A good night’s rest is all in your head

Marketplace Staff Dec 4, 2007
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A good night’s rest is all in your head

Marketplace Staff Dec 4, 2007
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Scott Jagow: I’d say sleep is the bane of my existence.
Probably for most people who work in the middle of the night. The stats suggest 50 to 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping.

There’s a hotel in New York City hotel that’s hoping to put some of these troubles to rest.
We asked Jaime Bedrin to check it out.


Jaime Bedrin: Forget about the fancy chocolates on your pillow. At New York City’s Benjamin Hotel, it’s all about the pillow itself.

Bedrin: Hi, yes. If we could go ahead and order a foam pillow for room 512 and have it sent up right away? Thank you so much.

At The Benjamin Hotel, guests can choose from more than a dozen pillows.

Anya Orlansaka: The most popular is the “Swedish Memory.” That was the pillow designed by Nasa. Also, the down pillow is really popular. We also have a music pillow, which you can simply connect it to your iPod and you can listen to your music. The speaker is inside the pillow, so you don’t hear the music directly into your ear.

That was Anya Orlansaka, The Benjamin Hotel’s sleep concierge. She’s charged with making sure clients sleep peacefully. The hotel guarantees it — or your money back.

Industry experts say the bedding boom took off in 1999, when the high-end Westin Hotel introduced its “Heavenly” bed.

At The Benjamin, Orlanska e-mails guests before they arrive to find out their pillow preference. She says the “Buckwheat” — filled with buckwheat hulls — is popular, so is the “Satin Beauty,” which keeps hair coiffed overnight. There’s also one for snorers.

Orlansaka: We have a guest that actually, she purchased the pillow because her husband apparently stopped snoring the moment he started using the pillow. And she swears that the pillow helps him.

Most of the hotel’s pillows are available online.

It’s hard to say whether a pillow could actually cure someone of insomnia, or snoring. But sleep doctors, like Charles Kimmelman with Cornell University, say they can’t hurt.

Charles Kimmelman: Throughout human existence, we didn’t have pillows. OK? So, do we need pillows? No. But they are something of a comfort.

Kimmelman says the pillow is a symbol of going to sleep, and often that’s enough to help a restless sleeper catch some quality shut-eye.

But if the Benjamin’s pillows and luxury sheets aren’t enough to help you sack out, the hotel — where rooms start at more than $300 a night — also offers soothing in-room massages and bedtime snacks for an extra charge.

For Marketplace, I’m Jaime Bedrin in New York.

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