Dear Guest, How Did You Sleep?

Since prehistoric times human beings have moved towards other geographical areas for commercial purposes and exchange, for which they needed shelters to stay with the primary objective of resting. This need gave rise to establishments which were the precursors of hotels.

Rest is a vital human need that replenishes and recharges the human battery. The greater effectiveness of our rest is achieved when we sleep. Sleep is a physiological state of self-regulation and uniform repose of an organism. Although sleep needs vary according to the age, sleep for all human beings represent a vital essential function and human beings cannot live without sleep. Restorative sleep, which repairs the body every day, is complementary and essential to ensure wakefulness and is physiologically necessary.

In many hotels, unfortunately, there is still a tendency to pay more attention to the guests when they are awake than when they are asleep, ignoring the quality of their rest. A rough night’s sleep influences their emotional state which is a determining factor of their behavioral and relational patterns the next day. In my experience guests are more likely to approach best behaviors towards the environment after a good night’s sleep and thus facilitate the interaction of hoteliers with them, increasing the degree of relationship and knowledge. This way, we can begin the offering of more services tailored to their needs. This means that the hotels should pay special attention to this need, biological and emotional, in order to get its complete satisfaction in each of the guests.

The Hotel Guest Sleep Experience goes far beyond the type of mattress, bedding fabric quality and types of pillows offered.  This is about providing our customers Sleep Stimulating Atmospheres, to help them renew and maintain their physical and emotional well-being. I want to share with you some ideas that we could use to help our guests to reach the realm of mythological God Morpheus:

  1. Vision: the lighting influences our biological clock as it is known to inhibit melatonin (sleep hormone) secretion by the pineal gland in the brain, so it is important to consider the intensity of light in the guest’s room, as well as its color because according to experts there are colors that invoke a sense of tranquility and ensure a good night’s sleep; light blue, spring green or purple lavender colors, are all facilitators of atmospheres of relaxation, tranquility and peace. Type, intensity, and location of the lights for reading also influence our ability to fall asleep. It is proven that the simple act of getting up to turn off a light after reading in bed would stimulate our vigil, then:
    • What if we use reading lights (in different colors) which turns off after a set time according to each guest preference.
    • What if we offer a menu of superb relaxation images through the interactive television system…?
  2. Smell, sensory organ, helps us to achieve a good night’s sleep. Studies reveal that the smell of a room is a determining factor to get a good sleep and certain aromas induce to sleep, even more than medication, then:
    • What if we spray the pillows and sheets or aromatize the room (according to request) with delicate drops of lavender or jasmine, scents, which, par excellence, induce to get a good sleep?
    • Or if we prepare for her/him lukewarm water for bath with these aroma oils a few moments before the guest is retiring to bed, or if we offer body creams having the same essence?
  3. Sound is another powerful activator of our biological clock which, when activated is responsible for us to wake up. Thus, to ensure a good sleep is essential to ensure silent scenarios. However, there are many human beings who need certain sounds to fall asleep. There are sounds that help our body to relax in preparation for a profound sleep.
    • What if we offer a menu of sounds such as rain falling, or birdsong, or the sound of ocean waves, by using the interactive television system?
  4. Nutrition: the quality of our night’s rest is largely determined by what we eat and drink before going to sleep. There are foods and beverages that induce to sleep since they contain melatonin precursor’s elements such as oats, cherries, corn, red wine, tomatoes, potatoes, nuts, rice and herbal teas based on chamomile, anise or fennel, then:
    • What if we developed a special menu just for having a good sleep?

According to my experience, guests who could most benefit from the advantages of My Sleep Experience are those who come from geographic regions with great difference in time zones, as the jet lag will influence their behavioral patterns, i.e. being awake in the early hours of the morning and retired to rest early in the evening, which will determine the types and frequency of services required.

In summary, My Sleep Experience is a distinctive tool for hotels committed to make guests feel important, valued and above all renewed. So do not forget to ask to each single guest:

Dear Mr./Ms…… How did you sleep?

Osvaldo Torres Cruz

Hotel Staff Trainer and Guest Experience Designer Experiential Hospitality Consultant

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