Late night emails equate to double espresso before bed


coffee_beans5Sleep experts have cracked the mathematical formula for a good night’s sleep in a bid to halt the sleepless epidemic – and there’s bad news for email addicts.

According to the Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts’ research, checking emails before you go to bed has the equivalent effect on the body of drinking a double espresso.

And, in an increasingly demanding working world, Brits are losing one night’s sleep a week to this sleep-deprivation epidemic.

Fuelled by spiralling use of PDAs, mobiles, laptops and Blackberries, business travellers are potentially robbing themselves of a good night’s sleep by failing to switch off gadgets early enough before going to bed.

Light from a mobile phone or laptop is intense enough to halt production of sleep-enhancing melatonin and experts are warning workers to switch off at least an hour before light’s out.

To help guests enjoy a refreshing night’s sleep, Crowne Plaza has teamed up with top sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski, of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, who has trawled through existing research** to identify the top five factors for a good night’s sleep – and the five things most likely to keep us awake at night:

Sleep solutions

  • Quiet (Q)
  • Complete darkness (CD)
  • Cool temperature (CT)
  • Comfy and clean bed (CCB)
  • Daytime exercise (DE)

Sleep nightmares

  • Electronic device usage 1hr before bed (EDU1)
  • Late-night eating (LNE)
  • TV
  • Caffeine (C)
  • Alcohol (A)

And this is what the formula for the perfect night’s sleep looks like:


Dr Chris Idzikowski says: “Checking your work e-mails before bed on any electronic device is essentially the equivalent to drinking a double espresso last thing at night.  Research has shown that light from a laptop or Blackberry is concentrated enough to signal your brain to stop production of melatonin, a natural hormone known to aid sleep disturbances.  Being in a relaxed environment and incorporating essential wind-down time into your day is your best chance of securing a great night’s sleep – along with silence, darkness and comfort.”

Idzikowski continues: “Work-related stress is one of the major factors when it comes to sleeping at night with the average Brit suffering 55 nights of poor quality sleep a year.* It’s even more important when away on business that you avoid heavy use of word-related electronic equipment at least one hour before bed to avoid having the next day’s meeting racing through your head until the early hours.”

Speaking of the formula, William Morris, IHG’s SVP Sales & Marketing EMEA, explained: “The temptation to check emails late at night is potentially jeopardising business travellers’ chances of securing a good night’s sleep, something Crowne Plaza is committed to ensuring guests enjoy when they stay with us to enable them to be as productive as possible in their everyday lives.  Given the increasing expectations placed on business travellers’ time and changes to traditional working patterns, we were keen to look into the factors behind why some guests may have problems sleeping and identify a remedy which acknowledged these pressures while helping resolve the issue.

“In doing so”, Morris continued, “we have identified that, whilst our rooms do promote healthy sleep, it might actually be our guests who inadvertently miss out on a quality overnight experience through increased work commitments.  We would therefore encourage guests to observe our golden rules if they want a great refreshing sleep and be sure to switch off – both mentally and technologically – before turning in for the evening.  This should help them be even more productive in their working day.”

Crowne Plaza rooms all feature full black-out blinds or shutters, temperature control and sound-insulated rooms. Guests can also set the lighting to allow them to begin mentally unwinding from work the moment they set foot inside.  All hotels further benefit from extensive leisure facilities and first-class restaurants to help those with busy working lives relax in a comfortable environment and promote a peaceful night’s sleep as outlined in the formula above.

“Guests at Crowne Plaza hotels have everything they need for a great night’s sleep – we’re just saying to them, ‘switch-off and relax’,” said William Morris.
The formula has been developed by accessing key articles from the U.S National Library of Medicine database – Limiting to 19-64 year old adults 34,605 articles (worldwide) and internet research around sleep issues

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is one of the world’s largest hotel groups by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 3,800 hotels and more than 571,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. IHG owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo®, and also manages the world’s largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with over 37 million members worldwide.

IHG’s portfolio within the UAE numbered 12 properties as of 30 September 2008, comprising three InterContinental, three Crowne Plaza, three Holiday Inn and three Express by Holiday Inn hotels

The company pioneered the travel industry’s first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The IHEI formed the foundations of the Tourism Partnership launched by the International Business Leaders Forum in 2004, of which IHG is still a member today. The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG’s global corporate responsibility focus.

IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at  For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at


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