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Published on Monday, January 8, 2018

Why Your Guests Can’t Sleep in Hotel Rooms: Improving Your Hotel Room Atmosphere


You take great pride in your hotel's appearance and vibe. Your front desk staff warmly geets every guest, the walls and floors have comforting tones, and your list of amenities is vast. Your hotel goes above and beyond to make your guests feel at home and get the best night of sleep.

Yet in the morning at your complimentary breakfast, you see guests yawning and hear them complain of getting no sleep the previous night.

Before you start blaming yourself for not being accommodating enough or not offering comfier beds, recognize that you are not in total control over their night of sleep. The problem where people can't sleep in hotel rooms is a common one.

The First Night Effect

Research shows that on the first night in a new place, people naturally don't go into as deep of a sleep. This is because while the right hemisphere of the brain goes into tis usual deep sleep, the left hemisphere stays vigilant to combat any treats or danger.

When we are used to sleeping somewhere, we don't expect any threats. Therefore, we sleep more soundly. Whereas, in an unfamiliar environment, the slightest sound could be interpreted as potential danger.

Reducing Restlessness

While you can't entirely prevent the first-night effect as it is an instinctual behavior, there are things that you can do to reduce the effect, in turn helping your guests sleep a little better. The key is not to just make your hotel rooms cozier, but to make the rooms as much like your guests' homes as you can. The environment needs to be somewhat familiar to your guests.

Here we will discuss the five different senses and give you sleeping tips to calm the mind:

Touch: Offer a selection of pillows and blankets.

While some guests may bring in their own pillows and blankets from home, some may accept the struggle of getting positioned just right on the hotel bed. Even if you personally find that pillow and blanket comfortable, each individual is different and it all depends on what they are used to.

Offer soft, firm, short, and tall pillows, and thick, thin, light and heavy blankets. Even potentially offer pillows and blankets in varying sizes. This allows the guest to choose what helps them sleep best, which is likely what they sleep with at home.

Make sure though that your guests are aware of this service. In fact, make sure your guests are aware of any of the services that we bring up. Guests may be shy or simply not realize you offer this, therefore they may not ask. Therefore, it is essential you take the initiative and let your guests know how you can help them get a better night's sleep.

Smell: Offer spritz scents.

Chances are, the smell of your hotel rooms isn't too familiar to your guests. And unlucky for those spending the night, their sense of smell is going to play a strong role in how they sleep. With eyes closed, senses such as smell and sound become elevated. Therefore, when guests are sleeping, the unfamiliar smell is going to seem off, making the brain more alert.

To combat this, offer your guest a variety of spritz scents. Similar to air fresheners, the spritz scents consist of water, alcohol and essential oils. There are a wide range of concoctions you can whip up but remember to stick with common and familiar scents such as lavender, eucalyptus and lemon. This variety of essential oils will give guests the opportunity to choose a blend that smells like the scents they use in their own home.

Taste: Offer relaxing herbal tea.

While there are plenty of services you can provide to help your guests maintain sleep throughout the night, there are also tricks to help your guests relax before they doze off. This will in turn make it easier to actually fall asleep. Chamomile tea is a great stress-reliever to offer. Before bed, guests can sip on the tea, calming their senses and telling their bodies that it is okay to relax.

Camomile tea's sleep-inducing properties make it a must to include in your hotel rooms. Simply leave chamomile tea bags by the coffee maker or microwave with a small card detailing the benefits of drinking this herbal beverage before bed.

Sight: Offer nightlights.

Being in an unfamiliar environment can mean stumbling at night to find things. Or worse, your senses can become elevated out of fright because you are unable to see anything. To combat this, offer nightlights in the bathroom (make sure guests can turn them off through if they don't want any light!).

This will allow the brain to relax because the guest can see that there are no threats around. Imagine what the mind experiences in total darkness in an unfamiliar place - you can't see a threat but you fear one could still be there. Offering nightlights gives the mind one less thing to worry about.

Sound: Offer white noise machines.

We've already gone over how everything becomes elevated when sleeping somewhere new. You'll probably know especially what we are talking about with sound. Even the smallest crackle of knock can have you jumping out of the bed wondering who's there. And it always turns out to be nothing.

Therefore, your guests might benefit from soothing sounds such as the pitter patter of rain or the smooth woosh of waves at the beach. These calming sounds will help drown out those miniscule sounds and relax the mind.

There are a variety of white noise machines available, but try to choose one that has a wide range of sound options, allowing your guests to select the sound that is most soothing to them. For example, people from commonly rainy and stormy locations may love the sound of rain, whereas someone from dryer locations may be frightened and more alert when they hear the sound of rain.

Work with a Linen Provider

We hope these sleeping tips helped to combat the effects of the brain on a guest's first night of stay at your hotel.

If you are looking for pillowcases and linens to help your guests sleep better, contact us at Dempsey at 877-336-7743. We will work together to create that perfect night of sleep, every night.
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