|Sleep amenities help travelers rest easy|
In todays global business environment, travel fatigue is a harsh reality. Business travelers crossing time zones, snoozing on planes and contending with unfamiliar hotel beds often lose the battle and are chronically underslept.
Studies have shown that frequent fliers get an average of 6.4 hours of sleep each night. And sleep researchers agree that any sleep period less than six hours puts a serious dent in performance. The solution? Sleep amenities.
Dont overlook the benefits of exercise for inducing sleep. Look for hotels with such spa facilities as steam, sauna, aromatherapy and massage services, as well as a fitness room. In addition to relaxing the mind and body in preparation for sleep, exercise has also proven to be beneficial for keeping travelers energized during their waking hours, a definite bonus for busy road warriors. Bath amenities such as lavender aromatherapy, soaps and oils may also be helpful. Many hotels also offer in-room, sleep-promoting CDs of tranquil music.
Dont settle for the mundane: an indifferent mattress and thin, synthetic blankets. Look for hotels that go the extra mile in providing superior bedding and a great bed designed for restful sleep. Ask about sheet thread counts (higher quality is 180 to 300). Specially designed sleep comfort rooms often come with a menu of pillows from hard to soft and eiderdown to hypoallergenic. At the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, an entire floor of hypo-allergenic guestrooms has been set aside for sensitive guests. The rooms are equipped with fibre-cluster pillows and duvets (synthetic material that mimics the softness of feather), air-intake filters to clean the air and carbon-activated filters on the taps. The floors are non-smoking, off-limits to pets and all linens are washed at 300°F., sufficient to avoid the need for chlorine.
The biggest sleep impediment for business travelers is outside noise. If you are sensitive to noise, ask for a room away from the nightclub, bar or restaurant. Other noise disturbances to consider avoiding are elevators, ice machines, industrial fans and garbage collection or truck delivery areas.
Some hotels have a dedicated "quiet zone" floor for guests who dont want to be disturbed by unnecessary noise. Some also have special quiet rooms that are fitted with double-glazed, argon-filled windows, soundproofed doors and quiet air-conditioners. Other noise-reducing solutions on offer iinclude sound machines. A choice of soothing sounds such as …rain or …brook or just plain white noise will help to reduce outside distractions. Dont overlook the reliable old standby‚ ear plugs.
Circadian rhythms are generated internally but are greatly influenced by light cues. To reset your interior clock to new sleep cycles you need to expose yourself to strong light during the day and avoid bright light during the evening. Even small sources of light around your bed can disrupt sleep. Look for nightlights or lighting strips that provide soft illumination to help you navigate safely at night without having to turn on glaring lights. Even the light from a computer screen or digital clock can adversely affect your sleep.