THE NEW TREND OF SLEEP TOURISM
But 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. “The truth is that travelers book hotels for a place to sleep,” she tells CNN, before pointing out that the hotel industry has primarily been focused on things that detract from sleep in the past. “Now, I think there’s just been a huge seismic shift in our collective awareness and prioritization on wellness and wellbeing”, she adds. The global pandemic appears to have played a huge part in this, because so many people have struggled with sleep in the Covid-19 era.
Sleep inducing practices
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 full sleep programs, ranging from three to seven days or more, at several of its properties, while Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, London, recently launched, «Forte Winks» a two-night experience especially created to help aid guests into a serene sleep. For hypnotherapist, meditation, and holistic coach Malminder Gill, the emergence of more and more of these types of experiences is a sign that the «narrative of staying up to get things done», is being challenged, and people are beginning to have a deeper understanding of just how important sleep is.
Can short term sleep-focused travel experiences actually have a long-term impact on a person’s overall sleep? According to sleep researcher, Dr. Rebecca Robbins, travel experiences centered around «healthy sleep strategies» that aim to supply guests with the tools they need to improve their sleep can be hugely beneficial, provided a reputable medical or scientific expert is involved in some way to help to determine whether there may be something else at play. «If someone comes to one of these retreats, and isn’t seeing any progress, it could be because they have an untreated sleep disorder», she explains to CNN, pointing to conditions such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or insomnia.
The Benefits of Sleep Tourism
One of the biggest benefits of sleep tourism is that it allows travelers to fully unwind and immerse themselves in the local culture and surroundings. Research shows that sleeping outside adds to the quality of sleep through improved brain and body functions from fresh air. The increased amount of oxygen in fresh air improves our ability to think and concentrate. Waking up to sunlight is the most natural way to rise and balances out melatonin levels which are important for regulating sleep along with body temperature and blood pressure.