MAKE YOUR OWN SLEEP SANC­TU­ARY

Weather guru Natalia Cooper shares her se­crets to get­ting a good night’s sleep while away from home

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - TRAVEL WISDOM REST - SARAH NI­CHOL­SON

Natalia Cooper knows bet­ter than most the im­por­tance of get­ting a good night’s sleep while trav­el­ling. For most of us a sleepless night in a ho­tel room re­sults in a late break­fast, or an af­ter­noon snooze be­low a beach­side palm tree, but for the To­day team mem­ber, it means pre­sent­ing the weather while rub­bing the sleep from her eyes.

“My job takes me around Aus­tralia and the world and means I sleep in a dif­fer­ent bed al­most every night of the week,” she says.

“We stay in ho­tels, mo­tels, car­a­van parks and even don­gas, and I never know when there will be night road­works or noisy guests in neigh­bour­ing rooms. Whether I’m trav­el­ling for work or on a hol­i­day, it’s im­por­tant to get good shut-eye and wake up feel­ing as fresh as pos­si­ble.’’

CRE­ATE THE RIGHT EN­VI­RON­MENT

The first thing Natalia does in the place she’s spend­ing the night is cre­ate a “sleep­ing sanc­tu­ary”.

“I un­plug any bright alarm clocks in the room and take soft earplugs ev­ery­where I go. I use them every night as they min­imise the noise. A silk sleep­ing eye-mask helps block out ex­tra light,” she says.

“I also rec­om­mend try­ing to fit in some ex­er­cise af­ter ar­riv­ing at a new lo­ca­tion, even if it’s just a light walk as that helps burn off ex­tra en­ergy or stress. Half an hour be­fore bed I put the phone down and read a book to un­wind.”

TURN OFF TECH­NOL­OGY

Tech­nol­ogy is the en­emy of a good night’s sleep. A re­cent study con­ducted by Westin Ho­tels & Re­sorts re­veals that 65 per cent of trav­ellers will “sleep fewer hours while on the road”.

Many post­pone the shut-eye to stay on­line longer.

To com­bat the hyp­notic lure of smart­phones, tablets and lap­tops, Westin has tweaked its Sleep Well of­fer­ing to book­end the tra­di­tional wake-up call with a bed­time re­minder.

“The use of tech­nol­ogy right be­fore bed can stim­u­late the ner­vous sys­tem, in­ter­rupt­ing a good night’s sleep, and to help com­bat this Westin launched the ‘bed­time call’ ser­vice,” Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional Aus­tralia area vice-pres­i­dent Sean Hunt says.

“This gives guests the op­tion to sched­ule a gen­tle re­minder for when they should power down and pre­pare for bed, and the call is sched­uled based on when the guest needs to wake up.

“From a room de­sign per­spec­tive, guests stay­ing at a Westin ho­tel or re­sort can ex­pect the Heav­enly Bed for max­i­mum com­fort, as well as laven­der balm you can rub into your pulse points to help you re­lax. Black­out cur­tains pro­vide the per­fect at­mos­phere for sleep.”

KEEP­ING IT NAT­U­RAL

Natalia also swears by a few nat­u­ral reme­dies when it comes to slum­ber with her bed­time rou­tine in­clud­ing a cup of camomile tea.

“I take mag­ne­sium sup­ple­ments every night, as they are great for re­lax­ing the mus­cles, just make sure they’re not the ones with vi­ta­min B as that might keep you awake,” she says. “I also use a great nat­u­ral room spray called Sweet Dreams by Per­fect Po­tions, which con­tains laven­der, or­ange oil and camomile and smells di­vine.”

PIC­TURE: ISTOCK

Put the smart­phone away at least half an hour be­fore bed for a good night’s rest, says Natalia Cooper.

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