Having your cake and eating it too. Staying in the heart of a high traffic urban destination, with the luxury of a calming, quiet night's sleep of the suburbs. It's a paradox that hotels face everyday when trying to create the most relaxing and peaceful guest experience. Just thinking of the word vacation, the image of luxuriously soft pillow top bed, is the first image to jump to everyone's mind. Why? People expect to have a higher quality of sleep when there is distance between them and the stresses and chaos of everyday life.
Sleep quality tends to be the mother of all guest experience complaints. From poor TripAdvisor reviews, to word of mouth negative publicity, having guests toss and turn during their stay is detrimental to your strategy of brand and location loyalty.
To fix this, it's important that hoteliers first understand the psychology of sleep. The direct correlation between a refreshing slumber and its emotional and cognitive effects are very real, even if it's just a one off occurrence. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on the general mood of an individual, their energy level, alertness and irritability. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. With the average length of a vacation being five days, no one deserves to be stressed out for the majority of their time away from home due to a tired mind.
Creating the ideal sleep environment is an art form, but it doesn't have to be challenging. The key is to make sure your team is taking into account all the senses of the body and what can be done to put them at ease around bedtime.
- Smell. Invite tranquil scents into the guest's living space, starting with the clean bedding all the way to the cleaning products being used. For example, lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure putting people into a more relaxed state.
- Sight. Choosing paint colors that elicit warmth and calm is easy, but don't forget natural light and its power to influence the chemistry and behavior of the mind. The most common solution being blackout draperies.
- Sound. Managing noise pollution can be a constant battle for many locations in close proximity to airports, train tracks or street noise. Take extra care by securing tight window insulation, purchasing sound blocking draperies or providing in room earplugs. The extra care in reducing noise disturbances goes a long way.
- Touch. The ideal room temperature for the best sleep is around 65 degrees. This is due to the body's internal regulation of temperature and it being lowest at 5:00pm, while rising slightly as the morning begins.
In the 24/7 society we live in, sleeping well in a hotel environment is crucial. Take the time to understand what small modifications can be done to build a quiet urban oasis, and what products are one the market to make the oasis building easier. Amenities that have a positive effect on the sleep quality and living environment of guests are extremely attractive. When a location understands the psychology, behaviors, and needs behind the perfect sleep sanctuary, then acts preemptively to make it a priority, a lasting impression is created on how a location cares for its patrons. Having them leave their stay refreshed and invigorated, also has them returning in the future desiring the same effects down the road.