dorm room

You just had your long hours of travel to get to your desired paradise, and you want to end the day by having a good nights sleep. However, by the time you need sleep the most is also when it becomes so elusive. We often blame the new and unfamiliar environment for this.

For instance, when you’re in a hostel, the rumble of the elevator, the passing cars outside, the hallway murmurs, and more often than not, the other backpackers rustling through their bags can all be a hindrance to your sleep.

The Science Behind

For us to understand this problem, we must first get to the truth of the matter.

Difficulty in sleeping in a new environment is a defence mechanism called “first night effect.” As we all have a biologically-wired instinct to survive, our brain stays awake to keep watch of a possible danger in an unfamiliar environment like hostels. Thus sleeping becomes tricky. But there are ways to minimise this problem.

For you to sleep better in hostels, here are some tips that you might consider:

Wear an Eye Mask

Research suggests that light influences our sleep pattern and sleeping schedule. It’s why wearing an eye mask before you retire to bed is advisable to prevent the lights from disturbing you especially when your roommates switch the light on and off throughout the night.

For ultimate comfort, choose an eye mask that is lightweight and made of breathable cotton that fits comfortably around your nose for you to get your much-needed sleep.

Keep It Fresh and Cool

A stuffy room is not a sleep-friendly room. If you're able to then switch on the aircon and turn down the temperature between 60 to 67 degrees, because when you're sleepy, your body temperature gradually drops, and hitting down the dial of the thermostat can get you faster to that sleep cycle. So, a little bit of chill and cold is an ideal temperature to help you sleep.

Bring Your Pillow from Home

Sometimes it's nice to have something familiar with you, especially if your pillow at home is amazing, so if you can it can be a good idea that you bring your favourite pillow from home when you are travelling. In this way, not only are you placing your head on a pillow you know is comfortable and to your taste, but it will also cheat your brain into trusting a room by making it as familiar as possible. It's also nice to have a pillow on the plane or the bus too!

Sleeping OMG

Use Ear Plugs

The impact of sound can affect our sleep and even our health. Studies show that a room should not go beyond the recommended 30 decibels of sound when you are sleeping. If you go past that point, it can hinder your sleep.

So, to fight unnecessary noises, try using earplugs made of soft foam. Some hostels even provide earplugs, just ask at reception. Also, there are white noise apps that you can download online to your smartphone to shut out your roommate’s snore or their loud music.

Take a Hot Shower

Taking a hot shower before sleep is what many people advise for you to get that much-needed relaxation after a long plane ride. By taking a shower, your body temperature will go down, and your tense muscles will be at ease.


A better sleep is essential when you are travelling. But most of the time a new and unfamiliar environment might prevent us from getting it. So it's advisable that you know the tips to get a better and sound sleep especially when you travel to new places.

Author: Janis Walker lives in New York. She loves to write, and she contributes regularly to various blog sites as a guest blogger. Her forte is on health and wellness, but she also writes about bed and mattresses that matter to a good night sleep.

Explore