World Sleep Day: What is sleep tourism and why are people talking about it?
Although the worst of the pandemic is over, it can still keep you awake. With people prioritizing their health now, after 3 tumultuous years, there is a renewed focus on getting a good night’s rest. Hence the rise of sleep tourism, where you travel just so you can get yourself to bed at 8 p.m. Sure, it’s a far cry from the vacation clubs of your past — but these vacations still combine the wonder of travel with the luxury of comfort.
At Castle Hot Springs, located amidst the stunning landscape of the Sonoran Desert and the Bradshaw Mountains in the Arizona desert, you can sign up for a three-night sleep retreat. Recover from jet lag with some help from sleep researcher and author Dr. Rebecca Robbins, who hosts talks, meditation sessions, and activities at the retreat, including circadian-boosting yoga and morning hikes.
“Guests are asked to track their sleep. By understanding one’s habits, guests can make immediate changes to their sleep patterns and get a more restorative rest,” says a company source. that their circadian-boosting hikes “provide morning sunlight exposure paired with the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.” The retreat, priced at $1,500 for two people, attracts guests from around the world.
Discussing why people are now ready to invest in better sleep, Dr N Ramakrishnan, senior consultant in sleep medicine at Apollo Hospitals and director of the Nithra Sleep Clinic in Chennai, explains that many people have since Having difficulty in sleeping. The epidemic began. He says this is due to lifestyle changes, which include more screen time and less exposure to sunlight.
One of the rooms at Hastens Sleep Spa | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
While sleep tourism is a new concept in most parts of the world, Hastens Sleep Spa – CBR Boutique Hotel has been in business since 1852 in Coimbra, Portugal. Although they have seen an increase in the number of guests in recent years. “Nowadays, with the growing awareness of the importance of quality sleep and how it affects the entire day, there has been a growing demand for an exclusive sleep spa service such as Bed Talks that gives guests the chance to learn from a leading sleep expert and menu,” says a spokesperson, adding that while younger guests enjoy the Sleep Spa, older ones may want to learn about the importance of sleep to their health and quality of life.
Here guests can choose from a selection of audio recordings, which the hotel claims can calm and relax their system during the day as well as ensure a deep refreshing sleep at night. Sleep expert Dr. Eddie Perry, who Hastens partnered with, created a series of exclusive short videos for hotel guests with advice on best neck positions, spinal support, pillow choices and more. In addition, menus are created and planned to avoid ingredients that interfere with sleep.
Even in India, some hotels have started providing food for the tourists to sleep. Six Senses Fort Barwara is a beautiful 14th-century fort, originally owned by a Rajasthani royal family, opposite the Chauth ka Barwara Mandir temple. It has been sensitively converted into a six senses sanctuary of wellness. The company says they did months of research, collecting data from wellness practitioners in various locations of their hotels, before designing their unique program for sleep: ‘Sleep with Six Senses’.
Dr. Jitendra Varshney, Wellness Director, Dr. Jitendra Varshney Wellness Center, associated with Six Senses, explains that there has been a significant increase in wellness travelers as people focus on their physical and mental health. “During the pandemic, most of us went through experiences that affected our emotional and mental health, resulting in sleep deprivation or insomnia,” he says.
Mentioning that the program is popular among the 40-55 age group, Dr. Jitendra explains how he works towards improving sleep patterns, which in turn “can restore energy levels; help people release stress; And paves the way for a healthy and happy life. He says he combines data from sleep trackers with personal counseling, yoga nidra and meditation, as well as relaxation therapies, wellness therapies, nutrition advice and low-intensity training.
One of the rooms at ITC Grand Chola | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
Closer to home, ITC Hotels has been providing guests with bed linen, music and an array of food to facilitate sleep. In 2021, ITC Hotels launched SLEEP Boutique, offering an exquisite range of pillows, comforters, bedding and bed linen for those wishing to enjoy hotel-like sleep at home.
“We have created an environment to sleep in our rooms,” says Zubin Songadwala, Area Manager, ITC Hotels South and General Manager, ITC Grand Chola, Chennai. “Our rooms have black-out window screens, a ‘sleep box’, special Sleep-inducing menus and a pillow menu. The pillow menu features a variety of pillows with natural fillers such as down feathers and cotton to polyester fibers. Meanwhile, Sleep Boutique’s bath and bedding collection includes designer bedspreads, luxury bath linens, bath robes and luxury bed linens for babies.
Zubin says, “With the help of technology and our science lab, which focuses on all the factors that affect sleep, such as touch, sight, sound, smell and temperature, we created blackout curtains, soundproof windows and a decibel level Have designed sleep protocols such as keeping . near the bedside at 35 dB.”