While staying in a hotel is supposed to be a pampering experience, many people find that they don’t sleep as well away from home. There are a whole host of reasons why this may be the case. Sometimes noises from other people can be disrupting, or room temperature may be difficult to regulate. Lights from clocks or from under the hallway door can also lead to a less restful sleep experience.
Recognizing this problem with sleep among guests, some hotels are actively working to make improvements. The Benjamin Hotel in New York, for example, has a sleep concierge who is assigned to give tired guests extra pampering. While most hotels focus on their food menu, this one offers up a pillow menu that includes at least seven different pillow options ranging from the extra cushy “cloud 10” pillow to organic-filled pillows and a five foot body cushion pillow. There’s even an anti-snore pillow for you to check out if snoring is keeping you awake!
Hotels Work to Master the Art of Sleep Hygiene
According to Rebecca Robbins, co-author of “Sleep for Success!” (with Dr. James B. Maas) and a consultant for the Benjamin Hotel, there is a great opportunity for the hotel industry to better understand the consequences of poor sleep quality for guests. Robbins focuses on the importance of something she refers to as “sleep hygiene” for sound sleep.
This includes 4 key behaviors:
- Sticking to a regular bedtime every day of the week that remains consistent
- Making up for lost sleep so that sleep deprivation does not become chronic
- Trying to get long stretches of uninterrupted sleep
- An effort to get the sleep your body needs (for most adults this is between 7 and 8 hours a night)
Why is the Focus on High Quality Sleep So Important?
We all know what it feels like to wake up after a night of disrupted or inadequate sleep. Over the course of a few nights, this can lead to depression, increased anxiety, memory impairment, and impatience.
Researchers are even linking long term sleep deprivation with many other negative health effects including weight gain and chronic health problems like diabetes.
The ripple effects of poor sleep can hurt our intelligence, according to Robbins, who explains: “Our cognitive performance is another key factor here, we’re operating well below our peak without adequate sleep.”
Current Ideas for Improving Sleep Quality at Hotels
Things the Benjamin Hotel is doing to promote better sleep for patrons includes adding window treatments that block light, and incorporating more neutral colors into the room decor.
At the Benjamin Hotel, even kids are treated to expert advice from sleep professionals. An Owl named Winks gives kids different tips for a great night’s sleep while also teaching about why sleep is important. The Winks’ Kidzzz Club is free for hotel guests ages 2 through 12 and includes an organic wool-filled toddler pillow, kids’ robes, a library of bedtime books, and the opportunity to sleep with the Winks Owl doll each night.
And the Benjamin isn’t the only hotel focused on improving sleep quality for guests. Colorado’s Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa is also making great sleep a priority. The menu at the hotel includes a sleep elixir complete with apple cider and chamomile, said to have calming effects and sleep benefits.
Guests at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort can even enjoy slumber kits complete with ear plugs, a CD with calming music, and an eye mask. Those that need additional help falling and staying asleep may opt to wear glasses that work to block out blue light which can be disruptive to natural sleep cycles. The hotel even offers a special TV channel geared towards improving sleep quality. The Sound Sleep Channel, aimed at increasing restorative sleep, features music by sleep expert Dr. Jeffrey Thompson.
Great sleep is something you should look forward to whether you are sleeping at home or away. To stay up on all the latest sleep research, follow the sleep blog by Sleep Outfitters.