Why guests struggle to sleep away from home

A study commissioned by IHG has shown that lack of sleep is a primary concern for travellers, 80 percent of which suffer from a lack of sleep on their journeys.

Business travellers were found to be the most affected, losing around 58 minutes of sleep each night spent away from home.

The biggest causes of sleep loss for travellers were different environments (44 percent), unfamiliar noises (35 percent), and working late (35 percent).

Nearly half of those who can’t sleep try listening to music (47 percent) or watching television (45 percent).

“It’s no secret that travelling can be challenging for our health, particularly when it comes to maintaining our normal sleep patterns. Light is the major environmental time cue that resets the circadian clock in our brains each day, which is easily thrown off when travelling,” said Dr Steven W. Lockley, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School.

Lockley’s advice is to use lights as a way to help guests sleep, rather than to keep them awake.

“Light can be a stimulant, directly alerting the brain, or promoting sleep before bedtime, depending on the spectrum and intensity of light exposure. Having greater control of light exposure when travelling can help promote sleep at the right time or wake at the right time, preserving some sense of sleep normally when on the road,” said Lockley.