These days you can’t open a newspaper or magazine without landing on an article about the importance of sleep on our mental and physical well-being.
Sleeping poorly affects our ability to learn, makes us less attractive, causes weight gain, and (not for the faint-hearted!) a lack of sleep may even cause your brain to begin ‘eating’ itself.
In short, it is hard to ignore that “Sleep is The New Status Symbol”, as Penelope Green wrote recently in the New York Times.
Celebrity sleep activists are also on the rise. Most well-known is Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, whose infamous burnout prompted her to write the now best-selling book ‘The Sleep Revolution’ about the dangers of sleep deprivation.
Like many others, Huffington was driven by the ideology of ‘Sleep Less So You Can Work Harder’, that age-old belief that eventually led to her exhaustion, fainting, and her subsequent burnout. And she’s not alone.
“It’s our collective delusion that overwork and burnout are the price we must pay in order to succeed,” she writes in ‘The Sleep Revolution’. The 21st century, she warns, is in the grip of a ‘sleep crisis’. We need to change course, and fast.
“These two threads that run through our life—one pulling us into the world to achieve and make things happen, the other pulling us back from the world to nourish and replenish ourselves—can seem at odds, but in fact they reinforce each other.” In other words, a proper sleep will prepare you mentally and physically so that you can face tomorrow’s challenges head on.
One place to look for inspiration, notes Huffington, is the current hotel industry. The daily pressure on guests is so high in work and private life, and all research points to sleep as the answer.
And isn’t sleep precisely what hotels are in the business of selling? Who better, then, to innovate.
The best way that a hotel can truly stand out from all the others is to deliver a sleep experience better than competitors. One might think that this is a daunting task to tackle, but many hotels are facing the challenge head on and finding creative ways to deliver.
So what are hotels doing to cater to discerning sleepers and staying ahead of the sleeping trend?
It turns out: plenty.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has an entire Sound Sleep Initiative, developed in conjunction with a sleep expert. It includes a special TV channel devoted to music to help you sleep, slumber kits, a signature massage that soothes the mind, and sleep-friendly food and beverage menu items.
The Benjamin in New York City also turned to a sleep expert for help in creating their extensive sleep program, which offers the assistance of a 24/7 Sleep Team, on-demand mediation, black out curtains and noise machines, amongst other offerings.
The Waldorf Astoria in Chicago offers a lavender-scented nighttime bath for children, while the Swisshotel in Berlin offers guests a special machine that emits clean mountain air to breathe for a half hour before bedtime, along with a pro-sleep herbal drink to sip before bed. And there’s no end to the amount of pillow menus on offer today.
And that is just the beginning.
So as a hotel, what can you do to rise above the crowds and help your guests achieve a perfect sleep, prepping them to conquer the world tomorrow?
For Huffington, the answer is even more simple than all of the bedtime bells and whistles: “Hotel brands should first evaluate if they are consistently delivering a comfortable bed experience before upgrading far less critical product attributes like a new guest-room clock radio or bathroom amenity”.
In short, it’s time to go back to basics: time to go back to the bed.
Finding a bed that is designed to deliver a perfect, comfortable sleep experience should rank as top of a hotel’s priority list. And since each guest has their own specific wants and needs, a bespoke experience is key to setting your hotel apart from the rest.
At FreshBed we have designed a bed that delivers a customizable sleeping experience focused around the four main factors that our research has shown to be key: comfort, temperature, humidity, and hygiene. By allowing the guest to adapt their sleeping environment to their own unique preferences, you put the power of sleep back in their hands. (Read our firsthand reviews here.)
When the foundation of sleep is laid with the perfect bed, you then have a solid base on which to build your hotel’s sleeping program.
And that is a good start in the sleep revolution.
Pillow menu, anyone?
* For more information about how a FreshBed can help your guests experience a perfect sleep and conquer the world, please contact our sales team.