Achieving eight hours of shut-eye per night is a lofty goal—especially while traveling—but thanks to new sleep-focused amenities, hotels are making rest a priority. Outfitting rooms with relaxation-inducing elements like aromatherapy pillows and blue-light-free lamps, luxury properties are tapping into the science of sleep with an aim to help travelers reset their circadian rhythms. While participating in a meditation session or using a lavender spray might seem inconsequential, experts say sleep-focused wellness experiences can effectively help guests become more mindful of their bedtime habits.
“All of these items do have scientific merit. Even if each item individually only improves sleep by 2 percent, if you accumulate enough, you can quickly start to feel real sleep improvement,” says sleep specialist and neurologist Dr. Chris Winter.
With studies showing that roughly 20 percent of Americans suffer from sleep disorders—many of which can be exacerbated while traveling—these hotels have made conquering jet lag and insomnia as turnkey as checking in.
Six Senses has been rolling out its Sleep with Six Senses package at select resorts in Thailand, Fiji, Portugal, and other locations over the past year. The program, created in collaboration with sleep doctor Michael J. Breus, allows guests to consult with a “sleep ambassador,” who prescribes tailored spa treatments and yoga sessions, and track their Zs with new apps that can help them recover from jet lag. Extra in-room amenities include moisture-wicking linens, bamboo-fiber pajamas, jasmine sleep spray, and Good Night LED lamps instead of regular blue lights. “Blue light tends to block the production of melatonin, so while blue light is great in the morning, it is not helpful in the evening as we are moving toward sleep,” says Dr. Winter.
Nita Lake Lodge
Set against the backdrop of the mountains and a glacier-fed lake in Whistler, British Columbia, Nita Lake Lodge pulls its wellness inspiration from Alpine traditions. Guests who opt for the Nita Sleep Therapy package are invited to use and take home an Austria-made Zirbenherz sleep therapy pillow filled with pinewood flakes (reports show that smelling pine can reduce stress and anxiety). The program also includes a Kundalini massage and an essential-oil soak for relaxing after a day on the mountain.
India-based ITC Hotels has designed its Luxury Collection guest rooms with sound slumber in mind—from its sensor-operated foot lamps for undisruptive midnight bathroom breaks to its soundproof, vacuum-insulated windows. Most unique is its “sleep menu” of food and beverages packed with vitamins proven to aid in restfulness. “Tryptophan and magnesium can help induce some sleepiness and relaxation in people by increasing serotonin, a relaxing hormone, in the brain,” says Dr. Shelby Harris, a New York–based sleep psychologist.
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
Located in the foothills of the Alps in eastern Switzerland, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is one part holistic retreat, one part medical diagnostics center. On-site doctors examine guests for cardiovascular and neurological diseases, plus track their sleep through video polysomnography. By the end of a three-day stay, guests can discover whether their sleep woes are due to an organic sleep disorder, such as a respiratory problem, or nonorganic factors like stress. For the latter, the property’s nearly 20,000-square-foot thermal spa and sauna––complete with an herbal steam bath with Swarovski crystals––make it easy to unwind.
Blending the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean with Ayurveda medicine, Shanti Maurice’s Shanti Sleep Package turns a five-night stay into a tranquil Mauritius escape. The upgrade includes a wellness consultation, nidra yoga class (a type of yoga that focuses on mindful breathing), and sleep-inducing spa treatments. Among the most effective is the magnesium-infused massage, as well as Shirodhara therapy, a hot-oil Ayurveda treatment that has been used in Asia to treat insomnia for centuries.