How to get a good night’s sleep at a ho­tel

The Hamilton Spectator - - TRAVEL - SHIVANI VORA New York Times

A poor night’s sleep is an all-too-com­mon prob­lem when you’re stay­ing at a ho­tel, says Alis­tair Hughes, the manag­ing di­rec­tor of Savoir Beds, a Lon­don-based com­pany that sells beds and hand­made mat­tresses to more than 50 ho­tels glob­ally.

“A ho­tel is an un­fa­mil­iar set­ting which can im­pact the qual­ity of the rest you get,” he said.

Hughes spends more than half the year stay­ing at ho­tels around the world and said that a sound sleep in a ho­tel room can be had, if trav­el­ers fol­low a few key pieces of ad­vice.

Here, his tips:

Stay loyal to a few brands: Ho­tels usu­ally in­vest in one kind of mattress for all of the prop­er­ties that are part of their col­lec­tion, so if you’ve had a good night’s sleep at one Hy­att, Four Sea­sons or an­other brand, stay with that brand as much as you can.

“It takes time for your body to be­come ac­cus­tomed to a new bed, which can lead to fit­ful sleep,” Hughes said. “But if your body is al­ready fa­mil­iar with a mattress at a ho­tel where you’ve slept well, chances are that you’ll sleep well at an­other one of the brand’s prop­er­ties.”

Ask be­fore book­ing: Be­fore book­ing your stay, ask the ho­tel’s concierge staff about what ma­te­ri­als the prop­erty’s mat­tresses are made with, be­cause these ma­te­ri­als im­pact how well you sleep. A mattress con­structed of polyester or foam, for ex­am­ple, doesn’t breathe well, mean­ing that no mat­ter how low you crank the air con­di­tion­ing, your body can still over­heat and sweat. Ma­te­ri­als such as cot­ton, wool, horse­hair and cash­mere, on the other hand, breathe well and keep you cool, lead­ing to a bet­ter rest.

Make spe­cial re­quests: A lit­tle per­son­al­iza­tion goes a long way in hav­ing a sleep-friendly ho­tel room. If you find that your bed’s mattress is too hard, re­quest an ex­tra com­forter to go un­der the sheets to soften it up a bit. Also, some ho­tels have pil­low menus with a se­lec­tion of types, such as ex­tra-firm and hy­poal­ler­genic, so you can choose the one you find most com­fort­able.

Set the mood: A quiet, dark, cool room is the ideal en­vi­ron­ment for sleep­ing well, Hughes said. Cre­ate this am­bi­ence by hav­ing earplugs to block noise, us­ing the black­out blinds your room likely has and set­ting the tem­per­a­ture to be­tween 64 and 66 de­grees Fahren­heit (18 and 19 de­grees Cel­sius).

Un­wind be­fore bed: When you get back to your ho­tel room at the end of the day, re­lax be­fore hit­ting the sack. Avoid stim­u­lat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties such as watch­ing tele­vi­sion or check­ing your email. In­stead, read a book or mag­a­zine, take a bath and drink a cup of herbal tea.

DRAGONIMAGES, GETTY IM­AGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Ho­tels usu­ally in­vest in one kind of mattress for all of the prop­er­ties that are part of their col­lec­tion, so if you’ve had a good night’s sleep at one Hy­att, Four Sea­sons or an­other brand, stay with that brand as much as you can.

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