Travelers often find that their normal sleep patterns are disrupted while away from the cozy confines of their own beds. As such, bouts of tossing and turning can be common occurrences. Sleep researchers identify this phenomenon as “first night effect,” which theorizes that when we enter a new environment half our brain is pulling an extra shift as a night watchman and therefore can’t shut down properly. To encourage improved sleeping, the travel industry has created snooze-inducing programming from insomnia treatments to promoting shut-eye at 36,000 feet. Here are some creative ways the traveling industry is helping weary guests get the sleep they crave.
Lull yourself into a natural sleep with sleep phones at Library Hotel Collection properties. The sleep phones are comfortable headbands with built-in ear-buds that play your favorite sounds while you sleep. They are available on loan along with eye masks, special pillows and foam or featherbed mattress toppers, based upon availability. The Library Hotel Collection properties have created a sleep program called “Escape to Serenity” which offers many different sleep assistance products such as satin eye masks, ear plugs and calming teas.
SNOOZING AT 36,000 FEET
Sleeping on a plane is next to impossible for many travelers. In order to promote a restful flight, some Hawaiian Airlines aircraft offer lie-flat seats in its premium cabins. The 180-degree seats use an innovative seat platform to fold into 76-inch beds which are perfect to catch forty winks. Travelers receive an array of goodies to prep for bedtime including toiletries with scents that evoke the tropical allure of the islands. Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing, says, “Each detail of our aircraft’s interior evokes a relaxing, hospitable environment.”
Turn over a new leaf with the Pallavi Spa’s New Leaf package at Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach. The package provides guests with a Swedish massage followed by a Superfood Pro-radiance facial. Knowing that superfoods help individuals achieve a more restful sleep, the facial is packed with such powerful ingredients as broccoli and cucumber seed oil. “Clinical studies have identified calmness, falling asleep and staying asleep as possible benefits of antioxidants,” explains Alison Colbert, spa director. “Antioxidants help support immune function and can aid in restoring the body’s equilibrium during sleep.”
Dial up your pillow preference at French Quarter Inn, a boutique hotel in the heart of Charleston’s Historic District. To improve their guests’ experience, a “Sound Sleep” pillow menu is offered featuring seven different pillow options such as cool gel, hypoallergenic and Swedish massage pillows. Part of the hotel’s turndown service, the pillow menu ensures a soothing atmosphere so guests receive an excellent sleeping experience. Hotel Manager Carlo Carroccia says, “It’s another way to show guests we truly care about their entire hotel experience, from beginning to end.”
The mindful room service at DUKES London has a butler that provides herbal teas, specialized podcasts and playlists offering tips on calming breathing exercises to ensure guests leave the worries of the day behind before laying their heads on their pillows. The service is available to guests staying in the property’s new Duchess Suites, recently refurbished with luxurious Liberty fabrics. Guests can then continue to nurture their minds and bodies in the day ahead with any of the Health Club’s unique spa treatments, from a hydrating sugar cane scrub to deluxe hot stone massage.
PENINSULA SLEEP CEREMONY
Created for Peninsula Hotels by ESPA’s founder Susan Harmsworth, this two hour Peninsula Sleep Ceremony encourages relaxation for travelers. Performed by candlelight, this spa journey combines an indulgent sleep bath along with guided meditation and breathing techniques to rebalance electromagnetic energies. These are followed by a hot stone body massage to release toxins and a face and scalp massage to relieve tight jaw and forehead muscles. “The ceremony was created with business travelers in mind to help minimize the effects of stress, jetlag and a disrupted sleep pattern which often result from regular travel,” notes Harmsworth.
Steam your way to a better sleep at The Curtain Hotel and Members Club, London, which has outfitted rooms with a luxe rain and steam shower. It has long been known that steam induces better sleep because it allows for improved circulation. Whether recovering from a long flight or a stressful day, the steam showers allow guests to enter a more relaxed state before drifting into a deep sleep. Gabriella Fraia, front of house manager, says, “Repeatedly we’ve heard that guests have slept better than at home after taking a steam.”
RESTFUL ROOM DESIGN
A sufferer of restless nights himself, Larry Korman, president of luxury long-stay brand AKA, hand-selected exclusive branded a.sleep mattresses for all suites. Plus, AKA properties are outfitted with light boxes, blackout drapes and light-sensitive alarm clocks. The hotel will remove or cover distracting TVs and bedroom mirrors upon request. Long term travelers can now discover a peaceful sleep in neighborhoods such as New York City’s Central Park and Times Square, the White House district in the District of Columbia, Los Angeles’ Beverly Hills and London’s West End.