What is Sleep Tourism?3 min read
One in three adults in the U.S. doesn’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night. But sleep plays a vital role in your overall well-being. Inadequate sleep can negatively affect your heart, respiratory system, metabolism, immune system and cognitive function, including thinking, memory and mood.
Considering the importance of sleep, it’s no surprise that the latest trend in travel is sleep tourism.
Sleep Tourism Explained
It’s common to have trouble sleeping while you’re on vacation. There’s even a name for it: the first-night effect. You’re in a bed you’re not used to, the pillows and mattress may be uncomfortable, you might hear strange noises at night—overall, hotels don’t always provide the best sleeping environments. But the whole point of sleep tourism is to reset your circadian rhythm and leave your trip feeling well-rested.
Hotels and resorts that offer sleep tourism packages specifically design experiences and environments to help you sleep. For instance, Hotel Figueroa in Los Angeles offers a Rest and Recovery Suite that features pre-ordered customized pillows, a smart temperature-adjustable mattress, an advanced air purifier system, a red light therapy lamp, a sunrise simulation lamp, an in-room fitness mirror, compression recovery tools and a selection of supplements.
Experience Sleep Tourism
If you’re looking for a luxurious sleep experience abroad, here are some of the top hotels to check out:
- The Cadogan, a Belmond Hotel, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of London, offers a sleep concierge service. It includes a recorded sleep-inducing meditation, the opportunity to order your perfect pillow from a pillow menu, a weighted blanket for relaxation, customized bedtime tea and a pillow mist to promote relaxation and quality sleep.
- Six Senses Ibiza offers a three- to seven-night sleep treatment to help you improve sleep patterns, restore cognition and memory levels, reduce stress and establish a sustainable sleep routine. The program includes a consultation with a sleep doctor, a general wellness screening, sleep meditations, massages, fitness classes, sleep amenities and sleep tracking for the duration of your stay.
- Hôtel de Crillon is located in Paris in a building originally commissioned by Louis XV. This hotel participates in the Alchemy of Sleep program, where hotels across the globe offer immersive retreats designed to promote rest. Guests receive an in-room Sleeping Beauty set featuring amenities to get a good night’s sleep, as well as calming messages, meditation sessions and a consultation to make a plan for getting a better night’s sleep upon returning home.
Sleep Tourism on a Budget
Not everyone can afford a fancy retreat or add-on hotel packages, so here are some tips on taking a restful vacation no matter where you stay.
- Consistency is key for optimal sleep health. Even when you’re traveling, try to go to bed and wake up around the same time you would at home.
- Set the scene for a peaceful night. Turn off the tv, dim the lights, put on your comfiest pajamas and turn on a sound machine. Sleeping in a quiet, cool and dark room can help you feel more well-rested when you wake up.
- Exercise in the morning to give your body a boost of energy and to help you sleep in the evening.
- Spend time outside in the sunlight every day. This can help reset your circadian rhythm, especially when you’re traveling to a different time zone.
- Opt for herbal tea instead of caffeinated drinks in the afternoon.
- Practice relaxation techniques before bed like gentle yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
- Turn your phone off or leave it across the room before you go to bed. Opt instead for reading or listening to music before you drift off.