Sometimes I imagine being able to run away to my local hotel and getting a good night’s sleep. Plus room service. Plus the mini-bar. Plus a buffet breakfast. I’m always left disappointed though when I toss and turn and struggle to fall asleep. I’m tired, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in years if not decades (#blessedmum).
Why aren’t I falling into a deep, dreamless sleep?
It turns out that difficulty sleeping in hotels is totally normal and due to our animal instincts. If you really want get specific about who or what to blame, point the finger squarely at the left side of your brain.
Monz Musings: I just like to sleep OKAY! Article continues after this video.
In his book The Doctor, the brilliant and ever so knowledgeable Dr Karl Kruszelnicki says First-Night Effect is due to the left side of our brains saying partially awake in order to stay aware of any potential danger due to our new surroundings. He says it’s so well-known among the medical community that data collected on the first night of sleep studies is usually disregarded.
It could also be related to the brain function that allows us to sleep while the garbage truck bangs down the road but wakes for a baby crying. “This pathway might be related to parents being able to sleep through a thunderstorm, but snapping awake as soon as their new-born baby makes the slightest noise,” he told The Mirror.
While it's good news for those wanting to survive the night - in a perfectly safe hotel - it's bad news for those expecting a excellent night's sleep. At least it normally only lasts for one night.