Nearly half of business people dislike being away from family when travelling, survey claims

Disrupted sleep patterns among biggest problems for business travellers 

Gemma Francis
Thursday 14 March 2019 16:37 GMT
Four in five respondents said they had trouble sleeping when travelling away from home
Four in five respondents said they had trouble sleeping when travelling away from home

Being away from family, a lack of time to explore – and having to live out of a suitcase are among the worst things about travelling for work, according to a study.

A poll of 2,000 business globetrotters found more than two in five (42 per cent) disliked being away from home.

Struggling to eat healthily, having to work longer hours and missing out on family time were also among the disadvantages.

Others hated having to spend so long travelling to and from their destination and the disrupted sleep patterns which came with being away from home.

In fact, the study found the average business traveller loses an average of 45 minutes sleep each night while working away, getting just five hours and 13 minutes of shut-eye.

And four in five had trouble sleeping when travelling away from home.

The findings emerged in a study by hotel company IHG, which has launched a pilot scheme introducing circadian lighting to help improve sleep for guests while they are on the road.

Circadian lighting systems are designed to control the colour and intensity of the light at particular times to align with our daily cycle and assist with wellness and sleep.

Sleep expert Dave Gibson said: “Whether short or long-haul, long-stay or short-stay – travelling takes its toll on the body and mind.

“Of all the environmental drivers of sleep, including temperature, sound and food, light has the biggest single influence on our body clock.

“Simply, when we travel – this natural cycle is disrupted and it can lead us to becoming less productive – which is not ideal when we’re travelling for work.’’

The study also found being in a different environment was the biggest cause of a restless night’s sleep for those travelling away from home followed by unfamiliar noises and working late.

Jet lag, trying to nod off in a new bed and the temperature of the room were also to blame.

Almost two-thirds of those polled via OnePoll even stated they felt more tired when they were away from home.

To aid sleep, nearly half either tried listening to music or watching TV to try and fall asleep.

More than a third took sleeping tablets and nearly a quarter used Valerian root to get a good night’s sleep.

Brian McGuinness, IHG’s senior vice president of global guest experience said: “With so many travellers experiencing sleep disruptions when they’re on the road, we want to do everything possible to make sure our guests at IHG Hotels & Resorts have a restful sleep while staying with us.’’


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