Lifting the covers on sleeping habits

THE simple art of sleeping (in a strange hotel bed) isn’t as easy as it seems, according to a global study by, surveying the sleeping habits of travellers around the world.

The effects of jet lag, size of the bed, amount of pillows and noise from fellow guests are just some of the things that can affect the quality of sleep when staying in a hotel. For Aussie travellers, the most frequent criticisms of hotel beds were the mattress being too hard or soft (47 per cent), too few pillows (41 per cent) and the size of the bed (18 per cent).

Half of Australian travellers say that the quality of sleep in a hotel is always dependent on the hotel bed, whereas a whopping one in three Mexican travellers raved that they were guaranteed a better night’s slumber in a hotel bed rather than their own bed. Only one in ten (12 per cent) Aussies felt that they got a better sleep in a hotel bed than in their own bed.

In order to get a sound night’s sleep, over half of the global travellers surveyed (53 per cent) say they choose to watch TV to help them fall asleep, while over a third (37 per cent) prefer a spot of reading before lights out. British and Irish travellers bucked the trend with one in four British (25 per cent) and one in three (33 per cent) Irish travellers preferring a night cap to help them doze off at night. While over one in ten (12 per cent) Aussie travellers admitted to taking a sleeping tablet to guarantee a good night’s sleep.

When it comes to sleeping styles, one in three Asian travellers, particularly those from Hong Kong, China and Korea, lay like a starfish. Almost one in four Europeans, on the other hand, prefer to sleep like a log – on one’s side, arms down. For Aussie travellers, curled up on their side is the most popular position to fall asleep in.

Aside from sleeping, it seems travellers from around the world also have other uses for their hotel beds with many stating that they can also double up as a library, desk and even a dinner table, as well as a place for romancing.

Top ways travellers use their bed when not sleeping:


Global Average

Australian average


Watching TV / movies






Using the internet



Having sex






Topics:  hotels travel travelling

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