The hospitality industry is on an overdrive to ensure its guests are well rested. A good night’s sleep is the underlying motto. Everything around the guest comfort revolves around this. Right from lighting, to the cleanliness, from bed linen to temperature control has this single goal: comfortable sleep.
Ask travelers the top-rated thing they want out of a hotel stay, and chances are the answer is: a good night’s sleep. In the years to come this is likely turn into an obsession among travelers. The rise of the wellness movement — which has an obsession with sleep is the sole reason behind the wellness clocking over $4 trillion a year, and that number is projected to increase in the coming years.
Wellness is the new hook in travel marketing, and it’s been gaining speed. The rise of wellness culture has made caring about sleep cool — and since weariness is a top complaint of travelers, it’s good business sense that the hospitality industry is upgrading its sleep offerings.
The hospitality industry has always cared about rest but hasn’t been serious in its goal of getting enough shut-eye that is crucial for travelers who want to feel good on business trips or vacation. Thanks to innovation in the area of sleep for years, all this is set to change.
“To help guests adjust to a new time zone or recover from their travels,” will drive business in the future and the brands that do a great job in this will stand out as preferred destinations.
So where would they start. All the guests want is a restful, comfortable night’s sleep. And what best way to achieve it but by providing a bed that is comfortable. Bedding innovations are evolving in the industry, helping guests fall asleep more quickly and giving them an all-around more comfortable sleep.
Hotels will fall over each other looking to create more sleep-friendly experiences for travelers. IoT will be deployed to create connected hotel rooms with features like smart lighting for better sleep, adjustable smart beds, and more.
Connected sleep and all its potential benefits is certainly on the horizon and squarely in our sights. Given the amount of time a person spends asleep—a third of your life—imagine what a connected bed could do and learn about you? One that adapts to you and your sleep environment, whether you’re at home or in a hotel of your choice, and works in harmony with other connected devices to deliver the best sleep and recovery possible.
These types of systems would be hidden and could track how guests sleep, their heart rates and potentially other biomarkers, Weidner said.
Sleep menu and special programs
Additionally, hotels are also capitalizing on room availability during off-hours with apps like Recharge and Dayuse that allow travelers to reserve short-term, marked-down stays at participating hotels to catch up on sleep.
Hotels could continue exploring partnerships with mattress providers, sleep apparel brands, and other companies to capitalize on the overall wellness trend.
Wellness-focused hotels will emerge as key differentiators offering sleep programs for guest. They will be equipped with circadian lighting features and will have “sleep ambassadors” on call.
Hotels will feature a special Sleep Menu for to promote better rest through a curated list of sleep-enhancing super foods on its room service menu.
Hotels will go to great lengths to put guests into a cozy bed. For instance, the Sleep Rituals service of Raffles will be a common feature. Brands will partner with linen makers, apps and gadget makers to offer each guest an eye pillow, “good-night cards”, track their sleep habits and play them back to them to encourage guests to be mindful.
Customization will be the key differentiator. Guests will gravitate to that hotel which knows how to find the perfect pillow, stock essential oils, and teas. The hotel Spa Suites will come with hydrotherapy tubs and private en-suite sauna and a cool bed for the guests four-legged companions to sleep on soundly. Off-the-bed foot massagers and Sleep-inducing relaxants will be commonplace features.
Travel Industry jumps in
Meditation and sleeping apps have already made inroads into Airlines and Cruise ships which have jumped on to the wellness bandwagon. From apps to wellness coaches to mindfulness gurus, the travel industry wants to offer travelers custom features to help them relax — and doze off — when they fly or cruise. This may sound altruistic, but business is at the center of all this. By offering wellness programs to help you sleep sounder, they tend to drive meaningful business.
Hotels that can really deliver a better sleep experience will likely see big returns on the investment. Experimentation is the order of the day. Do anything to help customers have a good night’s sleep – is the new motto. As a result, future room enhancements for better sleep have surpassed in-room technology as a service. This phenomenon will separate good hotels from the average.
Managing Sound and Light
Guests will be able to enjoy soothing background sound into the room, control it the same way they control temperature and lighting. These sounds will be able to nullify the variety of hotel noises. They will be far superior to white noise apps or clock radio style products emitting nature sounds.
Hotel brands are spending considerable time and resources in doing research into lighting and circadian rhythm so they can develop in-room controls that adjust the quality of light throughout the day. Once fully developed, these key pads at the entry and in the sleep area will have ‘scenes’ that match morning, noon, and night lighting conditions. The idea being that guests may set their rooms’ lighting scenes to combat jet lag and promote healthy sleep cycles.
The much awaited innovation in mattress technology is all about temperature management design —from the inside out. A bed is also about the layers at with fiber technology giving the first layer the power to absorb moisture with antimicrobial silver. Below that, foam can help circulate air, keep heat out and provide additional comfort.
This insulates the sleeper from the memory foam layer and it provides grooved ventilation, a charcoal-infused memory foam layer to provide comfort and conformity, as well as to keep away moisture and keep the body cool with an antimicrobial knit cover.
Other trends are more convenience oriented, allowing guests to adjust mattresses, in-room temperature, lighting and sound. Now a days massage beds are also on the rise, which are usually lower in price given their popularity.
Mattresses with EMF-blocking technology will be the next big thing in mattress technology. High-quality Quantum foam, which keeps users cool
at night. Pillows designed ergonomically help prevent neck pains by ensuring healthy sleep posture.
A Sleepy Future: 2035
Dr Ian Pearson, a world renowned futurologist looked at the sleeping products in Hospitality industry and has predicted some exciting development.
Dr Ian Pearson contends that the mattress of 2035 will look and feel superficially the same as today, but on closer look, he says, will be driven by a plethora of advanced technologies. Mattresses will be able to turn soft and supple or hard and firm depending upon the guest’s requirement which is sensed by the bedside monitors. This will be enabled by shape memory alloy springs and microtubules running through the foam. Electropolymers embedded in the mattress will be able to provide a good massage for the guest.
Dr Ian Pearson predicts that mattress covers, sheets, bed covers, pillowcases and sleep suits will be made from fabric that will change colour, have thermal properties and release gentle scents. Fabrics will be able to change colour by using pigments that change according to temperature or electrical fields. Fabrics will also release scents by picking up electrical properties of the skin that indicate emotional states such as stress and aid relaxation. Also, electro-responsive fabrics will be used to help de-tress sleepers so that they can obtain a good night’s sleep. The electro – responsive fabric will also be connected to an alarm for people who suffer from a medical condition – so that they can sleep safely knowing if their condition should worsen during the night they will be alerted and awoken from slumber.
Sheets could even incorporate optical fiber technology that would deliver infrared radiation treatment to the body as required.
By 2035 the pillow is where the action will be. A typical pillow will house a range of soft electronics which will provide the features where it can: Detect brain, REM and sleep activity; Create soothing sounds to help aid sleep; Provide a head and neck massage; Have a microphones to allow people to chat as they fall asleep; Have scalp electrodes to enable sharing dreams with partners and friends.