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Ten Years After Introducing the Heavenly Bed, Westin
Takes Another Look at Travelers’ Sleep Habits

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A great night’s sleep trumps great sex according to more than half (51%) of the U.S. respondents to a new global survey of sleeping habits conducted by Westin Hotels & Resorts. Just how desperate are we for sleep? Well, 42% said they’d rather have a sleeping pill on their hotel pillow than the ubiquitous chocolate, and 62% take a relaxant, sleep or stress medication when traveling overnight.

Today, Westin Hotels unveils the results of a new global sleep study of more than 12,500 frequent travelers in ten countries - a follow-up to a sleep study the hotel giant conducted a decade ago when it launched its now iconic Heavenly Bed. When Westin debuted its revolutionary all-white bed, it spurred a global hotel bedding war that instantly made Earth tone polyester bedspreads and foam mattresses relics of old. Millions of travelers have benefited, and today 43% of frequent travelers say the quality of sleep on the road has gotten better, 25% of Road Warriors said they’d pay $100 more for a hotel with a great bed, and more than half would go out of their way to stay in a hotel with their favorite bed.

Forget the Boogie Man, it’s Mortgages, Marriage and Blackberry PDA’s That Keep Us Up at Night

While good beds on the road may be easier to find, sleep itself can be elusive and our round-the-clock work life, today’s economic woes and good old fashioned relationship problems often get in the way of a good night’s sleep. To wit:

  • 56% of U.S. respondents said that with our 24/7 lifestyles, a good night’s sleep is more important than ever, though unfortunately 61% believe that today’s technology and constant connectivity impairs sleep. And our beloved Blackberry’s make for dreadful sleep companions.
  • 60% said their PDAs have prevented them from getting shut eye.
  • 58% of respondents said the biggest worry keeping them up at night is bills and paying the mortgage. Another key culprit that keeps people tossing and turning is problems with their spouse or partner (25%).
Honey, I have a headache said HE – the Sex vs. Sleep Gender Debate

In the 10 years since the Westin brand conducted its original sleep study, our desire for sleep has increased, and our sex lives have suffered. Today 51% of frequent travelers in the U.S. prefer a great night’s sleep to great sex, compared to just 31% who chose sleep over sex 10 years ago. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s men who are more likely than women to take sleep over sex, with the majority of women saying they prefer sex to snoozing. And Americans are not alone – in nine of 10 countries surveyed, sleep beats sex – only the Canadians prefer seduction vs. slumber.

Other key findings include:

Hotel Beds in a Post-Heavenly Bed Era

  • More than half (57%) found that a great hotel bed provides a better sleep experience than at home, and more than one in four strongly agreed that sleeping in a hotel bed while on a business trip is a “luxury”—a significant change from 10 years ago, when 82% of travelers found something to complain about hotel beds.
  • The majority of those surveyed like the hotel mattress (59%) and pillows (54%) better than their bed at home.
Sleep Woes Take Their Toll
  • 57% of respondents say a bad night’s sleep has hurt their business performance.
  • The most common side effects of a bad night’s sleep? Getting in a fight with a boss or co-worker (29%) or a spouse or partner (25%).
A Good Night’s Sleep is a Phone Call Away…

Westin Hotels & Resorts and National Sleep Foundation Launch Free Sleep Hotline

A good night’s sleep is just a phone call away thanks to Westin Hotels & Resorts. A decade ago, the Westin brand transformed the sleep experience for travelers around the world with the introduction of the now iconic Heavenly® Bed. Today, Westin celebrates this important milestone and its commitment to wellness by teaming with renowned sleep experts at the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) to help make a perfect night’s sleep a reality for the sleep deprived. The National Sleep Foundation Hotline brought to you by Westin Hotels will debut on August 17th at 6:00 p.m. and, for 30 days, will help callers identify and troubleshoot common sleep issues.

The hotline, (888) TIME-4-SLEEP, will be staffed by NSF sleep center members, medically trained sleep professionals who will offer tailored solutions to callers with common sleep problems and will be open until September 15, Monday through Friday, 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The sleep hotline’s hours of operation were specifically chosen to coincide with the peak hours when people are getting ready for bed or experiencing problems sleeping.

“Many people have questions about what normal sleep is,” said David M. Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “We hope that the hotline will encourage people to take more of an active interest in their sleep, and if we can answer a question for someone who needs help, we will have provided a real benefit. The National Sleep Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Westin to provide this public service.”

Sleep professionals will provide screening for common sleep disorders and offer healthy sleep tips such as:

  • Do not eat for two hours before bed
  • Sleep in complete darkness in a cool environment
  • Exercise regularly, but don’t exercise for at least 3 hours before bedtime – a workout after that time may actually keep you awake because your body has not had a chance to cool down
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages before bedtime
  • If you’re lying in bed for more than 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing, like taking a warm bath, reading or meditating. Try to clear your mind; don’t use this time to solve your daily problems.
  • When staying in a hotel, ask for a room with eastern or southern exposure for more morning sun to help reset your clock to new time zones
  • When traveling, bring a nightlight or penlight if you get up at night to avoid disturbing the body's circadian clock
NSF call-center associates will also recommend helpful sleep resources and refer callers to their physicians for medical advice.

Study Methodology
This study is based on a survey conducted by StudyLogic, LLC via telephone through RDD of adults who are executives, professionally employed, and with an average of 2+ business and leisure trips per year. Study results are representative of each country’s population of Executives. Twelve countries were surveyed: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the United States, and the United Arab Emigrates. There were approximately 1,000 people surveyed in each country, with the exception of the United States, which had approximately 1,500 people. Combined percentage breakdowns for all twelve countries based on various categories are available at the end of the report. The survey consisted of thirty-three questions, some of which contained multiple parts. Due to cultural reasons, certain questions were modified or omitted for Japan and the United Arab Emigrates, and any change or omission is indicated in the following report. Interviews were conducted between June 15th and July 15th, 2009. The survey averaged 18 minutes in length and contains a margin of error in the totals of +/-3%.

About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts, with 169 hotels and resorts in more than 31 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 960 properties in 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

About the National Sleep Foundation
The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving sleep health and safety through education, public awareness, and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in AmericaTM poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Washington, DC. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, professionals in the health, medical and science fields, individuals, patients, people affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities throughout North America. For more information about the National Sleep Foundation and a directory of its sleep center members, please visit sleepfoundation.org.

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Contact:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Nadeen Ayala, 914-640-8259
Nadeen.Ayala@starwoodhotels.com
Website: http://www.starwood.com

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Also See: New Westin Sleep Study Says That Sleeping in Hotels Isn't Always a Dream / Aug 1999
The Race to Offer the Best Bed Began in August 1999 When Starwood Launched Westin's Heavenly Bed / February 2005
International Survey Compares Travel-Related Sleep Habits of U.S., Japanese, British and German Business Travelers / Oct 1997
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