The Light Sleeper’s Guide To Travel

traveling as a light sleeper
traveling as a light sleeper

Are you one of those people who can sleep through anything, get a solid 4-5 hours and be ready for another day of travel ahead? Congratulations, you have won the travel lottery! Now get off this page! If, however, you are a hopelessly light sleeper like me, this guide is for you. Traveling as a light sleeper can complicate matters, but with a few adjustments you’ll fall asleep in no time!

I have gotten better at sleeping over the years. But my ideal sleeping arrangement is still in a pitch black, comfortably cool room, in complete silence. Those of you who have traveled extensively known just how rare that is to find on the road. Here are some tips to make traveling as a light sleeper a bit more restful:

The Light Sleeper’s Guide To Travel

Choose Your Accommodation Wisely

Read reviews very carefully. If any review mentions the word ‘noisy,’ tread carefully. With the following tips you will be able to sleep almost anywhere, but it’s helpful to find a place that’s relatively quiet to begin with. Some good quiet options might be a residential Airbnb, large hotel, or possibly a camp in the remote countryside of Montana. Since I am particularly sensitive to the sound of snoring, I usually opt to stay in a female only dorm room in hostels. It’s not failsafe, but generally women snore less than men (or at least not as loudly!)

traveling as a light sleeper
Private room in an apartment in Prague via Airbnb. Super quiet AND cheap!

Get Into a Bedtime Routine

I know, I know, you’re not three years old. But hear me out! Bedtime routines are for adults, too! By signaling to your body that it’s almost time to sleep, you have more of a chance of falling and staying asleep despite the odd loud noise or light flicking on. Aim for the same bedtime every night, and get ready for bed in the same order. Once in bed, take some time to write in a journal about your day of travel, or read a book before sleep.

traveling as a light sleeper
Journaling before bed is also a great way to quiet your mind!

Buy Some Light Sleeper Essentials

Chances are, if you’re a light sleeper, you already have an eye mask and ear plugs. If not, make sure to stock up before your next trip! Try to buy an eye mask that covers more than just your eyes, so that you get the full black out experience. As for ear plugs, I am very picky. Too small and they barely block out sound. Too dense and I wake up in the middle of the night with my ears throbbing in pain. I still haven’t found the perfect ear plugs. (Though these earplugs recommended by The Budget Minded Traveler). I generally just use earplugs from CVS. Make sure you buy in bulk, so that you never get stuck in a hostel dorm without them!

traveling as a light sleeper
The only time I ever fall asleep in public without my ear plugs and eye mask: after a red eye flight across the ocean. Super thrilled that this was captured for eternity.

Tell People to Shut Up!

When all else fails, and you’re being repeatedly awoken by loud people outside of your dorm bed/room/tent, don’t feel ashamed in asking people (politely) to be quiet. Most people who are genuinely nice human beings won’t want to keep you awake, and will respect your pleas for silence. If people laugh, roll their eyes, or otherwise respond rudely, it may be time to switch accommodations if that’s an option for you. If not, just know that I’ve been there and I’m giving you a virtual hug and a cup of coffee for the next morning!

traveling as a light sleeper
You’ll be sleeping like a red panda in a tree in no time!

Know That This, Too, Shall Pass

Sometimes, it’s just unavoidable. you will have a bad night’s sleep while traveling as a light sleeper. If you’re on a short trip, know that soon enough you will be back home in peace and quiet. If you’re traveling indefinitely, know that soon enough you can switch up accommodations for somewhere quieter!

Happy Exploring, Wherever You Are!

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Are you a light sleeper? Do you have any tips for how to get a better night’s sleep? Leave them in the comments!



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4 comments

  1. Hi Eva! I never have any troubles sleeping at home, but as soon as I travel it takes me a few days to get used to being in new places. I love my ear plugs for that reason and I usually make sure to bring my favorite hoodie or something like that to fall asleep on. Greetings from Munich!

    1. Hi fellow Eva! That’s true about getting used to sleeping in new places. It’s the same for me! Each new bed has an adjustment period 😛 Good tip about bringing a favorite item of clothing! I do that too 🙂

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