Despite being such an important part of their stay, travellers staying in hotels are surprisingly not always impressed by the hotel beds or the lack of overall comforts.
In fact, studies have shown that business people in particular are prone to work from or even eat in their hotel contract bed.
This really highlights the need to ensure that not only your service levels are good but that you really understand how people view hotel rooms overall and what they feel when they stay with you.
In this latest blog, Millbrook Contract Beds opens the curtains and lets light in on what travellers feel when they stay at a hotel or bed and breakfast.
One major part of discomfort for guests is a distinct lack of home comforts. In fact nearly 30% of people who stay in hotels have stated this is the one thing that bothers them and if you don’t know, for business travellers being lonely can also factor in to the overall enjoyment (or lack of it) in being in a hotel room.
If a guest is away from home on business frequently, then staying in a hotel room with an average contract bed and comforts can add to the misery of being lonely and of course boredom. In fact, this will have a detrimental effect on how they feel about their whole stay.
So even if you have a great food service, polite staff and good levels of service, the fact that your travellers are in an uncomfortable bed or miserable in their room will not provide the best experience.
So what can you do to try and improve their stay?
First off, it’s important to ensure that your guests have a really comfortable contract bed. After all, we spend a large proportion of our lives sleeping so being happy when we’re dreaming is most definitely an essential component to a good stay.
Additionally, if the room dimension allows, you may want to provide a work space for your business traveller, along with somewhere they can eat from.
A really good bathroom is also a nice addition to a hotel room. While en-suite showers can tick the requirements box, they do not always allow for a relaxing experience. Often, many travellers unwind in a hotel room and want to savour the experience.
A good hotel room will allow for someone to relax at some point during their stay and let’s face it, a shower is refreshing but is not always the best way to switch off and chill out.
Try providing some good reading materials – newspapers or magazines for example and if you don’t want to put this in the room then why not provide a selection of books and literature that guests can borrow to keep them occupied?
Oh and one thing that many travellers often state is that the amount of coffee, tea and milk is not nearly enough. So why not consider giving your guests a little bit more for ultimate satisfaction?
Don’t assume that a nice TV will help either. Not everyone likes to watch the box, so consider an iPod docking station so your traveller can listen to their own music or perhaps even consider loaning out a cable so they can watch a film of their own choice.
Of course, some hotels do have to optimise on potential to gain additional income so you may not want to go too far, but suffice to say, if you think about what you miss when you’re away from home you’ll get a good idea of how guests feel.
As the holiday season gets in to full swing, we know many people will be staying at hotels throughout the UK and the rest of the world.
So here at Milbrook contract beds we thought it would be really useful to create a blog for those who may well suffer from jetlag.
Additionally, if you’re a hotelier you may want to add something extra to your customer service and offer your weary travellers some advice to.
Many people stay up late and find that it’s hard to get up in the morning and if you’re a traveller on a different time zone, you can at times get to the point that you end up missing half of your holiday because your body clock just won’t catch up with a new time zone.
A technique that many find useful is to adjust your body clock in preparation for your trip. This can be effective for long haul travel, where time differences can be extreme. If you can adjust your sleeping time in stages in the week before you travel, for example by 30 minutes to an hour each day, this will really help you to adjust to the new time zone. It can be difficult for some to alter their sleeping cycle so planning for the change can help a lot when it comes the time.
Prepare for your scheduled time to sleep, a visit to your doctor is good advice. They can help you to plan a healthy sleep schedule and in extreme cases may prescribe some melatonin treatment. Make sure that you don’t eat too close to bedtime, especially food high in sugar and carbohydrates, which can leave you with too much energy. Also be weary of caffeine or nicotine, which are stimulants and will also leave you to wired to drift off. Create a relaxing environment to fall asleep in. Take a bath and use some soft lighting, If you have a television in your bedroom, do not watch it! The last thing you need while trying to fall asleep is the latest action movie keeping you excited. Try some meditation techniques, trying to clear your mind of the days events will help you to relax. Be careful not to sleep in late, choose a wake up time that fits into your schedule – then stick to it.
If you find yourself on holiday and your sleep pattern is still out of sync. The fastest and most effective solution is to push through to the local night time. This can be tough and I would always recommend trying to adjust your body clock beforehand, but if you are in this position then try to avoid any naps and try to keep busy until you make it to the end of the local day. It will be better to get your sleeping pattern sorted out on the first day or two of your trip, then the rest of your holiday should be jet lag free, leaving you to enjoy your well deserved break away.
At Millbrook Contract Beds we spend a great deal of time talking about sleep, mattresses and of course contract beds. So we thought it was about time to give a bit of writing space to the humble pillow. It is after all a key ingredient to our bedroom and a good night’s sleep.
In recent years, some hotels have been savvy enough to offer a pillow menu which for the professional sleeper can be the difference between having a good night’s sleep and a great night’s sleep and others just offer an extra ‘standard’ pillow upon request. But no matter what you offer, the simple pillow is an ingenious invention if you think about it.
Therefore, in honour of the pillow and to perhaps inspire hotels and even academic institutions to consider how important it is, here’s our blog all about them.
Essentially, a pillow is really just a large cushion which supports the head while we sleep – or rather that’s what we think of as being a pillow in today’s world. However, it may be of interest to know that the first use of pillows was in Ancient Egypt and Asia.
In fact, due to the way early pillows emerged, pillow making became something of an art form. In fact, decorated pillows became very important assets in China and Persia and much later in Europe.
Early pillows were not necessarily soft and fluffy though. For example, in Ancient Egypt they were usually made from natural stone, ceramics, leather and even wood. They were usually only associated with wealthy families and Pharaohs were often entombed with one.
So compared to the pillows of years gone by, even a basic pillow in today’s world is a luxury.
What’s really interesting is that despite early pillows being made of tough materials they had the same purpose as they do today albeit manufactured in a very different way but it’s hard to imagine how we concluded they were practical then.
There was also a belief in Tudor times that the pillow was suitable for weak people and women giving birth, suggesting that they were seen as a health benefit (albeit a unique one) in those times.
Years later, the rise of industry and trade meant that eventually pillows could be manufactured in large numbers and cotton pillows finally came to be.
So the humble pillow may seem like an invisible part of a bedroom, but surprisingly it has had a very diverse history and period of development.
So the next time someone asks you for a selection of pillows have a think about where they came from and why even today they are considered so important to a good night’s sleep!
You’ve heard the terms ‘Early Bird’ and ‘Night Owl’ before right? Well, in the UK there is a strong mix of both. But which one wins? Which camp is better to fall into and why? The answer is already obvious to some people… early birds clearly win because they get a full sleep at the right time of day. Millbrook Contract Beds investigates this further.
A recent University study suggests there may be some truth to the centuries-old adage: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” which also happens to be one of our favourite sleep-related quotations!
Generally speaking, people who rise early feel happier and more satisfied at the end of each day than night owls do. But is it directly related to sleep? The answer is a resounding yes! Now night owls tend to be people of a younger age with a more hectic social life but that can change as they age. This is related to what’s called “social jet lag,” the idea that night owls’ biological clocks are out of sync with societal standards.
Researchers at the University of Toronto compared the responses of their test group of younger adults aged 17 to 38 with older people ages 59 to 79. The results showed that roughly seven per cent of young adults are morning larks, while by age 60 most people preferred to wake up with the dawn rather than see it in. Only a small percentage of the older surveyed persons admitted to staying up to the early hours. Night Owl-ing is a predominantly young person’s game.
So what exactly is so beneficial about being an Early Bird?
Firstly, healthier diet because you are more likely to have a proper breakfast at the right time if you get up early enough. This not only gives you energy for the day but it also helps you to avoid snacking on junk foods later on. Of course, more energy means more motivation to do things and therefore increased productivity at work and at home.
Early Birds are generally less stresses and more happy than their Night Owl counterparts.
So is it possible to change from being a Night Owl to an Early Bird?
Ms Biss (involved with the sleep research project) said there was hope for night owls to turn themselves into morning people.
‘One way to do it is to increase your natural light exposure early in the morning, and to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier,’ she said. ‘It’s easiest if you have a consistent schedule, to make sure you are waking up at the same time every day.’
So which are you? Early Bird or Night Owl? And more importantly, which would you rather be?
Did you know that from scientific studies over the years such as this one carried out recently, there have been over 86 sleep disorders uncovered linked or directly attributed to a lack of shut-eye?
Food for thought or should that be… for sleep?
In a previous blog Millbrook Contract Beds walked you through the essential factors involved with getting the best out of a night’s sleep through contract bedroom furniture whether you are a private home, hotel, academic residence or healthcare facility.
Having covered those essential ingredients to giving people the best sleep possible with contract beds, it’s time to discuss the environment itself.
What do we mean by environment exactly?
Well, it’s simple stuff really and these tips can apply to all industries that deal with supplying rooms and beds to people.
1. Room temperature
This is really is important to creating a comfortable environment fit for sleep. A guest or resident needs to have a temperature that isn’t too hot or too cold. In summer there needs to be a competent air conditioning system in place that gives coolness to the rooms at night, while in winter, heating is a must-have option. In an ideal space the person staying in the room will have independent or remote access to the temperature so they can self-adjust it to their own comfort level.
While you cannot enforce sleep schedules with guests or residents you can provide a guide for them to adhere too. No noise past a certain time is of course a given, simply because other residents can be disturbed by too much disturbance. Also a curfew for closing the front doors and hallway lights out usually gives guests an idea of just what time is the right time for bed. If people stick to a strict sleep schedule they will feel far more refreshed the next day.
Everybody knows the importance of exercise for general health but what can make it such a great benefit is that it helps people to sleep more peacefully. Hotels can offer gym facilities for guests to use and work out in. People’s bodies use the sleep period to recover their muscles and joints that have been exercised. However, it is only recommended that gym facilities be open until a certain time (usually 8pm or 9pm). Exercise directly before sleep is too stimulating and will make it more difficult for guests to drift off.
4. Limit room services at night
It can be very tempting for guests or residents to call on your services for midnight meals and snacks but by enforcing a curfew on food and drink availability up to a certain time you contribute to guests having a better night’s sleep overall. Eating or snacking before bed (including drinks with caffeine) is the worst thing for sleep.
5. Provide reading materials
And we don’t just mean having a copy of the Bible in the drawers between the contract beds! We mean you should provide a reasonable selection of up-to-date newspapers, fiction books and magazines so that there is something to read before your guests/residents sleep. As most avid readers know, reading a book for bed is the best way to fall asleep as you grow more and more tired the further you read.
This is some of our best advice for providing the right seep environments for guests and residents in any industry that provides sleeping facilities. Millbrook Contract Beds has been in the business of sleep for over 60 years, so when we give you our top tips on the subject, you can be sure its up-to-date, honest and useful.
Contact Us for further information on contract beds and sleep related advice.
It’s one of the most important aspects of daily living and general health – sleep. Yet many people take their sleep for granted.
Millbrook Contract Beds has been in the business of sleep for over 60 years now, which makes us experts in the field. For industries that use our contract beds for guests, patients, residents, students etc. the following information is extremely important if you wish to provide a decent sleep experience to these people.
So what are the essential rules on making a night’s sleep a good one?
Well, being a contract bed supplier we can tell you; it’s ALL about the bed.
If you have tattered, lumpy, lopsided old mattresses with a rickety bed bases then you have to consider that the reason people are not sleeping well in them is because they are inferior products worn down by years of use. The first rule of bed maintenance is to flip once or twice every couple of months to keep the fillings even and to avoid creating unnatural grooves or dents in the bed material.
This should be standard operating procedure, particularly for a hotel or guest house. However, sometimes, it’s just not enough to flip your mattress if it is years past its sell by date! Yes, even beds have a shelf-life and once they get past the 7-10 year mark, it’s time to start thinking about trading up for a new model.
Contract bedroom furniture is designed to last, but nothing lasts forever, which means investment is key to sustaining a good business model if you are a hotelier, landlord, lettings agent, healthcare specialist, residency or guest house.
Ultimately, you are being judged on the quality of your contract beds and their comfort, durability, quality and maintenance. Your business can live or die based on the quality of the materials you use to treat and look after guests and residents of your premises.
So let’s address the key elements to give them that perfect night’s sleep…
Using 3 of our contract bed ranges as examples of how to get the effect you need to give;
-The Hotel contract bed has a proven popularity amongst hoteliers and works primarily because it has a deep mattress providing the classic firm option to people. It is practical and hardwearing, which is the perfect option for people on the move that just need a bed to crash in for the night for healthy, comfy sleep.
-The Therapy contract bed is the next level up that provides a fully-immersive experience via manual control so it can be adjusted to suit the specific needs of the sleeper. This is an ideal option for healthcare residences that require a degree of technological advancements to go with the comfort and quality. With its five way adjustable position and handset control it’s what all dream beds are made of really. You can do everything from the bed without having to move a muscle.
-The Campus contract bed is the final example on our list of what a bed should provide to give a good night’s sleep. It’s a smart but practical design that is essentially about economy of space and size. It’s not a contract bed for those seeking ultimate luxury but practicality.
These contract beds are very much the best examples of how to give people a good night’s sleep. Keep your eyes out for the next part in “What makes a good night’s sleep with Millbrook Contract Beds” where we go into more detail about techniques and products to help your guests sleep better.
Did you know that snoring is one of the most common sleep disorders in the entire world? It’s so common that many people who share a bed with a snorer will suffer interrupted sleep during the night that can lead to all sorts of problems later. Millbrook Contract Beds investigates…
What causes snoring?
The science behind snoring suggests it occurs due to the resonating sound caused by irregular breathing patterns. However, people do tend to snore for a variety of different possible reasons. Identifying the root cause of the snoring disorder will help to find a cure.
Is your snoring a positional problem, as in you only snore depending on what position you are sleeping in? Or is it a problem that is more directly tied to lifestyle and your body?
The sound you hear when someone is snoring is caused by the vibration of relaxed, floppy tissues that line the upper airway passage. Basically, when you sleep all the muscles in your body relax which decreases the diameter of your airway passage. This can cause, in some people, a partial block of airflow that leads to air flowing in gusts. As the air bounces around the airway passage it causes the muscles to vibrate like a flag in the wind. This is when a person will snore.
People tend to snore as they get older due to the body muscles becoming more and more weak and flaccid.
How can you stop snoring?
In some cases, snoring can be self-controlled. However, the condition often requires medical advice or home treatments. There are over-the-counter remedies that can be tried first. Some really do help to curtail the snoring. Other options include a variety of snoring solution techniques and gadgets such as mouth guards, chin straps, nasal valve dilators etc.
Other options in terms of home treatments and natural remedies include:
1. Take a tablespoon of honey before going to bed
2. Try not to sleep on your back. It is preferable for snorers to sleep on their side
3. Obvious causes of snoring can be attributed to alcohol intake. Don’t drink before bed!
4. Elevate your head to help easier breathing
5. Fat deposits are major contributing factors to snoring so come up with a regular exercise regime and a balanced diet. This good in general for a healthy lifestyle
6. The quality of the contract beds you sleep in make a big difference too. We don’t have to remind you of the importance of comfortable, durable and quality contract beds!
If these techniques do not have the required affect then perhaps seeking out a medical source for advice is a better option. Treatments can help snorers to avoid the occurrence of sleep apnoea and abnormal body movements.
Snoring is a one of those few medical conditions that don’t necessarily torment the sufferer so much as it does the person who sleeps next to the sufferer. It’s best to try and rectify the problem, especially if it is for the benefit of your partner!
If you read our last blog, we were talking about how to keep yourself cool during those muggy summer nights. While the weather in the UK has been less than welcoming this summer, we know that there will come a point between now and August where we will experience the heat. Millbrook Contract Beds explores this further…
We’ve all been there… stuck in bed like a sardine in a can during a heat-wave during the wee hours. It’s a challenge to sleep cool. The heat causes major discomfort and therefore makes it nigh on impossible to have a restful night’s sleep.
With some of these preparations techniques you might just be able to counter-act these problems and beat the heat.
1. Prepare a cool bed!
Yes, the bed is where it’s at, not just your body. Consider the bedding materials you use. Try using bed sheets made from all cotton and pillow cases made from cotton fabrics or ideally, sateen. Remember our tips about keeping your sheets in the fridge during the day? That’s a must-try!
If you can program yourself to do so, anytime you wake in the night, turn over your pillow to get the cold side. Many people do this anyway, and it can help.
2. Air conditioning.
Not everyone will have fancy air conditioning systems installed in their homes – that’s a rich man’s game! But we can regulate the temperature in our homes through simple, effective methods. The most obvious is to leave the window open, but as we stated in the previous blog, on a muggy summer night, that’s not always enough. If there’s no cool breeze coming in then there isn’t much benefit other than letting those terrifying Maybugs in! Ahhhhhhh!
So what other tactics can you employ to defeat the heat?!
Use a fan. You can pick one up for a very low price these days. One trick to use o a particularly humid night is to use a bag of ice and lay it in front of the fan. This helps to bring the temperature of the room down and it actually works!
Keep a spray bottle of water by your bedside too along with a glass of cold water. You can use the spray bottle on your body and your sheets. Remember to spray lightly though! You don’t want to sleep in a puddle.
3. Avoid any hot beverages before bed especially ones containing caffeine.
Caffeine raises blood pressure and can make your body feel hotter, as can alcohol. Preferably, all you should have before bed is a nice cold drink of chilled water. Start stocking your refrigerator with an army of water bottles!
4. Sleep naked!
It’s the best way to ensure that your body keeps a good low temperature. If you share a bed with a partner they, hopefully, won’t mind you in your birthday suit! In fact, you should recommend they do the same by explaining the situation.
You can always direct them back to this blog as evidence for this scientific reasoning!
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