7 Weird Reasons Why Some People Can't Sleep Away from Home

Reason of not being able to sleep away from home
Nothing is more heavenly than sleeping in your own bed, with the familiar surroundings and comfort. However, many people experience changes in sleep patterns while staying away from home. Some sleep better, while others don't. The mystery of why some people can't sleep away from home is attributed to psychological reasons. However, this seems to have solid scientific backup too.
Important Tips to Sleep Better Away from Home
Important Tips to Sleep Better Away from Home
~ Time your naps.
~ Relax before hitting the bed.
~ Reduce fluid intake before sleeping.
~ Eat at least 3 hours before sleeping.
The Psychological Connection
The Psychological Connection
For most of us with regular jobs and monotonous routines, sleeping within the confines of our home is comforting, familiar, and peaceful. We are used to the comfort of our bed, room, lights, etc. Getting away from this haven even for a day, whether it is for work or a sleepover, can make you uncomfortable. You miss the familiarity, you miss the sounds and smells that lulled you to sleep, and hence, you have a troubled sleep away from home.
Anxiety
Anxiety
Sometimes, anxiety is responsible for not sleeping well away from home. The reasons could range from a depressed childhood to job failure, besides many more. Sleeping with family/friends during vacations is different - you have a comforting presence. But if you're out of town on a business trip, and you aren't used to it, fear and anxiety set it. This affects normal brain functioning, leading to a disturbed sleep.
Stress
Stress
After a long flight/journey, you are bound to feel jet-lagged, drowsy, and tired. This, however, does not necessarily mean that you will sleep fitfully after the journey. Often, stress causes a hindrance in normal brain activities, leading to fluctuating sleep cycles. That is why, many people are unable to sleep properly in hotels.
The Bird-brain Theory
The bird-brain theory is a latest discovery by scientists with regards to poor sleep. It is believed that, birds sleep with half their brain switched on, i.e., half the brain is asleep while the other half is awake. Through this tactic, birds are able to communicate with half of their brain, even when technically, they are supposed to be asleep. Their senses can still alert them to any danger that may be lurking nearby. When their senses are activated, signals are sent to the part of the brain that is awake, and they are able to decide what needs to be done. In fact, depending on their comfort zone, they may even be able to decide which part of their brain needs to be awake, and which needs to be asleep. Through a series of experiments, scientists have reason to believe that, perhaps, one hemisphere of our brain stays completely awake when we sleep away from home.
Scientific Studies
Eminent scientists have conducted certain experiments to find out if partial brain wakefulness is the reason why we can't sleep away from home. A new study by the Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, may be pointing towards the same.

Procedure

The experiment included a group of people who were made to sleep in a different place. Using a combination of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and polysomnography, their brain activity was recorded. This included recording blood oxygen rate, heart rate, brain waves, eye movements, etc.

Observations

It was discovered that, the left hemisphere of the brain was more wakeful than the right part of the brain. This is because the brain functioned as a protective barrier in reaction to the body being subject to a foreign sleeping atmosphere, so as to warn the person of any danger.

Inference

While this was purely experimental, it does have a solid base. This may explain why some people are unable to sleep well in hotels or foreign locations, even with all the comforts provided.
Brain Activity
Brain Activity
When we sleep, our body rests, but our brain is active, continuing its functions. However, one part of the brain is totally alert and fully functional, as much as it is when we stay awake. This brain behavior is said to be the prime reason for sleeplessness away from home.
The brain is more alert than usual when we sleep away from familiar surroundings. Experts state that, it may function so due to the change in the environment and subconscious need for survival. It is a natural instinct, a quest for protection to the body and mind, due to which one of the hemispheres of our brain depicts asymmetric sleep patterns. Every part of the body is naturally designed to reject any foreign particle/item that it finds unsuitable. Similarly, one half of our brain is completely awake as compared to the other half, to be conducive to a foreign atmosphere. It acts as a night-watch element, and subconsciously warns the person to be alert of any impending danger in an unfamiliar atmosphere, and react promptly as well.
Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal Imbalance
For many women, hormonal changes play a major role in not being able to sleep away from home. While your home atmosphere is familiar and your body is accustomed to a routine, a different location is likely to wreak havoc on your hormones. When the hormone levels are high or low, sleep levels are affected as well. Furthermore, sleep deprivation causes even more hormonal issues. It becomes a vicious cycle and results in bad health.
Sleep Disorders
Sleep Disorders
Many people suffer from sleep disorders. Over-the-counter medication certainly helps, but it may not be very effective when sleeping in a different place. While no strong evidence points towards the connection between sleep medication and change of location, experts believe that this may be true. Your sleep disorders may be under control in your home, but they resurface when you sleep in an unfamiliar place.
There are numerous theories that point towards sleeplessness. Some have believable, verifiable facts, while others may be purely speculations. Not everybody has difficulty falling asleep when they stay away from home. In fact, many people report that they sleep better when they are away from home. This just goes to prove that every person has a different constitution, and his/her body reacts differently to different situations. Scientists are still researching strong theories for sleeplessness away from home. In the meanwhile, remember, there are many ways to get a good night's sleep away from home; you can try any one or perhaps a combination in order to sleep well.
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