IHG’s Tips to Beat the ‘First-night Effect’

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New research reveals 80% of travellers struggle to sleep when staying away from home

IHG’s Tips to Beat the ‘First-night Effect’

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 10 September 2019: If you’ve ever checked into a hotel, chances are you’ve experienced the ‘first night effect’, a phenomenon which refers to disturbed sleep due to being in a new place. A recent global study commissioned by IHG® Hotels & Resorts* has revealed that a lack of sleep is a primary concern for travellers, with four in five (80%) stating they have trouble sleeping when travelling away from home. The research also found that business travellers lose around 58 minutes of sleep each night when staying away from home, averaging just 5 hours and 17 minutes of sleep. One of the major causes is a different environment (44%) followed by unfamiliar noises (35%) and working late (35%).

To ensure that guests don’t spend the night tossing and turning and feeling far from rested in the morning, IHG have introduced various sleep initiatives to ensure guests have a peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts Sleep Advantage™ Programme offers guests 100% cotton bed linen for unbelievable softness and This Works® aromatherapy line that contain pure essential oils that help guests recover from the day’s stress and to sleep more soundly. While, the Holiday Inn® understands that not all pillows appeal to everyone, so they came up with a winning way to satisfy every guest. The Pillow Menu was introduced to offer guests a variety of options determined by firmness, as well as type of fill, so there really is something to suit everyone.

Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG said, “A good night’s sleep refreshes you for the day ahead, improving concentration, self-confidence and mood, which directly impacts a guest’s experience when travelling for business or pleasure. With so many travellers experiencing sleep disruptions, we want to do everything possible to ensure our guests have a restful sleep so they can get the most out of their trip. At IHG, we are continuously looking at new ways that we can enhance the guest experience.”

InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) has compiled a list of practices and habits – known as sleep hygiene – that can make the difference between restlessness and restful slumber. By following these simple tips, guests can make a good sleep a nightly reality and wake up feeling energetic and productive.

1. Body, Mind and Bed

Your bed should be a place your body associates with sleep. Avoid working in bed, as this makes it more difficult to fall asleep since your brain will associate the bed with a place of work. You should also create a comfortable and relaxing environment possible, starting with the bedding. At IHG, we make bedding comfort a high priority in all of our properties.

2. Warm Up & Cool Down

Taking a warm shower or bath and cooling your room temperature helps bring on sleep. You’ll relax any tense muscles from travel or work, and when you get out of the water, your body will come down in temperature too. Experts recommend a cool 18 degrees but choose whatever temperature you prefer at home.

3. Unplug & Turn Down

Too much screen time before bed is detrimental to sleep as the light from screens tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Aside from the light, most devices find ways to stress or excite you, from social media notifications to a stressful work email. Try to stop using all electronics one full hour before bedtime.

4. (Don't) let there be light

Light disturbs our internal biological clocks and can affect sleep. Draw your curtains tight and use a low-level night light for those midnight bathroom runs. 

5. Sound asleep

Music has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body relax and prepare for sleep. Music has the power to slow your heart rate and breathing, lower your blood pressure and trigger your muscles to relax. These biological changes mirror some of the same changes that your body undergoes when you’re falling asleep, making music the perfect preparation for restorative sleep.

*The survey was conducted by OnePoll with a sample size of 5,000 respondents in March 2019 

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