How Long Can You Stay at Someone’s House Before They Start to Hate You?

A new poll found there's a magic number of nights before it's all downhill

Guests entering a house with luggage
There's no place like someone else's house for the holidays.

I wish I could say for sure what age hosting sleepovers at your house goes from being a novelty to nightmare-inducing, but at the ripe old age of 31, every time I get a text from a friend or a family member asking if they can “crash for a few days,” my life flashes before my eyes.

Presumably it’s because I live in an 800 square-foot, one-bedroom apartment with another adult and two dogs, so we aren’t exactly swimming in extra room. Or maybe it’s because the days of being able to put all life’s responsibilities on hold for the sake of being able to play tour guide for more than a few uninterrupted hours are far behind us. Or maybe, what it really boils down to, is that not all guests are created equal, in that it is exponentially easier to host your college roommate for a handful of days than it is your mother-in-law for…any amount of time.

That said, per a new report from Travel + Leisure, there actually is an ideal amount of time for how long you can stay at someone’s home — college roommates and mother-in-laws alike — before wearing out your welcome. According to Serta Simmons Bedding’s Sleep Disruptors Survey, which polled 2,000 Americans, 49% responded that they believe spending four or more days at someone’s home is too much. And it’s not solely a matter of convenience, either!

“Our survey found that those hosting friends and family during the holidays lose two and a half hours of sleep per day when prepping to have others in their home, ” the company noted. “Of all the generations, Gen Z is the most likely to lose at least four hours of sleep per day when preparing to host overnight guests.”

That same sentiment also applies to guests, too, as they often feel compelled to go to sleep and wake up at the same time as their hosts (though, in our home, I’d venture to guess the sleeplessness has more to do with the air mattress and its location in the center of the living room).

The good news is that 79% of respondents said their guests generally adhere to the unspoken four-night rule throughout the holiday season, seldomly overstaying their welcome. The bad news? That still leaves 21% of guests. So, in the event there’s any confusion as far as which umbrella you fit under, consider limiting your next stay to three nights…just to be safe.


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