How to Get Vacation Sleep At Home
Steal these simple upgrades from hotels.
Temperature Control: Hotels are known for being cold, which is helpful because we tend to fall asleep faster in cool temperatures, says Holly Phillips, MD, author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough. She recommends keeping your bedroom in the 60- to 67-degree range.
Shutting Light Out: Ditch the rinky-dink blinds; hotel rooms often have blackout curtains. Light suppresses our body's production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Layer blackout liners behind your existing drapes, or wear a sleep mask; a study in the journal Critical Care found that subjects who used them got more REM sleep and were less likely to wake in the middle of the night.
Keeping Quiet: Car alarms and ambulance sirens are not noises you're likely to hear in a beach hut. Gopal Allada, MD, a sleep medicine specialist at Oregon Health & Science University, recommends drowning out the racket with white noise, which can be accomplished with an oscillating fan. Bonus: It'll keep your room cool and well ventilated.
Pillows, Pillows, Pillows: Hotel beds often have what seems to be an impractical number of pillows, but they can come in handy. Phillips, who, like many of her patients, has sleep apnea, dislikes using a CPAP machine (a device that pumps air through a mask you wear over your nose), preferring to prop herself up on a bunch of pillows, which helps keep her airways open. In fact, research has found that for subjects sleeping on their back, the severity of sleep apnea can fall significantly as their angle of recline increases to 45 degrees.