7 Tips for Sleeping through Hostel Snoring

You’ve just spent all day doing everything that was on your itinerary. Your legs are tired, you’re exhausted, but overall, you’re satisfied with the day. The hostel you chose was not only cheap, but relatively nice compared to some of the heaps you’ve stayed in. You crawl into your $150 sleeping bag. (perhaps feeling a bit guilty that you’re using it indoors, despite its -20 degree capabilities) You zip yourself in. Your whole body is thanking you for getting off your feet. You think “Ah, I rock“. As your eyelids slowly close you hear it. Snoring! Son.Of.A.Bitch.

hostel snoring

Immediately the calm and collective you is in a fit of rage. “Not again!” You think. Immediately you try the pillow ear wrap, no dice. This guy is loud! You grab your sweater from your bag, making extra noise hoping that it will disturb his “precious” sleep. Maybe a sweater-a-la-turban can muffle the noise a bit. You know how ridiculous you look, but all you want is sleep. You don’t care how much you look like a giant slug trying to pull off an impression of Al Qaida. 5 minutes goes by. Then 10. You let out an angry sigh. 20 minutes go by and immediately you start looking for things to throw at this jerk. Shoes. Bag. That souvenir that means nothing to you now that you can’t sleep. 30 Minutes. You switch to that mode where you start wishing him into cardiac arrest. Perhaps an aneurism. Cancer, no, far too slow of a death for this guy. Spontaneous Combustion. “Yes…perfect.”

You wake up in the morning, groggy due to the few hours, and the constant wake-up reminders that you’re sleeping in a room with a lawn mower. As you crawl out of bed, and shed your slug costume, “He” walks in. Smiling. And to make matters worse, he says good morning. “Combust….” you think. He doesn’t.

For those of you who can relate. There are ways around this. Below is a list of solutions to this problem.

1) Ear plugs – You can get a disposable pack of 10 for under $10 dollars. They aren’t the comfiest things to keep in your ears but they sure do help when faced with a situation like this.
2) Sedatives – Although probably not the safest things to dabble in, sometimes a shot or three of Nyquil is all it takes – You can usually find night-time cold medicine for under $10 dollars.

3) Whistling – I’ve seen this work a few times. While backpacking in New Zealand, I was travelling with a German friend who snored like mad. He said he had read somewhere that whistling during snoring sometimes wakes them up, it’s just gentle enough to stop them from snoring. It eventually became part of a routine. The other guy we were travelling with would join in too. We’d hear snoring, soon after we’d start whistling. Sometimes in song. Sometimes like birds. Problem with this one is it sometimes wakes others in the room. But I’m sure they’ll be grateful if it works. Plus its hilarious.

4) Click your tongue – I’m not quite sure how to describe this, try to flick your tongue against the roof of your mouth. It apparently works in the same way as whistling. A gentle wake up that is unobtrusive, but enough to tell them to S.T.F.U (ie. be quiet)
5) Clap your hands – Same idea as the previous two. An audible “nudge” telling them to shut up. Although this can be seen as slightly more rude.

6) Roll Them – If you are comfortable enough touching people you don’t know in their sleep, or perhaps you know the “chainsaw” keeping everyone awake, try rolling them on their side. Apparently snoring is more likely to happen when sleeping on your back.

7) Alcohol – Alcohol apparently causes people to snore. Which is slightly ironic because it also allows one to sleep through it. So if you can prevent a known snorer from drinking, you’re more likely to sleep through the night. If that’s easier said than done, you’ll simply have to get that much more intoxicated. Keep in mind however, waking up to someone puking off the side of their bed (especially when you’re on the bottom bunk) can often be worse than dealing with snorers.

I have always tried to be lenient and understanding with snoring, and advise you to forgive those who suffer from this, it’s not a conscious thing. But if you are a known snorer, I advise you to forgive the rude looks, thrown shoes, and wishes of combustion people will cast upon you. They too aren’t always aware they are doing it. Travelling is tough, but without those sleepless nights caused by snorers, pukers, bangers, and that guy sleeping in those silver metallic rescue blankets that rustle like tin foil, we would have that many fewer stories to tell.

If you have any other methods for sleeping through snoring or waking the culprit up in a polite way, please feel free to post them in the comments section.

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