How to get a good night’s sleep in a hostel

By Marion Fernandez
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How to get a good night’s sleep in a hostel

Marion Fernandez
 
 
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Staying in a hostel is one of the cheapest ways that you can crash at the end of the day when traveling around Europe, as well as other continents. But if you ask those of us who have had our share of nights in a hostel, it is not always the easiest place to get a good night’s sleep.

Hostels, while having a lot of advantages, do mean that you are sharing a room with a bunch of strangers. Sleeping in the same room with anyone else can mean that you are at the mercy of other people’s noises and movements, but it is much worse when it is a lot of people you do not know. There is hope, however.

1. Know where you are headed before you get there

Get to know the place where you’re going
Get to know the place where you’re going

Finding out that your hostel means a room of 20 people or that there is a bar right outside may be an awful surprise if you were hoping for rest. Most hostels will have reviews so you should be able to see what other travelers have said about the place.

2. Take everything you need for good sleep

Maybe you can pack a sleeping kit to help you get some rest. You should include everything you normally need to make yourself comfortable as well as a few other things to help you out. Bringing your own sheets and pillow will make the sleep more comfortable for sure. Other than that, bring earplugs and a sleep mask. This will allow you to keep out light and noise, no matter what your roommates are up to.

3. Keep yourself moving

Being active during the day – whether it be sightseeing, walking around or simply being active, will help tire your body so you crash into a sound sleep later.
Being active during the day – whether it be sightseeing, walking around or simply being active, will help tire your body so you crash into a sound sleep later.

As long as you are busy during the day, you should burn off enough energy to be able to sleep well. Combine that with some pre-bed stretching or yoga and your body will be ready to hit the sack. This will help you have an easier time falling asleep as you will be ready for bed. Not drinking caffeine of course is also a good idea, but is especially important when you are sleeping somewhere unusual.

4. Stick with common sense

At home it is recommended that you turn your phone and tablet off an hour before bed to help you really let yourself get ready for bed. The same rules should apply no matter where you are. It is tempting to try to unwind with your phone before sleeping, but you are setting yourself up for a poor night’s rest. Any habits that you use on a regular night should be applied when you are in a hostel. Otherwise you may not be able to fall asleep.

5. Be friendly

Getting to know your roommates will help make the stay more enjoyable or help you find a buddy who can also keep an eye out for you and your things.
Getting to know your roommates will help make the stay more enjoyable or help you find a buddy who can also keep an eye out for you and your things.

If you introduce yourself to the other people who are staying in the room with you, they will be less likely to give you a hard time. If you know what the person bunking with you is like, he or she is no longer an anonymous stranger. You are both more likely to keep the lights off, not bring random people back to your hostel room, or do anything that is offensive or obnoxious, because your roomies have become travel buddies. With a name, they are no longer anonymous and people are less likely to do things they wouldn’t do in another situation.

The best advice that I can offer, however, is to expect that you are not going to get the best sleep of your life. It may not be restful, but that is part of the adventure.

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