Sleep can be a frustrating experience for many travelers. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, trying to get a good night’s sleep in a hotel room can sometimes be an exercise in futility. After all, there’s often a wide variety of unfamiliar sounds and noises that can disrupt your normal sleep pattern while you’re in a hotel. A noisy neighbor or noisy heating and air conditioning systems are common complaints from hotel guests.
Dr. Natalie Dautovich, Environmental Fellow, National Sleep Foundation, says, “Times change when you travel, but you can still enjoy your vacation while protecting your sleep. To optimize the quality of your sleep on the road, consider light as the most powerful signal for your biological clock. Be sure to expose yourself to bright light when you wake up, which will help you feel more energized and alert, and avoid light, such as that from your cell phone, and increased activity later in the evening, which which can make it harder to relax and fall asleep.”
It offers these recommendations. “Consider bringing an eye mask or portable sound machine with you to your hotel room or vacation rental to help block out any extra light or noise,” she advises. “It’s also important to remember that good sleep at night starts with healthy behaviors during the day. Spending time outdoors is great for your nighttime sleep and can be easily achieved when traveling and exploring new environments. Just be aware of the effects of early and late light exposure Finally, it’s easy to become more flexible with bedtimes while traveling Your body works best with a regular routine, so aim for a schedule as much as possible going to bed and waking up regularly.
Seasoned travelers turn to all natural sleep devices in the form of mechanical earplugs or headbands to help them get the shut-eye they need. The following sleep devices have proven to be very effective in helping people get a good night’s sleep, whether at home or on the road in an unfamiliar environment.
QuietOn 3 Headphones Use Active Noise Control (ANC), Active Noise Cancellation and Active Noise Reduction (ANR), which are methods of reducing unwanted sound by adding another sound specifically designed to cancel it out. Active noise canceling headphones use a microphone to sample sound and a speaker to create out-of-phase sound that cancels out the original sound. According to QuietOn’s documentation, passive noise canceling devices such as foam earplugs work well for frequencies above 1 kHz, but they don’t work effectively in the range where you would need them most: low-frequency noise waves, which are long and pass through walls and earplugs. Active noise canceling technology is able to reduce low frequency sounds that ordinary passive earplugs cannot handle. They are most effective at low frequencies such as hum or ambient sounds passing through walls.
QuietOn 3 active noise canceling headphones use tiny technology. A microphone takes a sample of the outside noise. Tiny active electronics inside the earpiece create out-of-phase and equalized sound. The out-of-phase sound is then played through a speaker, canceling out the original noise. The device is powered by a rechargeable battery. The soft memory foam tip ensures a snug fit in the ear and manages passive noise cancellation. And while QuietOn is useful when it comes to sleeping in hotel rooms, the device also provides peace of mind on the way there by canceling engine noise on the train or noise from the air cabin in the plane.
SoundOff Headphones uses noise masking as its core technology. Noise masking consists of listening to one sound so as not to hear another sound. If you’re trying to sleep, the sound you’re listening to should be soothing and relaxing to help you sleep rather than interrupt your sleep. With SoundOff, you hear soothing pink noise. Studies show that pink noise relaxes the brain and can help you sleep. SoundOff Headphones were actually created specifically to solve a personal travel problem for one of the founders. After too many sleepless hotel stays with a snoring travel partner, she finally hit a breaking point and shelled out the money for an extra hotel room, and that’s literally how the trip to invent SoundOff has started. The company’s research consists primarily of personal conversations with users, as well as written reviews and video testimonials. Although most customers initially buy the headphones for noise issues that keep them awake at home, they often say they won’t leave home without them. Some have even bought a second pair that stays in their travel bag. One user wrote, “I frequently go on weekend golf outings and share a room with snoring partners. Sleepless nights are finally over. I even use them when I don’t need them just because the sound is so relaxing.
Abhinav Singh, MD, FAASM, medical examination expert at Sleep Foundation and medical director of the Indiana Sleep Center, says, “Sleeping in hotels is often difficult. No humidity, dry air, different pillows, different beds, noise and light levels.
Dr. Singh offers these strategies:
* A good eye mask. Some have Bluetooth speakers for ambient noise/music.
* Make sure you are well hydrated.
* Comfortable clothes. Sometimes certain aromatherapies can lead to familiarity/relaxation if used even in hotels. The goal is to create as close as possible to the physical environment like at home.
* Travel with your CPAP machine if you use one.
* Remember basic sleep hygiene including avoiding screen/TV/phones. Encourage reading or audio books. Avoid heavy meals before entering the hotel room.