We can lose it, we never find it and we always want it. It’s sleep. Ask any traveler-especially one on business with high-adrenaline days-sleep is almost as valuable as gold. The marathon meetings, the late-night dinners, rushing to and from the airport and the multiple time zones all make getting a few winks harder to achieve.
It happens to most of us: a sleepless night in a hotel room just before a big meeting. You want to sleep. You need to sleep. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get to sleep.
With action-packed schedules, a traveler would think sleep should come as easily as counting sheep. For many, however, trying to sleep on the road brings on a case of temporary insomnia, called transient insomnia. Most travelers know they have it when they find themselves staring at the ceiling or twisting and turning in frustration.
Fortunately, there are things every traveler can do to avoid losing Zzzz’s. Here are five tips for finding a comfy, cozy night of sleep away from home:
• Look for the love. One hotel chain conducted nine months of research and testing before introducing a new bed as part of “Make It Hampton,” the largest and fastest transformation ever undertaken by a hotel brand to dramatically enhance the guest experience at each of its hotels. The bed features nine new attributes so that the bed looks as great as it feels. From the crisp duvet cover that holds a down-like comforter, triple sheeting on 200-thread count linens, a decorative lumbar pillow and a higher sitting bed, it could feel like home.
• Watch out for the imitators. There’s more to a mattress than meets the eye. Choosing a mattress that’s right for you can mean the difference between a peaceful night and a scary nightmare. According to Pawn Kongkosonkichkan, a bedding trainer with Rich’s-Macy’s/Lazarus/Goldsmiths, pick a mattress with a high coil count and you can be snoring in no time. Also, look for hotels featuring plush-top mattresses, as these will keep their form better and avoid the lumpy mattress feeling associated with tossing and turning.
• Sometimes, faking it is good. Goose down-filled comforters and pillows are great for personal home use, but some travelers may prefer today’s synthetic fabrics, which are just as top-quality. Travelers with sensitive noses will want to avoid the opportunity of a sleep-interrupting allergy attack. For travelers who prefer down pillows, Hampton Inns provide a choice.
• Re-create habits from home. Take a look at the habits you have every night before you go to bed; do they include some light reading, maybe listening to soft music or a quiet conversation with loved ones? Any traveler can re-create those homey feelings by simply taking a warm bath, turning off the TV or calling home for a quick “good night.” Whatever your bedtime behaviors may be, take about 15 minutes before you go to bed to really relax. (Remember, a caffeinated drink late at night affects those on the road just like at home, regardless of how tired you may feel.)
• Tick-tock, find a good clock. With so many confusing versions of the clock radios in hotels, some people may lose sleep just worrying if the darn thing will work as expected. For a more pleasurable sleep and wake-up experience, look for universal clock radios that offer simple alarm settings and a digital display that allows you to select your favorite type of music effortlessly.