From sleepovers to vacations, we've all probably been away from home at some point of time. A lot of people have different things to say about the sleep quality during such times. Many report being unable to sleep, some sleep better, and a considerable few state no difference at all. If you frequently spend nights away from home in a different city, especially due to your job, your body might get used to the change in the diurnal clock. In fact, if you stay at a particular hotel, it would be easier for you to adjust. You can even request for a comfortable room, away from the elevator and noise, away from street lights, with black-out curtains, and the like. But if not, remember that there are innumerable ways to get a good night's sleep away from home.
Make the Room Comfortable
If you take a vacation, you may not be able to sleep for a couple of nights. So, book the best room possible. Make sure it's away from any source of disturbance. Make the room feel homely. If you're homesick at a sleepover, make your friend's room a little more familiar, like your own bedroom. The familiarity will relax your mind and lull you to sleep.
Set the Schedule
Do not change the routine you have set for yourself. If you drink milk, shower, or read before sleeping at home, follow the same outside too. The brain always looks for routine to monitor tasks and carry out daily functions. Any disruption from this routine confuses the brain, which is why you must stick to the same schedule - this will help in overcoming the phobia of not being able to sleep away from home.
Bring Sleep-friendly Stuff
Make sure you get your own eye mask, earplugs, and pillows. Not only will it promote sleep hygiene, but it will give you a sense of home away from home. The brain is aware of a familiar atmosphere - smells, touch of fabric, etc. Thus, you need to trick your brain so as to sleep better away from home.
Bring On Some Entertainment
Ideally, you must avoid electronic items around you when you sleep. However, once in a while, you can make an exception. Remember that there is no scientific evidence that music, reading, candles, or movies help sleep better. But it is likely to force the brain to concentrate and think, resulting in tiredness and drowsiness. So listen to some soft music or watch an interesting movie; you might be able to get better sleep.
Scents Always Help
Ideally, scents are meant to relax the mind, not induce sleep. However, familiar scents of your room might trick the brain into believing that you are not staying away from home, but in your own bedroom itself. So, take a familiar scent along with you - a perfume, talcum powder, fresh parchment, etc. Or, you can try lavender, the best of all. It'll relax your mind, calm your frayed nerves, and help increase the frequency of SWS (slow-wave sleep) - the period of restorative sleep.
Consume Sleep-inducing Food
This is a rather common advice on how to get sleep away from home, and varies from person to person. There is no guarantee that any kind of food will give you a good night's sleep. However, people believe that drinking chamomile tea, peppermint tea, valerian root, milk, etc., may help increase glycine, which in turn acts as a mild sedative to calm the nerves and induce sleep.
Try Relaxation Techniques
If you are anxious, scared, and panicky away from familiar surroundings, you must try some relaxation techniques to get over the fear of not being able to sleep away from home. Meditation, yoga, etc., are some great methods that are likely to relax your mind and help you from overthinking. Again, this has no scientific backing; experts simply believe that a relaxed mind results in better sleep.
You must stay away from any electronic gadgets for at least an hour before going to bed. Do not sleep immediately after working on the laptop, listening to music, watching TV, or talking on the phone. If any of these activities relaxes you and lulls you to sleep, do so, but stop an hour before sleeping. This way, the body is tired, and a part of the brain is tired too, and you might be able to sleep. Never forget though, while the body sleeps, the brain is always active.