Britain is battling a sleep-loss epidemic, after years of relying on addictive technology devices and caffeinated drinks. For UK workers, a rise in long hours, tiring business trips and working across time zones, has also cut down precious rest time.
According to new research commissioned by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts for World Sleep Day, Britain’s sleep deprivation has implications for the nation’s productivity. 1 in 3 British workers say poor sleep causes them to produce lower quality work (33%) and make more mistakes (31%), according to the survey, with 64% of respondents highlight that feeling well-rested is crucial for a productive day at the office.
With many Britons suffering from lack of sleep, 1 in 3 (34%) admits booking trips or holidays just to catch up on sleep. However, nearly half of the survey’s respondents (46%) do not feel that hotels do enough to provide guests with a good night’s sleep. Rest is so important when away from home than Britons would pay an extra £20 a night, on average, just to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Recognising that sleep should not be a ‘luxury’ but a priority, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – the world’s largest hotel franchising company based on number of properties – has partnered with sleep scientist, Professor Russell Foster to craft a series of tips and useful advice to help weary travellers get a better night’s sleep, be it at home or away. Included in an in-room sleep guide, the tips will be available at participating Wyndham Hotels & Resorts properties in the UK and other countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Eurasia (EMEA) starting from World Sleep Day to help travellers tackle the issue.
Russell Foster, Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, and sleep expert, said: “Often our emotional or mental state can be the most important factor in how well we sleep. A change in surroundings can be make us feel more anxious and make sleep even worse, even if we’re on a relaxing trip or holiday. Despite this, there are simple practices we can do ourselves to ensure a good night’s sleep, wherever we are in the world:
- Make the room your own: comfort and familiarity are important for sleep.
- Leave your phone charging across the room and use the hotel wake up call for an alarm.
- Keep your typical daily routine, eating and exercising at the same times as normal.
- Keep your room temperature between 18-22oC.
- Pull the curtains back and enjoy natural sunlight as soon as you can after waking.
- Don’t panic if you wake up, stay calm and you’ll likely fall back to sleep.
- Avoid the excessive consumption of caffeine-rich drinks or use of sedatives like alcohol.
- Stop stress from accumulating and stop all work and social media half an hour before bed.
- Don’t worry about sleep apps or take their information too seriously.
- Work out what works best for you and stick to it.”
Dimitris Manikis, President & Managing Director EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said: “As a society, we increasingly find it difficult to wind down from our hectic day-to-day lives. Whilst our survey looked at UK respondents, this is a reality for many other countries. As the world’s largest hotel franchising company with around 9,300 hotels around the world, we know that it’s fundamentally important to give guests a great experience and offer a place to rest and recharge. That’s why we are delighted to partner with Professor Russell Foster to help our guests get a better night’s sleep not only when they stay with us, but also for when they return home.”
Rest and relaxation are crucial while travelling (for 34% of respondents) – more so than holiday activities (23%), trying the local cuisine (21%) or getting a sun tan (11%). When choosing somewhere to stay, travellers prioritise restfulness (for 21% of us) over other aspects such as helpful staff (18%), nice décor (8%) and facilities such as a gym or swimming pool (17%).
Our mood, and a new environment, can harm sleep. Many of us struggle just as much to sleep while travelling, as over 8 in 10 (82%) don’t sleep any better than they normally would. This rings true even more specifically for business travellers, as 6 in 10 (59%) of whom find it stressful or unsettling. This may be because emotional and mental factors are crucial in getting a good night’s sleep – according to the research, being in a good mood is the very best sleep remedy, more so than healthy-eating, exercise, or even switching off our technology devices.
Over 4 in 10 (43%) Britons feel they don’t get enough sleep, which for most of us, is between 6 and 7 hours. Worryingly, three quarters (73%) of those who feel they don’t get enough sleep say they “rarely” get a decent night’s kip. Above all, sleep impacts our mood, making us feel happier (for 60%) and more relaxed (64%) day-to-day.