The Crowne Plaza hotel in Leeds is exclusively trialling seasonal check-out times – giving guests four extra hours in bed – after research discovered almost three quarters of its customers find it harder to wake up in the winter.
The winter check-out times are being introduced as part of Crowne Plaza’s Sleep Advantage programme, which offers guests an aromatherapy kit and designated Quiet Zone floors to make sure guests get a good night’s sleep.
Out of 2,000 guests surveyed by the hotel chain, two thirds (67%) said they wished they could stay in bed longer during winter, a figure that jumped to three quarters of guests (72%) at Crowne Plaza in Leeds.
The findings prompted the company to take the results to sleep expert, Dr Chris Idzikowski, who confirmed that humans find it harder to wake up in winter. However, he said it is not winter depression, seasonal affective disorder, the cold, or any other syndrome that makes it harder for humans to wake up in the winter, but something much simpler – the absence of light!
Dr Idzikowski, a world-renowned expert on sleep, said: “The stats are right, it is harder for humans to wake up in the winter. It's a lack of light, not the cold, which makes it harder for us to wake up on winter mornings.
"People feel like they want more sleep in the winter because the dawn light that kick starts their body clock into waking up doesn't appear until much later in the morning."
On the shortest days of the year in the UK, in December and January, the sun doesn't rise until 8:05am, almost three and a half hours later than it does in summer.
Dr Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, which treats people with sleep disorders, added: "The presence of light is 70-80% responsible for waking us up in the morning. Even when you're lying in bed with your eyes shut your eyelids will transmit about 20% of light through to the retina.
"If you want to feel more like waking up in the winter you need to have some kind of light source to start your body clock. Setting a lamp on a timer to turn on in your bedroom can help you simulate a morning light and make you feel more like wanting to wake up in the winter.”
Following the survey Crowne Plaza Leeds will be the first hotel in the group to trial later check-out times with a view to rolling it out across the rest of the group.
General Manager at the Crowne Plaza Leeds hotel, Matt Byram, said: “We commissioned this research because getting a great night’s sleep is incredibly important to our guests and we wanted to understand how their needs differ throughout the year. The results show that guests in Leeds need more time in bed so we’re excited to be pioneering this for the brand.
"The results show people need extra special attention in winter and this lie-in trial, coupled with our Sleep Advantage programme – which includes special holistic sleep packs and designated quiet zones, should ensure our guests are ready for any challenge the next day despite the gloomy weather.”
A special one night dinner, bed and breakfast stay for two at CP Leeds - including the 16:00 late Sunday check out – is available from £105.
For more information or to book visit www.cpleedshotel.co.uk/latecheckout