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The secrets of sleep.

When all is said and done, in the hotel and lodging industry what we actually sell is "sleep". In our quest to be great at what we do, at CIRCA we have created our Sleep Tips, which our guests will find in the compendium of all of our hotel suites.

Over the years, hundreds of our guests have commented and many have asked for a copy, which has been provided with joy. We even had the General Manager of one of the leading hotels in Asia ask for a copy so that they could adapt and place into their hotel rooms. We were flattered: and yes, we did give it to her.

Secret of sleep

It took a significant amount of research to compile this list ourselves from multiple sources. So please read it, even if you are not having trouble sleeping. You will be surprised at what sort of things will assist your sleep, and the resulting tranquil nights that follow.

There's only one thing better than putting these tips into practice in your own bed at home, putting them into practice at a CIRCA Hotel.😁


CIRCA Sleep Tips

Herbal Tea

Settling down with a mug of non-caffeinated tea can help you relax before bedtime. Up the sleep-inducing power by opting for herbs that have their own relaxing properties, like chamomile, mint, and valerian. Sipping 12 ounces of passionflower tea each evening can double your ability to drift off without a struggle, say European researchers. “This herb is a natural muscle relaxant and sedative, plus it increases your brain’s production of serotonin -- a hormone that calms a racing mind and relieves insomnia-triggering anxiety,” says Hyla Cass, M.D. Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey. Circa Solution: Choose one of our herbal teas from the Night Cap Menu

Eat an Earlier, Lighter Dinner

Eating a heavy, greasy, and late dinner can cause discomfort when you're trying to go to sleep, so go with an earlier, or lighter dinner to ensure your digestive system isn't causing you to stay awake. People with heartburn are 50 percent more likely to wake up repeatedly during the night, according to a British study. Since their night time reflux was so mild that it wasn’t causing a strong burning sensation, they had no idea stomach acid was the culprit for insomnia. According to UCLA research, you can cut your risk of sleep- sabotaging heartburn by at least 32 percent if you spend a half hour enjoying your dinner, instead of polishing it off in less than 10 minutes. “Slow, leisurely eating really is better for your digestion, and it’s better for your sleep, too!” says Patricia Raymond, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Circa Solution: Perhaps our evening Club Lounge selection is sufficient for a light dinner.

Have Your Nightcap Early (and Pair it with Orange Juice)

There’s no question a drink before bed can help you drift off a little faster -- study after study shows that alcohol is a powerful nervous system relaxant. But there’s a catch, and it’s a biggie: The body breaks down alcohol into waste products that are caffeine-like stimulants, which can trigger a surge in your heart rate and brain wave activity. “That means a nightcap may put you to sleep, but two hours later you’ll be jolted awake and you’ll have no idea why,” says Joyce Walsleben, Ph.D., research associate professor at the New York University School of Medicine. Fortunately, you don’t need to give up alcohol entirely, just sip your evening drink several hours before lights-out and pair it with a little orange juice. Tufts University researchers say OJ’s fructose will get rid of those caffeine-like stimulants 20 percent faster. Circa Solution: Ask for a freshly squeezed orange juice with your Night Cap Menu selection.

Hide Your Alarm Clock

It’s hard to believe that something so simple could have a big impact on sleep, yet turning the electric alarm clock away from the bed helped one in three people stay asleep through the night within 48 hours! “It’s completely normal to wake up slightly, but then quickly drift off several times every night. It’s part of a healthy sleep cycle and something that you don’t normally even realize is happening,” says J. Brevard Haynes, M.D., a pulmonologist at the Center for Sleep in Nashville, Tenn. “But reading the time on a clock sends a jarring wake-up call to your brain, leaving you wide awake and wondering how you’ll get back to sleep.” Go Dark - electronics, street lamps and adjoining room lights - all of these can prevent deep sleep. Turn off your TV before you drift off to sleep, get blackout curtains to keep outside light away, and cover anything else that's contributing to light pollution in your bedroom. Circa Solution: You will notice Circa alarm clocks only light up when lifted.

Switch to Red Light Bulbs

Computers, TVs, fluorescent lights and even iPads give off a bluish wavelength of light that energizes your brain, squashing its production of sleep-inducing melatonin, according to UCLA researchers. “Turn off these troublemakers 30 minutes before bedtime and you could cut your risk of restless sleep in half within one week,” says Walsleben. And if you often get up at night to adjust the temperature, use the bathroom or check on kids, use a nightlight with a red Christmas tree bulb. According to New York University researchers, red is the color of light least likely to dampen melatonin production and sabotage your nightly slumber. Circa Solution: We have red nightlights available should you require them.

Use a New Pillowcase, and a New Scent

Seventy-five percent of people sleep more soundly when they curl up in fresh-smelling, just-laundered sheets, according to a National Sleep Foundation study. The feel of a fresh new pillowcase combined with the faint aroma of lavender boosts the production of sleep-inducing alpha brain waves, making people feel relaxed and groggy within minutes, says neurologist Alan Hirsch, M.D., of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. Circa Solution: We “spritz” your pillows and linen each evening at turndown with your preferred floral linen water.

Keep Two Lists

First, make a habit of writing down your day’s goals each morning - then cross them off as you accomplish them. Being aware of how much you actually get done each day eases nighttime anxiety, and that helps at least one in five people sleep more soundly, say Yale researchers. Keep a notepad and pen beside your bed so on nights when you’re bug-eyed, spend 10 minutes quickly scribbling down all of your worries and troubles. It sounds like a real sleep-stealer, yet this brief bout of bedtime venting helps you fall asleep 30 percent faster, say UCLA researchers. Turns out getting what’s troubling you down on paper kick-starts production of dopamine, a calming hormone that dials down feelings of stress, edginess and restlessness. Circa Solution: You will notice the pad and pen placed beside your bed at turndown.

Wear Sunglasses After 4 pm

If it’s sunny and you’re heading out to do errands after 4 p.m., wearing your sunglasses could increase your bedtime sleepiness by 20 percent or more, according to research at the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health. Reducing your light exposure as the day wanes prods your brain to fire up its production of melatonin, the hormone that’s essential for deep, restorative sleep, the study authors say. Equally important: Keep your shades off if you’re heading outside early in the a.m. “A brief morning blast of sunlight resets your brain’s biological clock, making you feel more energetic during the day, and more sleepy at night,” says Michael Smolensky, Ph.D." Circa Solution: If you’ve left home without yours, we have a selection of cool shades that you can borrow at reception.

Time Your Minerals

Taking 400 to 500 milligrams of calcium (and the same amount of magnesium) half an hour before lights-out helps you fall asleep more easily and wake up more refreshed, say Stanford University researchers. “These essential minerals lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax tight muscles, soothe jangled nerves and increase the amount of time you spend in the most restorative, slow-wave stage of sleep,” explains James F. Balch, M.D., co-author of Prescription for Natural Cures. Circa Solution: We have both minerals available, just ask.

Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Sleeping in on the weekends can make it that much harder to feel well-rested during the week, so stop the Sunday morning lie-ins and stick to your normal wake-up time. You'll have an easier time getting to sleep and won't feel as groggy the next morning. Circa Solution: Don’t be tempted; ask for a weekend wake-up call.

Eat Sleep-Inducing Foods

A night time snack of Greek yoghurt drizzled with honey may just help you get a better night's rest: both honey and dairy contain compounds that may induce sleep. Circa Solution: Select one of our special “sleepy food” items from our Night Cap Menu.

Stretch Before Bed

Stretching your limbs relieves aches, but it can also calm you and prep you for sleep.

Circa Solution: Check out the “Circa Stretch” card in your room for a few ideas for stretching before bed so you can begin the relaxation process.

Don't Nap

Even if restless sleep makes you want to nap during the day, don't. That nap may be just what's keeping you from catching nightly Z's. Instead, take a walk or get some fresh air to re-energize until its bedtime.

Circa Solution: Take the opportunity to follow one of our walking trails and discover the amazing local sites. Maps are available from reception.

Read a Book

Set aside a few minutes each night to meander your way through a favorite book to help power down from a hectic day. Circa Solution: Choose from over 500 books in our library and feel free to take it home with you if you don’t finish it.

Take a Warm Bath or Shower

A warm bath or shower can soothe your muscles; it's also great if you're suffering from a cold or allergies, since the hot steam can help open up your sinuses to help you breathe better while you sleep. Circa Solution: Choose from our selection of bath salts and run a bath, or we can do it for you.

Stay Active

Exercise isn't the only way to expend energy; being active throughout the day, whether it's running errands or talking on the phone while you take a walk; helps ensure that you're sleepy when your head hits the pillow. Circa Solution: Look for the most distant parking spot, not the closest.

Use an App

Smartphone apps can help you sleep by guiding meditation, creating white noise, or tracking your sleep habits. The right meditation style clears your mind allowing you to drift off to sleep. Circa Solution: We are able to suggest several Smartphone apps – ask for a demonstration

Try a Natural Supplement

Many people swear by the supplements melatonin and valerian for helping you get sleep naturally.

Circa Solution: Valerian and other herbs are contained in our Night Cap Menu herbal tea selections.

Have an Exercise Routine

Expend your energy for the day with exercise, and you'll be ready to drift off to sleep as soon as you hit the hay. Make an exercise plan so you stick with your fitness goals and sleep better in the process.

Circa Solution: Our walking trail map is available at reception.


Constant worrying keeps you up at night, so learn to take time out to de-stress - both during the day and before bed - to clear your mind. Circa Solution: Book a relaxation massage at The Spa.

Stop the Afternoon Coffee Break

Caffeine affects people differently, but if you're finding that tossing and turning correlates to your afternoon coffee run, now's the time to switch. If you're looking for ways to re-energize in the afternoon, take a walk, gulp water, or trade your coffee for a herbal tea or a decaffeinated coffee. Circa Solution: Enjoy your complimentary herbal afternoon tea at The Lounge.

Do Yoga

Besides the stress-releasing stretch you'll give your body, yoga helps you relax your mind, as well.

Circa Solution: See the yoga books in our library.

Find the Right Temperature

Did you know that the best temperature for helping you get proper sleep is between 18-22 degrees Celsius? Circa Solution: Our heating and cooling systems can be set to suit.

Try Aromatherapy

Lavender and tea tree oil are two popular soothing scents that with just a few drops on your sheets will assist you drift off. Circa Solution: We use both lavender and tea tree oils in your room at turn down.

Make a Routine

Taking time to wind down in the night can help you prep your body and mind for a good night's sleep. Pick a few items from this list to make a pre-bedtime ritual; whether it be putting on your PJ’s or something else, make it a routine so you get used to the idea of "winding down." Circa Solution: Purchase a pair of our unique Circa PJ’s from our retail shop.

Circa Outcome: Happy dreams!!

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