Did You Know?
When you can’t sleep on your first night in a new place, your brain is trying to protect you.
When you sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, only half your brain is getting a good night's rest.
"The left side seems to be more awake than the right side," says Yuka Sasaki, an associate professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University.
"When we're sleeping in a new environment and we don't know how many predators are around," he says, "it would make sense to keep half the brain more alert and more responsive to bumps in the night."
Sasaki says that brain response is involuntary and there's nothing people can do to prevent it, even if they've just flown in for a big presentation the next morning. So lots of coffee the next morning.