Today marks an annual celebration of the best eight hours of the day: World Sleep Day. A proper night’s sleep is proven to make people happier and healthier and can even help remedy a relationship that has gone south. Getting enough sleep can also be the key to a successful career. In fact, Arianna Huffington’s career as a co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post only started to kick off when she fought sleep deprivation and fit a proper quality sleep into her day.
In light of this, we’ve turned to some corners of the world that have truly mastered the art of slumber. Studies show that the French, British, Canadians, North Americans and the Dutch are among the nationalities that sleep the best.
And we’ve spoken to some of the hosts with the dreamiest of beds from these most rested of nations to find out how they do it.
Unique, Airy Four-Poster Bedroom, Aquitaine, France
According to host Liz, routines and taking time to recharge is very important to the French. Consistent meal times and long holidays contribute to an overall balanced lifestyle in the French culture. Liz and husband Graham’s peacefully located bed and breakfast in the hills of Aquitaine is made for a remote time out to recharge and…to sleep.
“The bed is very comfortable, the room is decorated in gentle colors, faces east and therefore gets the early sun. Everyone who has stayed with us loves the way the morning light floods into the room which gives it a special glow. In fact, some guests find it hard to get out of bed for breakfast, especially guests from Northern European countries which don’t get a lot of sunlight.”
Alexander Valley Lodge Valley View, Geyserville, California, US
Host Danielle takes care of her guests as a private concierge by planning wine tasting tours, making dinner reservations or arranging a babysitting service – so it doesn’t come as a surprise that she furnished the Alexander Valley Lodges with the country’s most comfortable four-poster beds.
“Americans seem to care very much about their bed and put a lot of money into the comfort of bedding and pads. This is why there are tempur-pedic pads on each of the beds for extra comfort because personally I love to have a really comfortable bed when I go anywhere. I also have shades in the rooms to make it darker if people want to sleep in. Guests who need a little extra help getting sleepy can help themselves to chamomile tea with honey in our cupboards at all times.”
Four-Poster Bed in a Stylish House, Portsmouth, England
Host Sarah’s guess on why Brits are true sleep experts is that “British Winters have a reputation for being rather gloomy (though I prefer to think of them as ‘cozy’) so time spent nestled in a comfy bed is often preferable to getting up in the dark or going out in the rain.”
Sarah has a variety of books and short stories guests can read on those gloomy winter days. And bedside lamps, scented candles, and soft linens make a perfect setting for a relaxed reading session in bed. Many guests tell Sarah that her bed is extra comfortable and one guest even blamed the bed for missing out on much of what the city had to offer as the bed was too comfortable to leave and explore.
Beaujolais Boutique B&B at Thea’s House, Alberta, Canada
For Albert, host of the boutique bed & breakfast Thea House in Banff, the secret to deep sleep is the Canadian fresh air, clean environment and abundance of outdoor activities. In the morning, guests wake up to “the best breakfast you could ask for”, as a happy guest recently reviewed. Albert surely knows that “when you are happy, you sleep better.”
1001-Nacht in Boshut, Schagerbrug, Netherlands
Working hard, the fresh Nordic breeze and the Dutch’s love for cycling are host Diana’s secret to why the Dutch are true sleeping experts. Normally, every guest sleeps extra well under the canopy in the bird house, except from one very young traveler. When his father asked him why he couldn’t sleep, he replied: “What if the birds come back to their house and want to sleep in their bed?”
According to a recent study, Brits get above average hours of sleep. Host Margaret is originally Irish but lives part of the year in London. She is keen to share some of her sleep tips for a good night’s sleep in her bed and breakfast in Nenagh, Ireland.
“Everyone loves the four-poster bed room and we have many repeat guests including brides and grooms who get married here and come back for their anniversaries. New memory foam mattresses, electric blankets for winter and a welcome afternoon tea on arrival are the secret recipe to guests’ happiness.”