After not sleeping on the plane, you're no doubt ridiculously tired. But, when you finally arrive at the hotel and snuggle up around all those excess pillows, you still can't sleep. Why? Here's why.
According to a study published in Current Biology and reported by CNN, during your first night sleeping in a new location, one hemisphere of your brain keeps a kind of "night watch" and is super sensitive to any danger, which in turn, keeps you up all night. To reach this conclusion, researchers studied healthy sleeping subjects for two nights, playing occasional "beeps" in their ears.
In the end, the results showed that the left hemisphere of the brain was unusually responsive to these "beeps," but only on the first night, which researchers say could be "linked with a protective mechanism." This "protective mechanism" keeps you ready to deal with any danger in the new and strange hotel room you're sleeping in. Of course, this is just one study and it shouldn't be taken as perfectly concrete "fact." But, it's an interesting phenomenon none the less.
Anyway, good luck on that 8am walking tour you scheduled for the next day.
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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and can't sleep on the second night either. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her at @karatillie.