By JD Velilla, director of emerging technology, Serta Simmons Bedding
I am a self-proclaimed sleep snob. In the last few years, I transformed the bedroom of my house into a dedicated recovery room. The only technology allowed? Those items that promote transformative sleep—sound machines on each side of the bed that envelope it in white noise to block out all other sleep disturbing sound; lighting that self-adjusts from calming, dim light prior to sleep to lights that mimic daylight and slowly illuminate at dawn to rouse me from sleep. I wake up every morning, refreshed and ready to take on the day. No alarm required.
When I travel, it’s a whole different ball game. Given the time and detail I’ve invested in creating the ultimate sleep experience, this isn’t really a surprise. However, it does pose very real challenges for me that can be frustrating—and of course, others. As I see it, it also affords a real opportunity for hotels to step up their game to elevate the quality of the guest sleep experience they deliver. At a time when guest satisfaction—or not—can immediately trigger reviews, it’s certainly should be a defining priority for many.
Creating a Recovery Room
Guest wellness continues to be a hot trend in the hospitality industry—and sleep plays a big role in that equation. Certainly, given the number of factors outside of a hotel’s control, designing a guestroom that rivals a home bedroom is a challenging proposition. However, there are a number of details—many fairly cost effective—that could go a long way to ensuring guests have a restful, comfortable night’s sleep when they are away from home. Here’s a few ideas:
The bed remains the heart of the guestroom and a key investment toward achieving your guest sleep experience goals. Hospitality sleep solutions are different by design because they have to be. They have to stand up to years of guest use—and abuse. At Serta Simmons Bedding, our sleep technologies leverage the latest innovative technology and components and are designed to be commercial-grade, so they provide reliable performance and durability. They also include exceptional warranties and are backed by responsive customer service to minimize business disruptions.
The effects of too much screen time on sleep are well documented. And while that’s not something a hotel can hope to impact, they can look at creating smart room solutions that improve the guest experience. For example, sensor-based technology can be used to immediately dim lights when a guest uses their keycard to access their room, establishing a calming, tranquil environment. The same system can also light a guest’s way in the dark to the bathroom and simulate sunrise in the morning to allow him or her to awaken refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Connected sleep and all its potential benefits is certainly on the horizon and squarely in our sights as an industry leading sleep solutions company. 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, your sleep environment, whether 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. A connected sleep system could track not only how you sleep, but also your heart rate and potentially other biomarkers, all while remaining hidden (no device to wear).
The sensor technology exists now for hotels to create a truly personalized, innovative guest sleep experience. Are you ready to take yours to the next level?