How Well Do You Sleep in Noisy, Pukey, Bed Bug-Infested Hotel Rooms?

Sleep is a sort of bizarre thing. Our bodies are designed in such a way that they are required to enter into a semi-comatose state approximately every 16 hours, for approximately eight hours.

And yet, many people find it exceptionally difficult to convince their bodies that this requirement must be met, and these people tend to lie awake frustrated night after night, and spend too many of their days tired and cranky.

Particularly when they are staying at a hotel.

Over on the City-Data forums Office Politics – who sleeps very well indeed at upscale hotels, but finds it difficult to drift off into slumberland at the mid-scale properties – asks his fellow travelers what their experiences are with regard to sleeping on the road (as it were). Not surprisingly, several who reply also have difficulty sleeping in hotels. But what is enlightening are the wide and varied reasons that cause the unrest.

If the AC unit is loud/vibrates and I cannot make it stop, and it is too cold/hot to sleep without it, I will immediately call the desk and ask for a better room. If none is available and I am tired, I try to sleep. But I raise hell about it in the morning. Really. The only thing a person wants from a motel is sleep – and they can’t keep the AC quiet? ~blktoptrvl

My problem is TOO quiet. … I sleep with a fan at home, so in hotels I prefer the AC to vent loudly, or at least hope for a loud bathroom exhaust fan I can turn on. ~ElleTea

I will say, there have been maybe, a dozen times in all our travel adventures where the noise from the hall has been an issue. One time in Vegas I actually got out of bed, opened the door and told them to knock it off: It was a couple in the hallway having a fight. … it was an upscale hotel. Not a 5 star but certainly a 4 star. ~nmnita

It amazes me how some people have absolutely no concept regarding others at hotels. Like they get there at one in the morning, and feel like they can yell across the parking lot at someone to get something, or banging against everything as they walk down the hall, or get up early and make a bunch of noise as if everyone else is up at 7am. ~boxus

Keep thinking about bed bugs, even slightest perception of itch and I start looking for bugs.


Who knows how filthy a room is too, people puked in there, took a dump on carpet, blew their boogers everywhere, etc.


There’s also a creep factor with dead body stories. ~Suburban_Guy

This discussion isn’t simply a litany of hotel complaints. Several travelers offer their tips to enjoy a better night’s sleep when staying at a any hotel:

I don’t sleep well anyway but when traveling we stay at hotels that have an indoor pool so we can go to the pool later in the evening after the families have gone to their rooms.Just walking around the shallow end and being enveloped in the warm water seems to help me sleep much better. ~CSD610

When I check into a hotel the first thing that I always have to do is remake the bed. I am very particular about my bed and I can’t have any wrinkles or bumps and the sheets/blanket has to be just right. Taking the bed apart also gives me a chance to look for bed bugs which are very common in hotels these days. ~YonqueD

I had the doctor prescribe me valium (5mg) for when I travel, so I take them before I go to sleep in the hotel and sleep like a baby….no matter how noisy, uncomfortable the bed, etc. ~OptimusPrime69

And then there are those whose ability to sleep/not sleep at a hotel have very little to do with the hotel itself and more to do with who isn’t there with them:

I love to travel and usually don’t have any trouble sleeping in hotels. …


I do usually wake up really early when I sleep at a hotel though. I have two Siamese cats that sneak into the bed every night after I am asleep and sleep on my feet. Maybe I wake up because I feel like something is missing. ~Fiona13

As I post away in my hotel room, where I’ve been the past 3 nights and from whence I shall depart in the morning, YES, I do sleep incredibly well but only if my other half isn’t here. (business trip). That guy is like sleeping next to Shrek. But I love him. ~hunterseat

When traveling for business, I generally stayed at upscale hotels so I usually slept very well. Beds were comfortable, temperature controls just right, and no kids coming in asking me for money. ~Chaser199

Read this terrifically entertaining thread in its entirety: Do you sleep well at motels/hotels when traveling?

Image by James B Brooke. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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