USA Today reported how hotels are working to help guests fall asleep. The Westin Hotel, New York offers sleep masks, aromatherapy oils and a mattress that adjust to different body zones. The Hard Rock Hotel, Chicago has a Sandman Sleep Menu with amenities such as a sound machine, ear plugs and eye mask. The Westin, New York at Times Square offers “Rest Well Calls.” Guest get a call at night advising them to go to sleep and another one seven to eight hours later.

I think signing up for “Rest Well Calls” is like traveling with your mother. On vacation our mother told us when to go to bed. In the morning she woke us by drawing back the shades to let the sunlight in. She had us up and running bright and early because in her words, “We didn’t want to waste time on vacation sleeping.” This was shocking news to us because we most certainly did want to sleep.

I’ve stayed at hotels where the hotel itself is the reason I can’t sleep. I’ve stayed in hotel rooms too close to the elevator and utility closet that the noise interrupted my sleep. I’ve learned when checking into a hotel to request a room as far away as possible from both. I stayed at a hotel filled with college kids on spring break. Their nighttime entertainment kept me up all night. They were kids on vacation without a bedtime or a mother.

As a kid you always want to stay up past your bedtime. On the nights my mother worked late I would stay up watching Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. When I heard her car pull up in the driveway I would shut the television, run into my room and jump into bed. Lucky for me she never felt the television; if she did she never let on.

I no longer have my mother to enforce bedtime and wake me up in the morning, but I’ve got a replacement – my neighbor’s dog. Every single morning, bright and early, rain or shine this dog greets the day by waking up the neighbors. I don’t need an alarm clock. This dog and my mother would get along beautifully.


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