Whether they’re travelling to London for a whistle-stop city break or an important business meeting, we want our guests to wake up feeling refreshed, energised and ready to take on the city with gusto.
We all know how important sleep is, but travelling can play havoc with our internal body clock and leave you feeling less than well rested.
If you’re a frequent traveller, read on for our good sleep guide…
It’s something money can’t buy, but we’d all pay a premium to get more of it. Far from being a luxury or a nice-to-have, sleep is something our bodies can’t function without.
So what happens when we close our eyes at night? Scientists believe that sleep — in particular deep sleep — is crucial for our cells to repair themselves, and our minds to sort through memories from the day, filing the important ones and discarding the clutter.
During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, our stress hormone noradrenalin briefly switches off. If it doesn’t get a break during the night, we can wake up feeling anxious and stressed out. Long-term, a lack of sleep can even lead to conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Margaret Thatcher may have boasted about only needing four hours sleep a night, but the advice is that we should all be getting about seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
Sleeping on a plane
Seasoned travellers have trained themselves to fall asleep on a plane, even when the conditions are less than ideal.
If nodding off is a priority, always get first dibbs on the window seat so you won’t be interrupted. Avoid a seat near the bathroom or the kitchen — the disruption will be too much.
There are certain props you can pack in your on-board bag like an eye mask (the ones they give you tend to be far too thin), ear plugs (or noise cancelling earphones) and a supportive neck pillow so you don’t wake up with a stiff neck. Dab a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow for a calming effect.
If you’re particularly sensitive to noise, white noise has a cancelling out effect. Tune into an online white noise radio station and you’ll soon be in the land of slumber.
Dealing with jet lag
Savvy travellers always book a flight that lands in the evening. That way you’ll be so exhausted from the flight that you’ll nod off at a sensible time.
Blackout blinds are great for blocking out the light when you want a lie in. But when you’re jet lagged, natural light is important for re-setting your internal clock, so leave the curtain slightly open.
British Airways has a really handy jet lag calculator to help keep you right.
Get a good night’s sleep in our hotel rooms
Our hotel rooms are designed to give you an optimum night’s sleep. The bathrooms are stocked with Elemis toiletries, so start your evening with a warm soak in the tub to unwind after a quick session in our gym.
It’s also hard to nod off on an empty stomach, so make full use of having world class chefs on hand to whip up a light meal that you can enjoy in the comfort of your room.
Many of our hotels come with an iPod docking station, so load up your iPod with some relaxing tunes or meditation tracks.
All our bedrooms have air conditioning, so even in the height of summer you can keep cool (most people sleep best in a cooler environment).
Before you dive into our (rather comfy) beds, remember to place the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. And if you’re kept up thinking of to-do lists and planning the day ahead, keep one of our notebooks on your bedside table so you can jot thoughts down and forget about them until the morning.
• Meditation and yoga
If you can’t make it to a class at Jivamukti London (one of Kate Moss’ favourite yoga studios), try the Headspace meditation app to stay serene. We’re also a fan of the Travel Yoga app by Kardeo which guides you through poses that you can easily do in your hotel room or on the plane.
• Go for a run
While new research has found that it can take months for exercise to have an impact on sleep, many people find that a gym session helps bust stress. If you’re feeling wired, lace up your trainers and run at nearby Green Park or stop by our on-site gym.
• Light a candle
We’re sensory beings, so light your favourite candle to create a tranquil environment. We like Jo Malone’s lime basil and mandarin travel candle and Neom’s lavender candle made from all-organic ingredients.
• Have a gadget detox
We’re all addicted to our tablets and smartphones, and they’re particularly useful when we’re travelling. But the trouble is that the white light they emit isn’t very conducive to sleep and can disrupt our REM time — the holy grail of the sleep world. Switch them off at least an hour before bedtime.
Is there anything else you’d like to see in our rooms to help you get a better night’s sleep?