NPR logo
Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep
  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep


Our humorist Brian Unger has been logging some serious road miles this year while shooting an upcoming TV show for the Discovery Channel. In fact, he's on the road today. But he left us this advice about getting a good night's sleep in a hotel room.

Here is today's Unger Report.

BRIAN UNGER: Upon checking into a hotel, ask the front desk for a pup tent - a sheet of canvas or a few sticks from which you can craft to lean-to. Then go to the parking lot or front yard of the hotel and build your hotel room there. It's outside of the hotel that you will get the best night's sleep. Many hotels have decorative fountains outside near the parking lot in which you can bathe, shave, or brush your teeth. You might even meet a trucker in a half shirt with a hairy back.

If you insist on staying indoors at a hotel, there are ways to cope that make sleeping inside more enjoyable. First, think of your stay at a hotel as Opposite Day. It's like a game. Expect one thing and receive the complete opposite.

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: I'm sorry. We don't have a reservation for you. I'm sorry. We can only give you a smoking room. I'm sorry. We'll send someone right up to fix your TV.

See, Opposite Day. This way, the next time you check into a hotel, you say: Hello, you don't have a reservation for me, so put me in a room that smells like cigarettes or a barn, preferably with a TV that doesn't work. Thanks. Oh, and please make sure I have crusty stains on my bedspread. I like those. And forget my wake up call. I want to oversleep. Now you'll get the opposite. The room you reserved, clean, with all the amenities you expect so you can be on time.

Another way to enjoy an overnight stay inside a hotel is to imagine it as a journey into a magical jungle filled with strange noises, smells, insects that chew on you and creatures that mate all night long.

(Soundbite of animals)

UNGER: It's almost as if they're in your room. Wow, listen to those hyenas.

(Soundbite of animal)

UNGER: No, that's the vervet monkey.

(Soundbite of animal)

UNGER: Or is that a hippo I hear next door?

(Soundbite of animal)

UNGER: Whatever it is, you can quiet the cycle of life by banging on the wall like a lunatic. It might talk back to you.

(Soundbite of animal)

UNGER: But eventually it'll go to sleep - something you'll get none of. But that's okay; if nothing else, your overnight in a hotel has been a trip into outer space, where a roaring icemaker and a whirling air conditioner are Martian storms, where a DC-9 rattling your windows is a rocket ship faring travelers to other galaxies, and that trucker in a half shirt with a hairy back is a friendly alien who wants a little company. Enjoy your stay. I know I won't.

And that is today's Unger report. I'm Brian Unger.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.