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!)
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.
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!
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!
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!