Scientists Explain Why You Have So Much Trouble Sleeping in a Hotel Room
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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. 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.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.