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Press releases

Travelodge Dips into Aquatics to Solve the Nation's Sleep Crisis

16th May 2007


In a bid to offer its customers a better night's sleep, budget hotel chain, Travelodge, has today launched the UK's first goldfish hire service. The trial responds to a recent sleep study conducted for the hotel company which stated that 63% of the nation is sleep deprived due to stress and 58% claimed watching goldfish could be the answer.


Customers at Leeds Vicar Lane and Birmingham Fort Dunlop Travelodge hotels, will be able to request a 'fish therapy' room at time of check-in for no extra cost. Customers are encouraged to follow the hotel's guide to relaxation before bedtime and to watch the goldfish for 15 minutes to aid de-stressing.


Wayne Munnelly, Director of Sleep at Travelodge said: " We are always looking at ways to get our customers a better night's sleep and watching goldfish is proving to be a popular choice".


Research studies over the last three decades have identified that watching fish has a calming affect on the human mind. It helps to reduce stress levels, tackle insomnia and treat a range of health issues such as high blood pressure. In a separate Travelodge study of 2,000 UK consumers, two thirds of respondents said that they associated an aquarium with tranquillity and serenity. A third believed watching fish swim creates serenity and the Goldfish was voted Britains top favourite pet fish.

Travelodge has sought the help and advice of Britain's leading animal psychologist Dr Roger Mugford and sleep expert Chris Idzikowski from Edinburgh Sleep Centre to develop its Goldfish Service and sleep guide.

Dr Mugford said: "It's a well known fact, that watching fish can have a positive impact on human emotions - especially when feeling tense. This is why you often see aquariums in dentists' and doctors' surgeries. Travelodge's new service is a great example of how one sector can learn from another. Many hotel customers check in after a stressful day or before a big event the following day. There is no doubt that this service can have a calming affect, inducing sleep and reducing anxiety."

Chris Idzikowski, sleep expert from Edinburgh Sleep Centre said: "There is some evidence that gazing at fish reduces stress. Stress causes difficulties in achieving a quality night's sleep so if you have the space, time and would like to try a novel stress reduction technique, consider keeping fish. You would need to watch the fish every evening for at least 15 minutes prior to sleep".

Listed below are five tips from the "De-Stress Fact Sheet to help you relax":

Make a list of all the tasks you need to tackle the following day or / and write down your worries

Try some gentle exercise such as yoga to relax your body and meditation for your mind

Take a warm bath

Watch the Goldfish swimming for at least 15 minutes

Use 'Trigger Pictures' to relax you - Try to conjure mental images of a favourite or fantasy place or moment - such as a great party, event or idyllic holiday spot - as a way of triggering feelings of relaxation and well- being.

Hotel Managers and selected members of staff at each hotel will take full responsibility regarding the welfare of their goldfish. They have all been self -trained by the RSPCA guide to looking after goldfish and Dr Roger Mugford will be on hand if they have any queries regarding the welfare of their fish.

--ends--

For further information, please contact:

Shakila Ahmed

PR Manager

Direct Line: 01844 35 8638

Notes to editor:

High resolution images available on request
Research conducted by Onepole in April with 2000 UK adults.
The goldfish therapy service will initially being trialled at Leeds Vicar Lane and Birmingham Fort Dunlop Travelodge.
Fish Therapy rooms are subject to availability -available on a first come basics
ˇHotel Managers and designated staff at each hotel will take full responsibility regarding the welfare of their goldfish

ˇHotels have been given a RSPCA guide on looking after goldfish

ˇGuests staying in a goldfish room will be given a fact sheet regarding the welfare of the fish and tips to get a good night sleep.

ˇThe Biorb goldfish bowl aquarium is manufactured from Plexiglas acrylic and provides fish with approximately 10 times more space than a traditional goldfish bowl. The bowl is 400mm in diameter, with the base approx. 200mm.

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