Did you know that your hotel room has the potential to make you sick? “Hotel rooms can be a hotbed for germs, and the lighting and poor circulation in some make for an unhealthy environment,” said Deepak Chopra, a doctor who specializes in alternative medicine and an author who is also on the advisory board of Delos, a wellness real estate firm that is focused on creating healthier indoor environments.
But no matter where you hang your hat for the night, Dr. Chopra said it was possible to make your stay healthier.
Here, he offers his advice on how:
REDUCE CONTACT WITH GERMS
Bedspreads are notorious for holding germs, which is why many hotels use duvets with removable covers that are easy to launder. If your property doesn’t have duvets, request upon check-in that your bedspread be laundered. You can also reduce your exposure to germs by using antibacterial wipes to wipe down commonly used objects, such as television remotes, doorknobs and telephones.
IMPROVE AIR CIRCULATION
Paint, furniture and cleaning products degrade the quality of the air inside because they are often made with toxic materials such as formaldehyde. And poor indoor air quality can cause headaches and fatigue. If weather permits, Dr. Chopra said, opening a window in your hotel room to allow for circulation can improve air quality. Or, choose a hotel that uses nontoxic cleaning products — the property’s reservations desk should be able to tell you if that’s the case.
USE A DAWN SIMULATING ALARM CLOCK
While the hotel’s alarm clock will wake you, Dr. Chopra said that waking to sudden loud noise was a stressful way to begin your day. He suggested traveling with a dawn-simulating alarm clock, which gradually transitions your room from a dim glow to full brightness and helps you wake up more naturally. “You can buy one of these alarm clocks for less than $30, and they are big in improving sleep quality,” he said.