Nude sleepwalkers set off alarm for hotel chain October 26, 2007 - 10:36AM
Naked night-time wanderers often ask "Do you have a newspaper?".
Photo: Robert Peet
A surge in naked sleepwalking among guests has led one of Britain's largest budget hotel groups to re-train staff to handle late-night nudity.
Travelodge, which runs more than 300 business hotels in Britain, says sleepwalking rose seven-fold in the past year, and 95 per cent of the sleepwalkers are scantily clad men.
"We have seen an increased number of cases over the years, so it is important that our staff know how to help sleepwalking when it arises," Leigh McCarron, the chain's sleep director, said in a statement.
One tip in the company's newly released "sleepwalkers guide" tells staff to keep towels handy at the front desk in case a customer's dignity needs preserving.
The company said naked wanderers often ask receptionists such questions as "Where's the bathroom?", "Do you have a newspaper?" or "Can I check out, I'm late for work?"
Studies have found that sleepwalking can be brought on by stress, alcohol, eating cheese or consuming too much caffeine.
It generally takes effect an hour or two after going to bed, when people are first slipping into a deep sleep.
Asked today why she thought 95 per cent of its sleepwalkers were naked men, a Travelodge spokeswoman said: "We have more men staying with us than women, so that could be a factor."
The original Travelodge press release is - here.
Full marks to the hotel company for generating publicity and getting its name out there in an unusual manner.
The real reason why most guests sleep nude is that the rooms are too small (but clean and comfortable) or their heating is on too high.
There was a happy hour at work (after work) so I stayed for half an hour for a beer.