A surge in naked sleepwalking among guests has led one of Britain's largest budget hotel groups to retrain 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% of the somnambulants are scantily clad men.

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 why she thought 95% 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.'