How to Sleep Anywhere

posted in: Travel | 4

One thing I have become pretty good at over the last few years is sleeping. Anywhere. I even managed a nap when I was waiting for my Gate to be called in Dalaman the other week. Turn the clock back a few years and I would struggle to sleep if I wasn’t at home in my own bed. I definitely couldn’t sleep while on the move – car, plane, train. Now, though, thanks to a number of road trips where it’s a different bed every night, I have managed to get much better at the whole sleeping thing and can get some decent rest wherever I am. 

Grey Border Seersucker Bed Set

The fact is that without sleep our holidays, travels, adventures, road trips; time away can become very difficult and much less enjoyable. Sorry to say it teenagers but sleep is absolutely vital, and without it I become a teeny bit ratty and find it hard to make the most of what ever I’m doing.

So in case you struggle to get sleep when you’re away from home, here are my tips on how to sleep anywhere.

When you have a bed in a hotel…

Wear your favourite pyjamas. There is a lot to be said for sleeping in something familiar. Some nice PJs and some cosy slipper socks will also encourage you to get ready for bed early and relax for a bit before you actually attempt to sleep. Relaxing before bed is definitely going to help.

Keep cool. I always seem to find hotel rooms really stuffy so as soon as I go in I immediately head for the window or air con controls. If you’re too hot and can’t cool the room down enough then don’t be afraid to take the duvet out of the cover and use the cover as a sheet instead; this simple trick has saved several nights for me this year. Apparently the optimum sleeping temperature is just 16-18 Celcius; it sounds cold but you will be much more comfortable than if it’s hot.

Play classical music. Or at least something soothing that you are used to listen to and will keep you calm and relaxed.

Ask reception to help. If you know you are a light sleeper and so struggle with noise there is no harm in asking at check-in for a quiet room. Of if you like to relax in the bath tub before bed then ask for a room with a bath instead of shower. Or if you discover the room is really hot, ask for a fan. Reception are there to help make sure you have a good night; best to ask at the time than head to social media or Trip Advisor to complain after the event.

When you don’t have a bed…

This is more difficult but definitely isn’t impossible – and I think when I made an effort and stopped telling myself “I can’t sleep when I’m on the move” it became a whole lot easier. If you’re tired enough you will just nod off, of course, but there are some things that will help.

Change. If you’re on a long haul flight don’t be afraid to change out of your jeans and jumper and into some pyjamas or leggings and a baggy top for your flight. You will feel more relaxed, be much more comfortable than most people around you, and the act of changing into your bed clothes will help your mind realise it’s time to rest.

Wear headphones. Whatever transport you’re using, a good pair of headphones and some of your favourite music will help you get some shut-eye. Not only to they block out the noise from other passengers and the whirr of the engine, but the music itself will relax you and send you into a world away from the place you are sat.

Keep your neck warm. I don’t know about you, but if I try to sleep sat up I always end up with neck ache. Keep your neck warm and you’ll be much less likely to feel uncomfortable. I’ve never got on with those u-shaped travel pillows, and my old favourite cushtie has gone missing somewhere, so I’ve resorted to simply wearing a hoodie and carrying a Buff with me when I travel instead. A hoodie is just perfect as it also gives you a bit of privacy – stick the hood up and you’ll keep your neck warm and it’ll be pretty obvious to those around you that you don’t want to be disturbed.

Secure your belongings. One of the things I find gets in the way of sleep when I’m actually on the move – on a train, for example – is worry. I worry that while I’m sleeping someone will steal my stuff! I do think most people are honest, but there is always that fear in the back of my mind that prevents proper relaxation. Keeping your bag under your feet, having your purse and phone in your pocket out of sight of anyone else will definitely help.

What “how to sleep anywhere” tips would you add to mine?


This post is in collaboration with Bed Guru – I’ve written my own tips for you in return for a cool pack of sleep essentials. Wonder what will be in the kit! Check out their fab blog with lots of sleep related posts. I’ve just lost at least an hour over there, well worth a read. 


4 Responses

  1. Jade

    I used to have that problem with u pillows – I still couldn’t get in a comfy position to sleep. Whilst at gatwick a couple of weeks ago I bought a firmer u pillow that unzips and turns into a normal pillow – it was the best sleep on a plane that I ever had!! I think it was probably because I had the option of getting comfy and getting into a position that I was used to with my neck 🙂

  2. Kezzie

    I find it hard to sleep when travelling too! I ALWAYS take my own small squidgy cushion when travelling- I strap it to the top of my handluggage- that way I can lean it against a window or any surface- it was my saviour travelling to Indonesia. I always have a titchy shoulder handbag (squidgy) into which I can put my precious handluggage as well as my rucksack so if I want to sleep, I can squidge it down under my arm (whilst around my neck) and then I know it is safe.x

    • Splodz

      The little bag idea is a good one, it’s very important to feel that you and your things are safe as otherwise it’s impossible to relax.

What do you think? Comment below...