Sleep Etiquette: How To Behave When Hosting Or Being An Overnight Guest

5 Min Read | By Brett Janes

Last Modified 3 March 2021   First Added 28 September 2015

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

The British public love etiquette. It doesn’t matter whether that etiquette is for the dinner table or the supermarket queue, we all feel great about knowing the unwritten rules and doing absolutely nothing when those unwritten rules are broken in front of us, because reacting is not the British thing to do. Whether we’re hosting overnight guests or being a guest, there must be a social etiquette we can adhere to and use to judge those with uncouth sleeping habits. To help, Dreams conducted the Sleep Etiquette Survey, asking 2000 British homeowners how to behave as a host and a guest overnight, something we clearly need, as the survey found that 50% of house guests feel that hosts are failing to provide for them adequately when staying overnight. Here is our sleep etiquette infographic and podcast, so you can be the best host or guest possible.

Related: How To Be The Best House Guest Ever

Sleep Etiquette We All Need To Agree On, an infographic from The Sleep Matters Club.

Have you committed any sleep etiquette faux pas without realising, or do you think the British public are too fussy? Let us know in the comments!

Sleep Etiquette Infographic Transcript:

There are rules we expect hosts and guests to comply to.

A Dreams survey found that 50% of house guests believe that hosts are failing to provide for them adequately when staying overnight.
As a guest you are expected to behave in a certain way, too.
Follow this guide to become the perfect host and house guest.

How are you doing?
• 88% of 18-24 year olds are unsatisfied with their hosts.
• 46.5% of 55+ are unsatisfied with their hosts.
Host etiquette rules:
• Make sure your home is clean
40% of hosts fail to clean their home before they have guests to stay.
Give your home a good clean before your guest arrives and avoid any embarrassing moments.

• Change the bed sheets
40% of hosts also fail to change bed sheets before guests arrive.
The body sheds millions of skin cells and we also perspire during sleep, so it’s more hygienic to change after every house guest.

• Provide toiletries
Toothbrush and toiletries are the most common items to forget when going away.
Make sure you provide items such as shampoo, conditioner and soap, so that if guests forget these items they don’t need to worry.

• Ensure they have everything they need to sleep comfortably
11.5% of guests feel that an inadequate number of pillows can prevent them sleeping comfortably.
To get healthy sleep, you should use enough pillows to fill the angle between your shoulder and head.

• Provide your Wi-Fi password
Letting your guest know your Wi-Fi password when they arrive can impact how happy they are during their stay.
11% of people said it is the most common thing hosts fail to provide.
Ofcom said UK adults spend an average of 8 hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, compared with the average night’s sleep of 8 hours and 21 minutes.

• Don’t argue in front of guests
Arguing in front of guests can make them feel awkward and uncomfortable.
80% of couples have argued over sleep habits and are most likely to argue about snoring.

The goal is to make your guests feel welcomed and comforted if you want them to stay again.
Guest etiquette rules
On the way to your destination:
If you are travelling at the same time as commuters, bear in mind that 17.54% of them catch up on sleep on their way to work.
Train etiquette rules:
• Do not eat or talk too loudly
• Wear headphones when listening to music
• Don’t put bags on your chair to avoid people sitting there (it’s difficult to sleep standing up)
• Don’t kick the back of other peoples’ seats
• Make sure you control your kids – 10% of women say noisy children are most likely to keep them awake on their commute.
Annoying habits of house guests
The most annoying habits of house guests are :

• Leaving their belongings all over the place 31%
• Not helping with the cleaning 26%
• Constantly wanting to be entertained 21%
• Going through their things 2%
• Dominating the TV remote 2%
• Other 17%

Etiquette rules:

• Never show up announced
30% believe a house guest should never show up unannounced.
Agree with your host the length of your stay and your estimated time of arrival.

• Get up at the same time or slightly after your host
49% think you should get out of bed after the host with 40% believing you should get up at the same time.
You may appear intrusive if you are walking around the house while they are sleeping.

• Bring them a gift
Hosts like to be appreciated for their efforts and buying them a small gift is a great way of showing your gratitude.
Research shows that 96% of women like to receive flowers when they’re not expecting them.

• Be considerate of the noise you make
When staying in a hotel, 40% can’t get a good night’s sleep as other guests TV or music volume is disturbing them.
27% of men and women refrain from using the bathroom in the middle of the night so that they don’t wake their hosts – some may say this is a bit too considerate!

• Clean up after you
19% of hosts believe that leaving the room clean and tidy is one of the most important forms of etiquette a guest can display.
It is also polite to offer your help with the cooking and clearing up during meal times.

Being a gracious guest is all about being considerate and helpful to the host.

We hope this helps you with your sleep etiquette!

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