This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

We’ve all been there: you sink into the sumptuous hotel bed that looked so tempting after hours of tiring travel, only to find that you just can’t fall asleep, no matter how many sheep you count.

“Sleep researchers and clinicians have long known about the ‘first night effect,'” Dr. Melisa Moore, a sleep expert from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia told Condé Nast Traveler. “The study suggests that one of our brain hemispheres sleeps less deeply the first night in a new environment. This hemispheric difference might cause us to have difficulty falling asleep.”

Of course, the phenomenon isn’t just specific to hotel rooms; it can happen when you spend the night at a friend’s house, in a new home of your own or in any environment that’s different than “normal.” Even if you do fall asleep with relative ease, you likely won’t sleep soundly. According to Moore, the average person wakes up between four and six times per night even while at home, but because those surroundings are familiar to us, we’re usually able to fall back to sleep fairly quickly. When we’re out of our element, that’s not so easy.

The “first night effect” isn’t a new discovery either; according to The Atlantic, scientists have known about it for more than 50 years. And it affects most people, Yuka Sasaki, an associate professor at Brown University whose studies focus on sleep, said in the article. One way she tries to curb the first night effect while traveling? Find a favorite hotel and become a regular guest. “I’m flying to England tomorrow and staying at a Marriott,” she told The Atlantic. “It’s not a completely novel environment, so maybe my brain will be a little more at ease.”

H/T: Condé Nast Traveler

Featured image courtesy of Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.