Going on a vacation might seem like a rather unconventional way to try to improve your sleep habits.
But sleep tourism has been growing in popularity for a number of years, with an increasing amount of sleep-focused stays popping up in hotels and resorts across the world.
Interest has skyrocketed since the pandemic, with a number of high profile establishments focusing their attention on those suffering from sleep-deprivation.
Over the past 12 months, Park Hyatt New York has opened the Bryte Restorative Sleep Suite, a 900-square-foot suite filled with sleep-enhancing amenities, while Rosewood Hotels & Resorts recently launched a collection of retreats called the Alchemy of Sleep, which are designed to “promote rest.”
Zedwell, London’s first sleep-centric hotel, which features rooms equipped with innovative soundproofing, opened in early 2020, and Swedish bed manufacturer Hastens established the world’s first Hästens Sleep Spa Hotel, a 15-room boutique hotel, in the Portuguese city of Coimbra a year later.
So why has sleep suddenly become such a big focus for the travel industry?
Dr. Rebecca Robbins, a sleep researcher and co-author of the book “Sleep for Success!” believes this shift has been a long time coming, particularly with regards to hotels.
“When it comes down to it, travelers book hotels for a place to sleep,” she tells CNN Travel, before pointing out that the hotel industry has primarily been focused on things that actually detract from sleep in the past.
“People often associate travel with decadent meals, extending their bed times, the attractions and the things you do while you’re traveling, really almost at the cost of sleep,” she adds.
“Now, I think there’s just been a huge seismic shift in our collective awareness and prioritization on wellness and well being.”
The global pandemic appears to have played a huge part in this. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that 40% of the over 2,500 adults who took part reported a reduction in their sleep quality since the start of the pandemic.
“There has been heightened attention to sleep in the Covid-19 era, and likely, because so many people have struggled with this [sleep],” says Dr. Robbins.
Hypnotherapist, meditation and holistic coach Malminder Gill has also noticed a change in attitudes towards sleep.
“Everything seems to be moving towards longevity, and I think that has really fueled things,” Gill tells CNN Travel.
“Because it’s no great surprise that sleep is an important aspect of our lives. Lack of sleep can cause lots of different issues in the body, and for your mental health.
“So, anxiety, depression, low mood, mood swings — all sorts of things, on top of the tiredness.”
Gill has partnered with the Cadogan, a Belmond Hotel in London, to create a special service catered to guests with sleep issues called the Sleep Concierge.
The service includes a sleep-inducing meditation recording, a pillow menu with options that cater to guests who may prefer to sleep on their back or side, the option of a weighted blanket, a bedtime tea developed specifically for the service, and a scented pillow mist.
“Different things work for different people at different stages of their life,” Gill says of the different items offered within the service.
This is an excerpt from an article by Tamara Hardingham-Gill earlier published by CNN.