Here’s a situation you may be familiar with:
You are traveling and after a long day, you lie down on the hotel bed and it feels fine. However, you end up tossing and turning throughout the night, unable to get the same quality of sleep as when you slept in your bed at home.
Some people attribute this discomfort and lack of sleep to the mattress since it seems to be the obvious culprit. The real reason is actually called the first night effect. Through many studies, researchers have found that this effect takes place because sleeping in an unfamiliar environment leaves the left hemisphere of the brain active while the right half is sleeping.
Question is, what is the active hemisphere doing while the other half sleeps? Well, think of it like night patrol. The active half is “protecting” the body by being aware of its surroundings. If something were to happen, the brain will notice and wake the body immediately if necessary.
As stated in the name, this effect only lasts the first night in a new environment. On the days that follow, the brain will usually be accustomed and willing to sleep since no threat appeared on the first night. This effect is not unique to hotel beds as any new bed or room can encourage the effect to take place.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do if you experience the restlessness from trying to sleep in a new place.
Keep practicing the same habits
That habit you have of watching The Office before you sleep? Do it. Studies have shown that performing the same rituals in a new environment can help establish a sense of familiarity which can then promote better sleep. Some people have a habit of playing white noise or spreading essential oils in a lavender or vanilla scent which does help achieve better rest.
What you wear to sleep is also a major component. In a new environment, it is important to wear socks or slippers if it is already an established habit. Other items such as a sleep mask or earplugs can help if the bed is near city lights, a busy road, or construction.
A mattress is a big part of sleeping but the pillow also has an integral role. In fact, many people bring their pillow with them when traveling since it is a piece of home that they love and are familiar with.
Although bringing a mattress while traveling would be fantastic, it is certainly not feasible. But by performing the tips mentioned above, you can have your perfect sleep anywhere you go. Let us know if you have any tricks of your own for sleeping in a new place!
Come and check out our showroom for some products that can help promote better sleep such as candles, wool comforters and more!