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Sleeping Better

This photo shows a woman sitting up in bed, stretching her arms, after a refreshing night’s sleep.

Wake refreshed using a sleeping machine to block noise.

To sleep just like home when on a road trip, or other vacation, here are some expert tips.

There are some tricks that can help you sleep well in a strange place. A lot of it depends on what you packed and where your room is located.

The first thing to do is activate the force field. I’m kidding, but it’s the next best thing to having one. It’s the DND, or Do Not Disturb sign. Check on either side of your room’s door knob for it.

Be sure that the side of the sign saying privacy please, or DND, is facing outwards. Sometimes the other side says service please, meaning that you want something from housekeeping.

Hanging out the DND sign should prevent housekeeping from coming into your room, whether you are inside it or not. It also prevents them from using dirty tricks, like banging your door repeatedly with the vacuum cleaner at 8 am, to get you out of the room, so they can clean it and go home.

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If you don’t have a DND sign on your door, go to the front desk and get one. If they don’t have any, use one that you packed and brought with you. 

Close the light blocking drape located behind the shear curtain. This will keep the room dark, if you’re not up early and traveling the next day. To make it even darker, consider a sleeping mask, or simple washcloth to drape over your eyes as morning approaches.

Unplug the clock radio, or be sure it’s turned off. You don’t need it going off at 6 am, or whatever the last guest had it set for. Do the same with the phone if you’re not expecting any calls.

For security and piece of mind, close the deadbolt and chain lock if they have them. Some rooms have neither, so hopefully you’ve packed a rubber door wedge. This will prevent the door from being opened by the housekeeping staff while you are in the room, because some of them seem oblivious to DND signs.

Some people like to bring their own pillow, or favorite blanket from home. If it helps you relax and you have room to pack it, why not?

If you read the section about Confirming Your Reservation, hopefully you got a room on a higher floor and away from the elevator and traffic noise. If not, this is where a sleeping machine comes in really handy.

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At home, we live in a central location. That means plenty of noise coming from the mall and subway systems just a few blocks away. It also means high rise construction, parkade maintenance, car alarms, garbage trucks, delivery trucks, kids screaming and all sorts of random sounds.

To drown out all the outside noise, we used to use a sleeping machine, set on the fan mode. It’s really good at generating a constant noise to mask everything. It’s lightweight and portable, running of AC power or USB. We get a comfortable sleep, because of the familiar sounds. It makes any new room we stay in seem just like home.

If you don’t have a sleeping machine, you could try using an app and a portable bluetooth speaker. Make sure it can charge your phone while it’s making the fan sound, or the phone’s battery will be empty by morning. 

The bottom line is this, if you want to sleep well in a strange place, bring familiar items from home. That includes sounds from your environment like a sleeping machine, a favorite pillow, blanket, eye cover, etc, so you feel more at home and relaxed.

When you relax, you get better quality sleep. When you sleep well, you wake up refreshed, ready to take on the day in wonderful mood with a ton of yes attitude.

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