Hostel Hacks: On snoring, from someone who’s been the bad guy

Welcome to my Hostel hacks series, where I’l be chatting about some of the situations and difficulties many travellers face. Lets face it, we’re all going to stay in hostels at some point, so lets make our stays as easy as possible!


Hostel hacks snoring dorm room


It’s happened to every traveller at some point.

You’ll be tucked up in your dorm bed happy that the person above you has finally stopped rustling every plastic bag in existence, being lulled to sleep by the after effects of cheap wine and beer.

Perhaps tomorrow offers nothing but a chilled out beach day, leisurely exploration of some local sights or maybe you’ve got a 7am pick up for a full day tour. Either way you’re extremely happy to almost be slipping into blissful unconsciousness.

Then it happens.

Sometimes it starts off slow, gradually building to a crescendo. Beginning innocently enough to lull you into thinking that it’s just a temporary noise. Or maybe the culprit gets straight to the good stuff, a full on throat hack with noises on both the inhale and exhale – a difficult skill – with a low rumble that shakes the ceiling fan. Regardless, you know there’s no way you’re going to sleep now.



^^^You too could look like this after a night sharing with a snorer!


When someone snores it can feel like they’re doing it to purposefully annoy you. With no one else inside your head you can work yourself up into a frenzy of anger plotting every single way you can painfully destroy the person who is keeping you awake. It’s not the worst thing a room mate can do, but it’s certainly in the top three.

They are definitely lying on their back on purpose, knowing that sets them off. Why did they go out drinking? Everyone knows being drunk makes you snore louder. I mean, surely they should spring for a private room if they know they make this unholy noise every night. HOW ARE THEY SLEEPING THROUGH THIS?

When I lived in mission beach for a while I had to share a staff room with three others, one of whom was a very eccentric German bloke. To say that he was a snorer was an ever so slight understatement. I’ve never heard a human being emit such noises. My ear plugs were useless, doing almost nothing to block out the intermittent rumbling coming from the top bunk.

I can’t even speak aloud the things I wished on him during the night, the endless pain and misery I would have inflicted upon him if I had the balls to do anything but silently seeth at the mattress above. There is a special part of hell reserved for people who keep you awake when you’re tired and God knows I’ve mentally filled it with enough people over the years. Because you never consider what it’s like to be like on the other side of that mattress, knowing that the second you descend into unconsciousness you’ll pull someone out of theirs. And God help you if I’ve been dreaming about David Tennant.




Six months after leaving my beach bum life I returned to Mission for a brief stint. The German had gone but one of my original dorm-mates remained and after a couple of nights he had some extremely upsetting news for me.

“You know that you snore now, right?”

No I didn’t. I couldn’t.

I’d never been a snorer. Both my parents could give a jumbo jet a run for it’s money decibel wise and I refused to share a bed with my sister due to her excessively loud mouth breathing. But I’d escaped the curse, hadn’t I? He was clearly joking.

“No, you snore really bad now. You didn’t before like, but now it’s proper annoying. I’ve tried throwing things at you but it didn’t work.”

Like a sinner forced to confront their misdeeds I’d now become the very person I’d so hated. Slowly I started to see the other side of the story. Come on, I wasn’t doing it on purpose was I? I wasn’t going to sleep every night wickedly twisting my moustache and cackling about how irritating I could be. Despite never having slept on my front I tried my best to fall asleep in that position, not an easy feat for someone with ‘assets’ the size of mine.

It’s not nice to wake up to the glares of people whose sleep you unknowingly interrupted, or to overhear snide little remarks over breakfast about your roommates disturbed slumber. Frankly, it can be a bit upsetting, especially if I’d had a gin or four.

A very annoyingly right work colleague once told me to suck it up when I’d been complaining about people in my dorm switching lights on at 2am or being loud early in the morning. You chose to stay in a dorm with other people to save money so it’s unfair to get shitty with people when they don’t behave exactly as you’d like.

Buy ear plugs, and not the crap ones. Invest in some decent noise blockers and you’ll find the problem solved. Dorm rooms are far from silent and it’s not just the snorers that are going to keep you awake. If you’re one of those people who insists they can’t wear them then do it anyway, you’ll get used to it in the end. Trust me – I did! Irritating noises are a part of hostel life and being kept awake by snoring is bond to happen when you’re sharing bedspace with different people every night. Suck it up, or sleep elsewhere.

I’ve been on both sides of this coin so, take it from someone who knows, you cannot get mad about serial snoring. People make horrible noises in their sleep and you’ve chosen to share a room with people. And honestly it could be worse, they could be shagging in the bed above. But that is a whole other blog post…

How to Hack snoring when staying in a hostel:

  • Invest in a pair of decent ear plugs. Not the shitty free ones, but any you know will block out a decent amount of noise.
  • Try to nap a spare sheet and a bottom bunk. Hang the sheet up and you’ll be surprised at how much this reduces noise!
  • If you snore than it is a courtesy to warn your room mates. Make a joke out of it, but they’ll be a lot less pissed off if they are pre-warned.
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