Slumber Smarter – Why Hotels Are Waking Up To The Importance Of A Good Sleep (And 5 Ways You Can Improve Yours)

31 August 2021

“Gosh, I feel great after that terrible night’s sleep,” said nobody, ever. It’s a well-known fact that life is better after a solid slumber. And if you’re a hotel operator looking to make life better for your guests, providing the best possible sleep should be the highest priority.

What’s in a bed?

For some accommodation providers, a bed is a bed. Purchasing decisions are based on the best price instead of the best sleep experience.

However the savvy modern provider recognizes the health, reputation and financial benefits a guest’s good rest has to their business. They know that when it comes to sleep, forty winks delivers much more than early risers. Well-rested guests are happy guests, who in turn are the kind of guests who write good reviews, tell their friends, stay and spend money onsite and happily return to stay night after night.

A recent IHG study revealed just how vital a good night’s sleep was to guest satisfaction. Nearly 80 per cent of respondents said they experienced trouble sleeping while away from home. This highlights just how important it is to consider how your property can deliver an incredible sleep experience.

Why sleep matters

Humans spend around one-quarter to one-third of their life sleeping. That’s some serious snooze-time. Any activity that we need in such quantity must offer essential benefits – which sleeping certainly does.

It wasn’t too long ago that scientists and doctors believed sleeping was a passive activity where very little brain or body activity occurred. We now know this is not the case. There have been great advances in the science of sleep that tell us that while we indulge in some shut-eye our body and brain are involved in a number of important functions essential to life. It’s particularly evident when we feel terrible after a poor night’s sleep or staying up too late.

Why is good sleep important?

Fogginess, forgetfulness, and feeling less energetic are all symptoms of a poor night’s sleep or not enough sleep. If you’ve ever been kept awake all night by noisy neighbours or an overactive brain then you’ll know exactly how much it impacts your performance the next day.

Sleep experts now know that sleep is essential for brain plasticity. This is essentially the brain’s ability to process what has happened during the day and ‘lock-in’ what we have learnt. Hence, poor sleep = poor memory.

Sleep is also vital to the body. Sleep provides our body with the opportunity to repair and rejuvenate itself. And that includes everything from reducing inflammation to living longer.

The importance of sleep for hotel operators

In 2010, Snickers ran a campaign for their (occasionally irresistible) chocolate bar: ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’. The idea was that people are horrible when they haven’t eaten. It’s true of hunger and even more so with sleep. Any bedding company could easily have introduced another campaign: ‘You’re certainly not you when you’re tired.’ Just one night of poor sleep can set a sleep-deprived guest into a downward spiral of complaints.

A change in attitude. When you’re tired it’s easy to make mountains out of molehills. The mini bar might not have the right sparkling water brand. A towel could be missing. Time to catastrophise! Providing the best quality bedding and sleeping environment is a good way to reduce the risk of tired, irrational guests.

Healthy and happy is wise. There is a proven link between lack of sleep and poor health. Some of the more serious side-effects of lack of sleep include increased risk of depression, seizures, high blood pressure, and may cause migraines to worsen. As well as this immunity is compromised, which increases the likelihood of illness and infection.

Review reversals. Yes, a good sleep may not necessarily result in a great review. But a bad one will almost certainly rule out any chance of one. Stack the odds in your favour by investing in good-quality bedding and mattresses. Unfortunately, guests are more likely to post the bad stuff than the good stuff, and reviews can last a long time, leaving a big impact in their wake.

How to supercharge their sleep

Giving your guests a good night’s sleep while they are away from the comforts of home means providing the whole experience, from the perfect mattress through to a quiet and clean room.

1. Cotton on. Some synthetic sheets can be hot and stifling, resulting in an uncomfortable and incomplete sleep. On the other hand, cotton sheets offer breathability and comfort. Pima cotton or Egyptian cotton are seen to be two of the best options for unbeatable comfort in cotton sheets. But when it comes to the commercial world these sheets can’t compete. Try our polycotton mix sheets for optimum feel and excellent ease of care.

2. Fresh is best. We all know humans shed dead skin cells as they sleep, which in turn feeds dust mites. A 10-year old bed will have clocked up around 30,000 hours of sleep. So, without having to do much maths, that makes for a whole lot of detritus potentially deposited into a mattress. Not a pleasant thought. Any good hotel will have a procedure for cleaning and replacing mattresses regularly. So too will they keep mattresses feeling fresh and clean and free from any irritants, which may affect those with respiratory issues.

3. Perfect pillows. Many a marital war has been battled over who has the “good pillow”. These are an individual taste – there’s simply no way a hotel could ever guarantee the perfect pillow for every guest. But there are still a few easy ways to stay out of the danger zone. Provide a selection of pillows on the bed and go for pillows with height for comfort when watching TV or reading. Latex pillows are becoming increasingly popular as they are firm but still give in to head pressure.

4. The all-important mattress. It all comes down to the comfort level of the mattress. Firmness, cleanliness, and spaciousness are the critical factors when it comes to the perfect mattress. Add a mattress comforter for the luxurious feel of down fill. An incredible mattress with a high-quality comforter gives any hotel guest a sumptuous slumber.

5. Go beyond the bed. Keeping guests well-rested is a challenge for any hotel because the main cause of a restless night’s sleep is being in a new environment with unfamiliar noises. Provide a pillow menu, a lavender oil spritzer, or low lighting by the bed. And an extra blanket on the bed or in the cupboard will keep the warm-blooded guests happy.

Lack of sleep does more than make us grouchy in the morning; it can have a serious impact on health and wellbeing. And for hotel operators, that can mean a serious impact on guest reviews and feedback surveys. When you’re next considering how to keep guests happy, consider how you can help them sleep better.’

How much sleep do we need?

How much sleep we get and how much sleep we need are often two vastly different numbers. How much sleep you get may depend on many factors –from a busy social life to pillow or mattress quality. But if you want to check the numbers, it’s widely agreed most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Kids will be happy little people if they’re getting around 10 to twelve hours a night. And don’t we all wish we were babies with their a luxurious 14 to 17 hours of sleep daily?

Stick to these numbers and you’ll wake up feeling energetic and alert and be able to perform throughout the day and into the night (but not too late!)

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