People are more comfortable sleeping in their own bed than somewhere else (e.g., other people's home, hotel).

Is there a term that can be used to describe such a phenomenon?


5 Answers 5


You might describe such a person as a homebody:

: a person who likes to stay home

Thus, the phenomenon could be homebodyism.

An example of its use in the wild:

19 Signs You’re A Homebody

No shame in loving your bed.

While it more likely is driven from a desire to save money, the term staycation is used to describe the act of taking a holiday in your own home.

A staycation is a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night.

Thus, the phenomenon could be staycationing.

  • I assume the downvote is due to lack of naming the phenomenon itself. But if this answer is particularly worse than the other offered answers, I would be interested in hearing why.
    – jxh
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 21:16

First night effect is the widespread name for this in articles and publications. When sleeping in an unfamiliar place, there is evidence that the left hemisphere of the brain stays alert enough during sleep to monitor the new environment for danger. The extra alertness is less noticeable after the first safe night of sleeping in the new environment.

Here is a representative sampling of articles and publications which have used this term.

The first night effect: an EEG study of sleep” (Psychophysiology, 1966)

First night effect revisited: a clinical note” (The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1974)

The first-night effect on sleep and dreams” (Biological Psychiatry, 1980)

The first-night effect may last more than one night” (Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2001)

Night watch in one brain hemisphere during sleep associated with the first-night effect in humans” (Current Biology, 2016)

Half your brain stands guard when sleeping in a new place” (National Public Radio, 2016)

A web search for the phrase will return more such articles.


'Hominess' is an adjective meaning the comfort other than physical considerations. The coziness of a rented cabin is less enjoyable than the hominess of your own cabin.


Just as Josh61, I could only think of the idioms:

  • "There is no place like home."
  • "Home is where the heart is."

the first literally meaning that what it say, 'there is no place better that your own home' it can also be seen in a broader sense; town, county, state or country. The latter can also mean the opposite, referring to the people that you care about 'as long as you are with "them" all is fine'.

Though, I am uncertain if there is a single phrase or term for that what you're describing. you could say "a slight sense of Homesickness" perhaps.


You want a term that describes "this phenomenon": that people are more comfortable sleeping in their own bed.

The only term that describes this phenomenon is "habit". No matter how simple your room may be, you are used to your mattress, your pillow and pillow-cases, noises, etc, and may find other beds strangely uncomfortable.

  • habit - a usual way of behaving : something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way.

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