Why sleep tourism is booming

(CNN) – Going on vacation may seem like an unconventional way to try to improve your sleep habits.

But sleep tourism has been growing in popularity for several years, with an increasing number of sleep-focused stays popping up in hotels and resorts around the world.

Interest has soared since the pandemic, with a number of high-profile establishments turning their attention to 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 Alchemy of Sleep, which are designed to “promote rest”.
Zedwell, London’s first sleep-focused hotel, featuring rooms equipped with innovative soundproofing, opened its doors 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. year later

Pandemic impact

The Bryte Restorative Sleep Suite, packed with sleep-enhancing amenities, debuted at the Park Hyatt New York in January.

The Bryte Restorative Sleep Suite, packed with sleep-enhancing amenities, debuted at the Park Hyatt New York in January.

Park Hyatt New York

So why has the dream suddenly become such an important focus for the travel industry?

Dr. Rebecca Robbins, sleep researcher and co-author of the book “Sleep for Success!” he believes that this change has been a long time coming, especially when it comes to hotels.

“When it comes down to it, travelers book hotels for a place to sleep,” he tells CNN Travel, before noting that the hotel industry has focused primarily on things that actually decrease sleep in the past.

“People often associate travel with decadent meals, extending bedtime, attractions and things you do while traveling, almost at the expense of sleep,” she adds.

“Now, I think there’s been a huge seismic shift in our collective consciousness and our priority on wellness and well-being.”

The global pandemic seems to have played a big role in this. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that 40% of the more than 2,500 adults who participated reported a reduction in sleep quality since the start of the pandemic.

“There has been increased attention to sleep in the age of Covid-19, and probably because so many people have struggled with it [sleep]says Dr. Robbins.

Prioritize sleep

Hypnotherapist, meditation and holistic coach Malminder Gill has also noticed a change in attitudes towards sleep.

“Everything seems to be moving toward longevity, and I think that’s really fueled things,” Gill tells CNN Travel.

“Because it’s no big surprise that sleep is such an important aspect of our lives. Lack of sleep can cause many different problems in your body and your mental health.

“So anxiety, depression, low mood, mood swings, all kinds of things, in addition to fatigue.”

Gill has teamed up with the Cadogan, a Belmond hotel in London, to create a special service for guests with sleep problems called Sleep Concierge.

The service includes a sleep-inducing meditation recording, a pillow menu with options to suit guests who prefer to sleep on their backs or sides, the option of a weighted blanket, tea before going to sleep developed specifically for the service and a scented pillow. Mr.

“Different things work for different people at different stages of their lives,” Gill says of the different items offered within the service.

Sleep-inducing practices

Brown's Hotel in Mayfair, London launched the two-night experience

Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, London launched the two-night ‘Forte Winks’ experience in October.

Rocco Forte hotels

“We’ve tried to stack the odds in our favor. If you put all those things together, I’d say there’s a better chance of better quality sleep. But I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all.”

The types of sleep-focused programs and/or retreats offered by hotels and resorts also tend to vary, with different establishments approaching the concept in different ways.

Luxury hotel brand Six Senses offers a variety of comprehensive dream programs, ranging from three to seven days or longer, at some of its properties, while Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte hotel in Mayfair, London, recently launched, ‘Forte Winks’ a two-night experience specially created to help guests “sleep soundly”.

“Sleep is so important and we noticed that there was a trend in sleep tourism, and well-being in general, after the lockdowns and Covid,” explains Daniela Moore, Senior Director of Group Public Relations at Rocco Forte Hotels .

“So we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase Brown’s as a hotel that cares about you getting the best night’s sleep.”

For Gill, the emergence of more and more of these kinds of experiences is a sign that the “narrative of staying awake to get things done” is being challenged and people are beginning to understand more deeply how important it’s sleep

Quick fix?

The Sleep Suite at the Park Hyatt New York features a large Bryte restorative bed and sleep-enhancing products including essential oil diffusers, Nollapelli sheets, and sleep masks.

The Sleep Suite at the Park Hyatt New York features a large Bryte restorative bed and sleep-enhancing products including essential oil diffusers, Nollapelli sheets, and sleep masks.

Park Hyatt New York

But can short-term sleep-focused travel experiences have a long-term impact on a person’s overall sleep?

According to Dr. Robbins, travel experiences that focus on “healthy sleep strategies” that aim to give guests the tools they need to improve their sleep can be very beneficial, as long as a renowned medical or scientific expert is involved in some way to help determine if there might be something. otherwise in play.

“If someone comes to one of these retreats and doesn’t see any progress, it may be because they have an untreated sleep disorder,” she explains, pointing to conditions like sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or insomnia as to potential examples. . .

“That’s why it’s vitally important to make sure hotels partner with scientists and medical professionals who can carefully impart these strategies.”

Mandarin Oriental, Geneva has taken things a step further by teaming up with CENAS, a private medical sleep clinic in Switzerland, to host a three-day program that studies guests’ sleep patterns to identify potential sleep disorders.

While most sleep-focused establishments and experiences tend to fall within the luxury travel sector, Dr. Robbins believes all hotels and resorts should make this a priority.

“There are ways to make it meaningful for every level,” he adds, noting that “it doesn’t hurt to leave a pair of earplugs by the nightstand.”

As sleep tourism continues to grow, Dr. Robbins says he’s looking forward to seeing “who really continues to pioneer and think creatively about this space,” noting that there are countless avenues yet to be fully explored when it comes to travel and sleep science.

“The notion that traveling will truly rejuvenate you and allow you to return home refreshed and restored is a truly exciting proposition,” he adds.

Top image credit: Rocco Forte Hotels

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