Fight hotel insomnia with HGTV

Fight hotel insomnia with HGTV

For a while, a canal filled with other people’s homes was the only thing that could put me to sleep.
Illustration: Kyle Platts

Jonathan Gold, the late late food critic, had a lovely line in a column declaring allegiance to the downtown New York Hilton: “Hotel rooms are an empty space that longs to be filled—work, with sighs, and sex. Gorgeous, perfect voids screaming for completion.” It evokes the potential emotion, which is to see the hotel room as a blank canvas. Boy, do I envy Gould’s romance for that matter. Hotel rooms bother me. When faced with their vacant neutrality, the mind races. He thinks of strangers in the hallway, sounds in the bathroom, stains and bugs, ghosts and the devil. I can never feel comfortable.

Sleep becomes a problem, of course. When I started traveling fairly frequently for work, probably around 2016, I simply didn’t sleep. I spent hours flipping through hotel rooms, staring at the ceiling, grumbling. Things eventually got better, and in that time I was able to actually nap, but not without a great deal of preparation and effort. I’m in good company of course. Many travelers share the problem of hotel insomnia, even if most of them don’t suffer from my own intensity or neurosis. There are studies that testify to the existence of something called the “first night effect” – when a new environment prevents the brain from switching completely so that it can monitor for danger. But that’s just a scientific description of what’s basically normal: you’re far from home.

Previously, my management of hotel insomnia relied heavily on television. The step was to leave the thing low at night right through the morning, and paint over the silence of the room while blocking out any sounds that might come from outside. There is an accompanying ritual before bedtime: a snack (sometimes salt, sometimes a sandwich), a shower, a bathrobe. The grains are sometimes popped. The lights go out and you lie down and stare in the general direction of the screen. Unfocused eyes, minimal association so that the brain is allowed to gradually turn off. It usually takes an hour to turn and scoop off my face. The TV continues to work, he mumbles.

I’ve been burned by many sleep aids in hotels and on TV over the years. At first, the TV was off at a local channel, which was often odd, and then on ESPN, which was often annoying. Then came HGTV, which did well and was stuck for several years. Of course, there’s an easy premise to explain its efficacy: If the anxiety is caused by not being at home, then a duct running around the houses would probably be a decent balm. And you definitely know! Besides, there’s an odd synthetic quality to HGTV’s live-at-home representation. Watch enough of the channel in one sitting and all of these homes will begin to blend together into one mortgage aesthetic: vinyl floors, herringbone backsplashes, marble counters, dark trim. It’s not home, it’s ‘home’. (Let’s stay hometown To get out of this, though. These homes are homey like shit.)

However, it succeeded. HGTV’s ambiance got me in the mood. Come sleep.

Someone recently told me about a similar relationship they had with Guy Fieri diners, driver, dive, or in the language of the show and fans, triple d. However, her theory about its efficacy is not so much about substance as it is about the simple consistency of the structure. triple dIts rhythms have largely stayed the same since its 2006 debut: Fieri rolls around in a car, watches a chef prepare a dish, eat the thing, and jump. Quiet predictability. Slight differences make you sufficiently involved. It’s the perfect pop song. However, limits apply. while she is triple d The fondness is so widely known among friends that it has become an inside joke, it mostly keeps Fieri trapped in the hotel room. The mayor of Flavortown rarely appears at her home.

HGTV similarly kept it segmented, but for whatever reason, the channel ceased serving as a sleep aid in 2021, when it crawled out of the pandemic’s lair and began frequenting hotel rooms again. In fact, the generally low-pitched TV murmurs, which were soothing to my ears, became a source of stress in their own right. Why exactly this happened, I’m not entirely sure. There is a clear hypothesis that the past three years have increased my primary anxiety and thus destroyed my ability to sleep at home but especially on the road, and that is clearly true. I was already badly injured before the pandemic; Today, I roll a mattress. When confronted with the now isolated hotel room, the mind races even stronger. Thinking about viruses, coughing outside the door, silence and stillness, being away from your loved one. I might even cry at the thought of my cat.

A reliable alternative to HGTV has yet to be determined, but I found some relief by leaving my laptop attached to a wall with a browser pulled into unknown corners of YouTube: precipitation recordings, lo-fi streaming, ASMR camping videos – great nowhere Great for spaces anywhere. You can’t get much more than a YouTube video called “Night Owl Jazz Cafe Ambience With Relaxing Jazz Music & Rain Sounds,” which made me go out like a light the last time I was on a business trip. Beggars cannot be chosen.

These days, when I stare up at the ceiling around 3am at a Holiday Inn, I sometimes feel a deep envy for those who spend months out of the year on the road – those constantly on the move with lounge access, those with perfectly packed carry-on bags who probably sleep peacefully wherever they go. They may or may not be happy with their nomadic state (they certainly can’t All be George Clooney in it Up in the air), but they must have such a flexible sense of home. Hotel rooms are perfect voids that scream for completion, and they seem to have no problem filling that space. I wonder how it is when they are. Until then, I will always have a Luffy girl.

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#Fight #hotel #insomnia #HGTV

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