Everyone knows that no bed is better than their own. Travel makes you happy for sure but, let’s face it; you’re always gagging to get back to your bed after. You’ve tried the best hotels and the top-listed Airbnbs, and still, none of those beds match up. You’ve had springy ones, memory ones, and even mattresses on the floor.
You’ve stayed in bunk beds, hammocks, and beds which look like something from the movies. And, yet, every time, you end up disappointed by what these options have to offer. You end up feeling stiff, unrested, and frankly so grumpy that you don’t dread going home.
The bed debacle is, by far, the worst part of travel. Even those with wanderlust deep in their bones experience this often. For avid travelers, these unsatisfactory beds are the main reason to return between trips. The lure doesn’t last long, of course. A few decent nights of sleep and you start planning your next trip. But, you can guarantee that stay will end much the same way. And so the cycle continues.
But, we’re here to argue that it doesn’t need to be this way. In reality, getting a decent night’s sleep in someone else’s bed is simple enough to achieve. All you need to do is understand why your bed is the best, and then find ways to implement those benefits onto your travel options. Keep reading, then, to find out what your bed has, and how you can ensure every other bed has it too.
You’re generally more relaxed at home
To some extent, our love for our beds is down to little more than the fact that we’re relaxed at home. This is, ultimately, the main reason why you sleep so well in your modest little bed. When your head hits the pillow, the chances are that you’ve had a bath and spent the evening chilling out. This is your safe space, after all, and you know your routine. Before bedtime, you do all the things you need to do to ensure you have a good night’s sleep. And, it’s that relaxation which makes your bed the comfiest one going. By comparison, beds when we’re away tend to get a pretty tough deal. That’s because most of us stay out late while we’re traveling, and head straight to bed when we get in. This means that our adrenaline is pumping before we even lie down. This keeps us awake and equates to the tossing and turning which we then blame on a bad bed. Let’s face it; that poor mattress doesn’t stand a chance. But, once you know that this is your issue, you can work to tackle it. For one, getting back to your room a little earlier could work wonders. This would see you able to relax before heading to bed. You may also want to implement a few bedtime routines, even while you’re away. If you take a bath or drink a cup of tea before slipping between your sheets at home, try it next time you go away. You may well find that alone brings the benefits of your bed at home to any country you can think of.
You can tailor your bed to your needs
Admittedly, not every bed-based issue has such an easy fix. When it comes down to it, the best thing about our beds is the fact we can tailor them to our personal needs. Each of us likes a little something different from our sleeping arrangements. One person’s luxury bed may feel like a sack of spuds to another for this exact reason. This is why we take time choosing the best mattress we can find, and ensuring our chosen pillows sit at just the right height. It’s even the reason why we check the materials used in duvet covers before we buy them. Some of us even go as far as to switch our duvets depending on the time of year. Temperature matters a great deal for sleep, didn’t you know? In short; we turn our beds at home into havens for the best rest going. And, then, we’re surprised when another bed doesn’t quite do the trick?
The sad fact is that, no matter how hard you try, other beds are never going to suit your needs to that same degree. The hotel isn’t liable to buy a mattress with the right amount of give for you. There’s no way that would be workable for every guest who comes through their doors. But, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for suiting alien beds to your particular needs. If you’re willing to make an effort, you may well find that bringing your pillows along with you helps a huge deal here. Those hotel ones are always too high or too light, and neither of those makes for a good night’s sleep. By bringing pillows you know and trust, you can ensure at least that part of the bed is taken care of. Believe it or not, our pillows have more impact on our sleep than most of us know. If you still struggle to get a decent night, you could even bring some duvet covers from home. These are easy enough to transport (certainly easier than pillows), and they too could be a huge help. Just be careful to warn the hotel staff. Otherwise, housekeeping may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Still, these two simple steps mean that you can pretty much bring your bed with you wherever you go. You may think missing your mattress will still leave you unable to sleep, but we’re betting you’ll be surprised.
It’s not all about the bed
It’s also fair to say that you would be wrong to assume your inability to sleep is all about those beds themselves. Of course, they seem like the obvious issue. They’re the things which leave you feeling stiff and unrested, after all. But, evidence suggests that our inability to sleep elsewhere is more about our attitude than the bed. It’s crucial that you realize the truth in this, or else you’ll never get your best night’s sleep anywhere else.
Near enough every study into this sleep issue comes up with the same evidence in the end. According to experts, our inability to sleep elsewhere comes from a defense mechanism. The fact is that sleep is a pretty vulnerable activity. As such, it’s a risky thing to do in unfamiliar surroundings. For this reason alone, studies suggest the left hemisphere of our brain stays awake to keep watch in unfamiliar surroundings. This is known as ‘the first night effect,’ but most travelers know that it tends to last longer than that. For the duration of your stay, you may notice that you jump up at the slightest strange sound. You may also feel tired or stiff as a result of this half-sleep. And, of course, you turn right around and blame the poor bed for it.
The good news is that there are ways to counteract ‘the first night effect’ to some extent. Even better, these are simple enough sleep solutions. Just investing in blackout masks and earplugs could well do the trick here. These stop you from jumping at every sound and ensure that strange lights don’t disturb you. While your brain may still want to keep watch, it’ll struggle to do so in the peace and darkness you create this way. Before long, you may succumb to a night of sleep as sound as you would at home, despite your brain’s best efforts. As simple as that, you should come to see that the unfamiliar bed isn’t as bad as you believe it to be.
The first night effect isn’t the only outside issue which impacts the quality of sleep, either. It’s also worth noting that the less healthy lifestyle many of us embrace while away can cause problems. In general, we drink a lot more alcohol and eat a lot more rubbish while we’re away. If you can’t relax when you’re on vacation, what hope is there? The trouble is that these less healthy habits can also impact your quality of sleep. We’ve already touched on the need to not stumble into bed during the late hours. But, that may not be enough in itself. You should also consider that alcohol can stop us from sleeping deeply. And, as you may already know, sugar isn’t sleep’s best friend. With all those cocktails you drink before bed, is it any wonder you don’t sleep as well as you might at home?
That’s not to say, of course, that you can’t still let loose a little while you’re away. But, as with caffeine, try to stop drinking sugary alcoholic drinks at least an hour or two before bed. And whatever you do, resist indulging in those late night cakes, no matter how much they tempt you. As simple as that, you may suddenly find that strange bed as comfortable as yours back home.