asleep faster, even a moderate amount of alcohol shortly before bed will degrade your sleep quality.
  • Enjoy a cup of tea. Sleep can be induced by a modest cup of chamomile tea or another warm, non-caffeinated beverage. But don't overdo it, or you'll have to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
  • If you're in a different time zone than your friends and family, turn off your cell phone notifications. When you're trying to sleep, others may try to contact you. To avoid being disturbed, turn off notification noises for texts, emails, and phone calls before going to bed.
  • Take a melatonin supplement. This pill imitates the hormone that your body secretes when it's time to sleep. "Melatonin helps our body understand when it's time to sleep, and it can be quite beneficial in easing symptoms of jet lag," says Dr. Aleksandar Videnovic, Principal Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital's Sleep Center.

Just Before Going to Bed:

  • The "do not disturb" sign should be hung on the outside doorknob. If you're going to sleep in, this is extremely vital. Some housekeepers begin their work as early as 8 a.m. Request a "do not disturb" sign from the front desk if your room does not have one.
  • Make a backup set of wake-up calls. How many times have you set an unfamiliar alarm clock only to be rushed the next morning because it didn't go off (or woken up in the middle of the night worried it wouldn't work)? Use two alarms, such as the hotel's wakeup call service, your mobile phone, a wristwatch, or a travel-sized alarm clock, for added peace of mind. Even if you're not using the hotel's alarm clock, double-check that it wasn't set to go off too early by the last occupant.
  • Take a long, hot bath. You may be able to get a better night's sleep as a result of the relaxation.
  • Adjust the temperature of the room. Most individuals sleep best in temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees, according to
  • Read a paper book or magazine that isn't suspenseful. Avoid watching TV, using smartphones, or using laptops because they create artificial blue light that might be exciting rather than relaxing. A travel-friendly way to read without blue light is to use an e-ink e-reader like the Kindle Paperwhite.
  • Consider doing a sleep-inducing meditation exercise. There are numerous apps (such as headspace) that will walk you through nightly meditations to assist you in relaxing.

Once you're in Bed:

  • Take a deep breath. It might be stressful to be out of your environment. Before going to bed, take a few long, steady breaths to assist you relax and unwind stiff muscles.
  • Don't put it off reporting noise. Because hotel rooms have notoriously thin walls, your neighbours may be unaware that their talks are audible to you. A single pound on the wall can sometimes be enough to silence a noisy neighbour. (For further information, see When the Hotel Guest Next Door Won't Stop Talking.) If you don't feel comfortable doing so, simply contact the hotel's front desk. With a warning, they'll call the guest or send security staff to the room. The guest may be asked to leave if there is excessive noise or repeated warnings.
  • Request a change of rooms. If uncontrolled noise—such as traffic, a humming ice machine, or the elevator—is persistent, all hotels should provide guests the option of switching to a quieter room. Of course, having to pack your possessions and relocate in the middle of the night isn't exactly relaxing, and the hotel may be fully booked. However, if you're staying in a hotel for several nights, this may be the best option.
  • If you can't sleep, get out of bed. This is a nice general rule to follow when travelling or at home. Get out of bed, turn on a dim light, and read a meaningless magazine until you're ready to try again.

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