Lavender Balm Amenity provided by Westin guests. Picture: Brianne Passano.

Dump the misconception that travelling for business is fun and glamourous; in fact, according to frequent travellers it’s the complete opposite. Switching between time zones messes with your routine, as well as your diet and more often than none proves to be a sleep deprivation nightmare.

Dr Darren Green, Multimedia medical doctor and Neurowellness Corporate speaker, says that good quality sleep has finally taken its rightful place on the health throne as current evidence shows that this is one of the most powerful wellness interventions of the modern era.

And as the globe observes World Sleep Day today (March 16),an annual event that aims to shine the spotlight on the importance of sleep, Dr Green says getting enough sleep every night is crucial to operate optimally, whether travelling for business or not. He says on average, the body needs to get in about 7-9 hours of sleep a night in order to feel well-rested the next day. And since a proper sleep cycle is 90-minutes long, the body needs around 4-5 sleep cycles a night to make up that 7-9 hour sleep ratio. 

Leon Meyer, General Manager at the Westin Cape Town,says the hotel is well-geared for the businesstraveller. He says good sleep is critical for both mental and physical health and that is why the Westin has created an assortment of products and programmes to ensure that every guest has a sound night’s sleep to prepare for the day ahead.

With the hotel provides an award-winning Heavenly® Bed, calming Sleep Well Lavender Balm Amenity, and a special menu packed with sleep-enhancing superfoods to ensure guests get their rest.


Dr Green shares a few tips on how best to adapt while travelling and offers a few sleep solutions specific to the business traveller.

 Grab your goodies

If it makes life easy at home remember to pack those practical living elements for the trip:

●        Chronic medication

●        Antihistamines

●        Nasal and throat spray

●        Asthma pump

Plan, plan, plan

Planning for bed is as important as planning for a meeting or a day at the office. Always ensure all sleep elements are in place before bed to ensure maximum comfort and ease:

●        Eat a healthy, small, well-balanced meal three hours before bed

●        Set alarm on the multiples of 1.5 hour segments – it helps body to wake-up and adjust to the new day.

●        Make use of eye masks if outside light is the problem

●        Set the room air conditioner to a medium temperature – not too hot or too cold

Sleep soundly rituals

Sleep rituals go hand-in-hand with before-bed planning, but these are especially important. Dr Green says before-bed traditions are instrumental to help you relax and wind-down, which helps with a good night’s rest. He suggests the following:

●        A cup of chamomile tea

●        A few drops of lavender oil on the pillow

Sleep stuff matters

The sleep utensils definitely contribute positively to a restful night’s sleep. Dr Green advises to never underestimate the power of:

●        The pillow – it supports the neck and shoulder muscles

●        The bed – it ensures maximum comfort and allows for a peaceful night’s rest

●        Pyjamas and bed linen – the materials matter, nylon irritates the skin, cotton is best