NATALIA Cooper knows better than most the importance of getting a good night’s sleep while travelling.
For most of us a sleepless night in a hotel room results in a late breakfast, or an afternoon snooze below a beachside palm tree, but for the Today team member it means presenting the weather while rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“My job takes me around Australia and the world and means I sleep in a different bed almost every night of the week,’’ she says.
“We stay in hotels, motels, caravan parks and even dongas and I never know when there will be night roadworks or noisy guests in neighbouring rooms, and whether I’m travelling for work or on a holiday it’s important to get good shut-eye and wake up feeling as fresh as possible.’’
Create the right environment
The first thing Natalia does in the place she’s spending the night is create a “sleeping sanctuary’’.
“I unplug any bright alarm clocks in the room, take soft earplugs everywhere I go and use them every night as they minimise the noise, and a silk sleeping eye mask also helps block out extra light,’’ she says.
“I also recommend trying to fit in some exercise after arriving at a new location, even if it’s just a light walk as that helps burn off extra energy or stress, and half an hour before bed I put the phone down and read a book to unwind.’’
Turn off the technology
Technology is the enemy of a good night’s sleep and a recent study conducted by Westin Hotels & Resorts reveals 65 per cent of people “sleep fewer hours while on the road’’ with many postponing shut-eye to stay online longer.
To combat the hypnotic lure of smartphones, tablets and laptops Westin has tweaked its Sleep Well offering to bookend the traditional wake-up call with a bedtime reminder that prompts guests to power down and snuggle in.
“The use of technology right before bed can stimulate the nervous system, interrupting a good night’s sleep, and to help combat this Westin launched the ‘bedtime call’ service,’’ Marriott International’s Australia area vice president Sean Hunt says.
“This gives guests the option to schedule a gentle reminder for when they should power down and prepare for bed, and the call is scheduled based on when the guest needs to wake up.
“From a room design perspective guests staying at a Westin hotel or resort can expect the Heavenly Bed for maximum comfort, as well as lavender balm you can rub into your pulse points to help you relax, and blackout curtains provide the perfect atmosphere for sleep.’’
Keeping it natural
Natalia also swears by a few natural remedies when it comes to slumber with her bedtime routine including a cup of camomile tea.
“I take magnesium supplements every night, as they are great for relaxing the muscles, just make sure they’re not the ones with vitamin B as that might keep you awake,’’ she says.
“I also use a great natural room spray called Sweet Dreams by Perfect Potions which contains lavender, orange oil and chamomile and smells divine.’’