14 ways to get the best night’s sleep when you’re away from home

Guest blog by Lisa Artis, The Sleep Council

From unfamiliar environments to irregular bedtimes and the biggest culprit – jet lag – your sleep can be disrupted in many ways when you’re away from your own bed, even if it’s for a break rather than business.

Being away from home and staying in a hotel often means being out of the normal daily routine. For some that means greater relaxation and better sleep, perhaps in peace and quiet, away from a busy household. Others won’t get a good night’s sleep, because they’re up late and eating and drinking more than usual!

Regardless, everyone needs the most perfect sleep environment possible to achieve quality sleep. And we all know that a good night’s sleep makes us feel so much better.

Next time you’re away from home and visiting one of Apex’s 10 hotels, try the following tips to make sure you get the best possible sleep in your hotel bed:

  1. Don’t use alcohol as a sleep aid – it plays havoc with sleep patterns. It may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night. You will wake dehydrated and needing the loo.
  2. You can’t take your bed with you but if it’s possible, we would advise taking your pillow – it’s familiar and will likely provide the right comfort and support. But if you’re packing light, it pays to know that Apex Hotels offer goose feather and down pillows, and you can request microfiber at reception.
  3. Comfort plays a large part in getting a good night’s sleep and at home it pays to make sure you have the right tog duvet and that you’re able to layer with sheets or blankets. You can cosy up quite easily at any Apex Hotel with duck feather and down duvets and layer on soft blankets for extra warmth. Their Egyptian cotton mattress protectors add another layer of comfort. And don’t forget to pack your bed socks in case your feet get cold!
  4. Check the temperature. Many hotel rooms have a set temperature so make sure it suits you. The right temperature for sleep is between 16-18 degrees. Your body temperature needs to lower slightly before you go to sleep which is why it’s difficult to drop off when you’re too hot. You can fully control the temperature in Apex Hotel rooms, so you can ensure the Mercury is at the right level for a great night’s sleep.
  5. Light is a sleep stealer. A dark room is most conducive for sleep as light tells your body it’s time to wake up. In darkness, your body releases a hormone called melatonin that relaxes you, helping you to drift off. Blackout blinds or heavy, dense curtains – the latter of which you’ll find at Apex – are ideal for blocking out light.
  6. If you think outside noise might bother you, take some ear plugs. You can also combat any potential noise by picking a hotel in a central but quiet location – for example, Apex Hotels’ London properties are in the city’s financial district which is perfectly quiet at night.
  7. Switch off electronic devices an hour before bed. TVs, computers, phones and tablets prevent us from falling asleep, and can also be disruptive throughout the night. Beeps, buzzes and even the tiniest standby lights can wreak havoc with the body’s circadian rhythm, so make sure everything is switched off. You can arrange a wake-up call from reception, meaning you could turn your phone off completely. And take advantage of charging points set away from the bed so you’re not tempted to turn over and turn on to sneakily check your social media.
  8. Spacious rooms allow you to make the bed a ‘sleep zone’ – don’t use it for anything else. Apex hotel rooms tend to be on the generous side when it comes to space…so use it wisely and create your own haven.
  9. When you return to your hotel room, start your wind down routine as normal and spend at least 15 minutes relaxing. Take advantage of having a soak in the bath and use the complimentary Elemis toiletries to help you relax.
  10. Drink water – you’ll find complimentary still and sparkling water in Apex rooms to help you stay hydrated.
  11. Use the fridge in your room to keep your eye creams – as well as your water – for an extra soothing treat.
  12. Go easy on tea or coffee – especially in the evening – as the caffeine is a stimulant. They interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Boil the kettle and pick out an alternative hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.
  13. Try, where possible, to stick to your normal bed time and wake up times.
  14. They say you are what you eat, and when it comes to getting a restful night’s sleep, the food and drink you consume has a drastic effect. When choosing your evening meal, keep an eye out for dishes containing milk, cheese, cherries, chicken and rice, which are some of the best for sleep. Fatty meat, curry and alcohol are some of the worst. Some people choose not to eat after 6pm, as late meals can make it difficult to sleep, so perhaps consider an early dinner. It means you can make the most of your spacious room.

For further sleep advice, visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk or request our Good-Night Guide on 0800 018 7923.

And you can try out your own hotel sleep routine by booking yourself a break at one of Apex’s 10 hotels across the UK.