A call for us all to switch off at 7pm

Crowne Plaza launches the alternative wake up call

April 28, 2010 // Franchising.com // Businesspeople can claw back 482* hours of wind down time, thanks to a new service from Crowne Plaza - the switch off at 7pm call. Selected hotels across Europe, Middle East and Africa have introduced the service in response to new research revealing that 60 per cent of professionals struggle to switch off their technology and wind down before they go to sleep.

With nearly a quarter of people saying they use work-related technology such as laptops, PDAs and mobiles immediately before bed, and almost a third not feeling relaxed before bed as a result, the new switch off at 7 call is designed to help guests at Crowne Plaza hotels get a better night's sleep. Guests requesting the service will receive a call to their room reminding them to turn off their technology at 7pm, the time that 60 per cent of people identified as the best time to stop working.

The research, commissioned by Crowne Plaza across Europe and the Middle East, reveals that Brits are the worst culprits at not switching off. More than a quarter (27 per cent) take gadgets to bed, in comparison to a more disciplined eight per cent in the Netherlands. This might explain why 90 per cent of Dutch people claim to be completely relaxed before bed versus just 75 per cent across the UK, Germany and Belgium.

For one in four people, the reason for using technology outside of working hours is because they feel under pressure to check emails or respond to work related calls once they have left the office. Yet, one in four Brits are often woken by incoming calls and texts in the middle of the night with one in ten responding whatever the hour.

Sleep expert and psychologist Dr Chris Idzikowski explains: "While technology is sometimes hard to live without, it can become our worst enemy when it comes to sleep. Keeping gadgets switched on around you throughout the night will not only be a physical disturbance but a constant reminder of work that needs to be done. Checking emails just before bed halts the production of sleep enhancing melatonin and has the same effect as drinking a double espresso. So it's important to allow a good couple of hours to switch off from anything that can over-stimulate the mind before going to sleep."

Karin Sheppard, spokesperson for Crowne Plaza said: "A lot of our guests are business travellers who often check their mobile phones or emails right up until their head hits the pillow. This can lead to sleepless nights with them tossing and turning because they're thinking about work. We understand that a great night's sleep is vital in helping our guests be at their best the next day and our switch off at 7 call is one way we can encourage them to down tools and unwind before they climb into bed. We've just introduced our new SleepAdvantage programme which has been created to give our guests the best night's sleep possible when staying at our hotels."

The SleepAdvantage programme will be introduced at 92 Crowne Plaza hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa including 24 across the UK and Ireland by the end of 2010. It will offer guests luxurious bedding, dedicated quiet zones, a guaranteed wake-up call or your money back, and ThisWorks aromatherapy sleep kits that have been created exclusively for Crowne Plaza hotels. Crowne Plaza is the only hotel group to offer guests a guaranteed wake-up call or a full refund on their stay.

Notes to Editors:

*Based on a finding that the average person works 2 hours over their contracted hours each day. Taking 20 days holiday and weekends into consideration this has been calculated based on there being 241 working days in the year.

The research was carried out on behalf of Crowne Plaza by Lightspeed Research. 4,750 professionals were questioned across the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 4,400 hotels and more than 645,000 guest rooms in over 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with 48 million members worldwide.

IHG has nearly 1,400 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 160,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

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