Sleep Tourism: Which ‘Sleepcation’ Package is Right For You?

If you’ve found yourself terribly tired in the last 3 to 4 years, you’re not alone: research and reports from different parts of the world have revealed that an increasing number of people are complaining of chronic fatigue, not getting enough good sleep and a general feeling of constant tiredness. For example, last year, the CDC (Centres for Disease Control) estimated that 3.3 million Americans were struggling with myalgic encephalomyelitis AKA chronic fatigue syndrome. It is no wonder sleep tourism is now in high demand.

The rise of sleep tourism

Going on vacation to relax and rest better has always been part of the reasons why people travel. However, since 2022, more and more vacationers have chosen to go on holidays just to sleep, per Global Wellness Institute.

Sleep tourism offers a way out for the chronically exhausted
More people are reporting extreme fatigue and seeking solutions. Sleep tourism is offering a way out. Image courtesy of Konga

The consensus is that the Coronavirus is not only the culprit behind increased chronic fatigue, but also the reason why more people are prioritising wellness, and by extension, sleep-focused vacations.

How the hospitality industry is helping tourists sleep better

A. Sleep programs/sleep retreats: this is perhaps the highest level of sleep tourism travellers can embark on. Wellness clinics or sleep resorts usually offer these kinds of holistic programs, but increasingly, luxury hotels are adding these services to their portfolio.

Every facility has its unique package, but generally, a sleep retreat/program comprises an expert diagnosis and treatment, wellness therapies and relaxing treatments, sleep education, spa treatments, yoga and rooms designed to promote a restful night’s sleep.

Accommodation at Carillon Wellness Resort
Carillon Miami’s Sleep Well Retreat includes accommodations designed to aid restful sleep, as well as activities that help. Image courtesy of Carillon Wellness Resort

Well-known hotels and clinics offering this service include SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain; Mandarin Oriental, Geneva, Switzerland; Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, USA, and, select Six Senses spas.

B. Sleep suites: if a full sleep package sounds like a lot, sleep suites are a great way to ease into the ‘sleepcation’ experience.

These rooms are designed to ensure that visitors have no other choice than to fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillows. Using specially crafted beds and bed linens, plus eliminating distractions that can interrupt a deep rest, sleep suites are quiet, zen-like spaces perfect for people for whom falling asleep is not a problem, but staying asleep is.

Interior of cabin at Unplugged UK
Unplugged UK is not focused on the art of sleep, but if you are sick of the hustle and bustle of city life, a 3-day stay at this serene digital detox cabin may help you get the rest you need and recharge you for a return to your everyday life. Image courtesy of Unplugged UK

Places with dedicated sleep suites include Zedwell hotels which are famous for their windowless, soundproof rooms; Unplugged, UK, whose eco-friendly, off-grid cabins welcome you but not your digital devices, and, Hästens Sleep Spa Boutique hotel, Portugal, whose innovative comfort beds, duvets, bed linens and bathrobes promise the best sleep experience you will ever have.

C. Sleep concierge services: some luxury hotels do not have dedicated sleep outlets yet, but have chosen instead to offer ‘sleep better’ services to guests who need them.

Those offering sleep concierge services can choose to partner with a third party, like The Cadogan London which has partnered with sleep specialist and hypnotherapist Malminder Gill to offer a recorded meditation and an optional, one-on-one, in-room sleep assistance session. Their concierge service also comes with a pillow menu, weighted blanket, bedtime tea blend and scented pillow mist.

Pillow menus are an offshoot of the sleep tourism trend
Pillow menus are increasingly common in luxury hotels looking to elevate guests’ sleeping experience during their stay. Image courtesy of Century City Hotels

The Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa in France has a similar service. In 2022, it launched its Royal Sleep Experience in partnership with French beauty brand AIME. Guests who request this service will receive AIME products that promote quality sleep, such as calming essential oil sprays and melatonin-based drops that help to regenerate skin overnight. The hotel also offers in-room amenities like a meditation box, a satin face mask, and a candle massage.

D. Sleep amenities: some luxury hotels have simply chosen to have their rooms equipped with products that promise a deep, thorough rest without too much emphasis on the art of falling and staying asleep.

Screenshot of the sleep well program at Westin hotel and suites
The Westin Hotels and Resorts has curated different products and food geared towards helping guests sleep better. Image courtesy of Westin Hotels and Suites

At the Equinox in New York for example, the hotel has a ‘sleep system’ in place that consists of a combination of luxury bed linens and handmade mattresses, temperature-regulated bedsheets, sound-blocking walls and blackout curtains to eliminate distractions and ensure that guests stay asleep for as long as they like and need.

The Westin Hotels and Resorts has almost the same system in place. A combination of the ‘Heavenly Bed’, a rest-inducing superfood menu and lavender balms have been made available so that guests have no trouble sleeping at night.

Which sleep package is best for you?

It is difficult to say since everyone’s needs are unique to them. But, if the growing sleep tourism trend sounds like something you need right now, then you can rest assured that there is a service that is just right for you.

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