Feeling your best depends on four things, in my opinion: good nutrition, physical activity every day, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough quality sleep. Quality sleep equals seven to nine hours per night for most adults, although that can vary from person to person.
Sleep makes us happier, healthier, and more successful. It helps our brainpower, our immune system, our emotional resilience, helps our bodies produce collagen so our skin looks younger, and helps with depression and weight loss, as well as helps fight against type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
I’ll never forget my first time staying at an amazing wellness resort in Maine called the Cliff House. I woke up after about eight hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep, and I felt great. I couldn’t remember feeling that good right after waking up, for a really long time. I had so much energy; my whole body just felt so well. It was incredible.
I don’t do as well at prioritizing my sleep as I should. I love waking up early; that’s my time to exercise and have some quiet time to myself. But sometimes there are just so many reasons and people to stay up late for. I know: they’re just excuses. I need to do a better job of getting more sleep on a regular basis.
When you’re on vacation, it’s especially important to get some quality zzz’s. Sleep can make all the difference between feeling exhausted vs. excited to explore your destination. More and more hotels are paying attention to and specializing their sleep services. I’ve highlighted five in the U.S. and one international chain:
The Benjamin Hotel (New York) – The Benjamin Hotel has onsite sleep concierges who can answer your sleep questions, and help you figure out why your sleep isn’t as good as you’d like. They also have soundproof windows, a choice of 12 different pillows, amazing mattresses and 400+ thread count Achini linens and a down comforter. Bonus: if you aren’t satisfied with your sleep, they’ll refund your stay!
Peninsula Hotels (New York and Chicago) – The Peninsula Hotels have Sleep Support Therapy spas and a two-hour treatment. The treatment includes an aromatic foot soak, a body massage, facial massage, and nasya, an ayurvedic technique of nasal oil application (the Ayurvedic Institute says the nose is the “pathway to our inner pharmacy”). In New York you’ll experience the practice of slowly pouring oil over the forehead to stimulate melatonin production, and in Chicago you’ll experience a guided sleep meditation that you can continue to practice at home.
Canyon Ranch Resort (Tucson, Arizona and Lenox, Massachusetts) – Canyon Ranch, the epitome of wellness resorts, definitely addresses sleep issues. You can meet with a licensed therapist or lifestyle coach to explore the underlying issues with your lack of sleep. You also have the option of an all-night sleep study, followed up by a consultation with a sleep specialist. And of course, the beds are made for an excellent night’s rest.
Enchantment Resort (Sedona, Arizona) – This wellness resort is spectacular in every way; I’d recommend it whether you’re going for the sleep program or not. But the Sacred Sleep treatment is truly a treat: you get a one-hour session talking through the source of your troubled sleep, plus breathing and stress-management techniques, and of course the pleasure of sleeping in one of their fabulous beds.
Park Hyatt Aviara (Carlsbad, California) – The VeraVia wellness retreat, in the Park Hyatt Aviara, offers a sleep package that can be combined with other packages such as stress management or weight loss. It includes sleep tracking, a private consultation with a naturopathic doctor, holistic approaches to restoring sleep, and nightly use of WatchPat One (a wrist device with a finger sensor that detects oxygen levels, body position, heart rate, and REM cycles, among other data) during your stay.
Six Senses (Brazil, the Middle East, Europe, and across Asia and the Pacific) - The Sleep with Six Senses program launched in 2016 and was headed by a sleep specialist who is on the advisory board of the Dr. Oz Show. Their sleep program begins with a pre-arrival questionnaire, and includes customized bedding just for you, a wellness book, a worry journal, and a sleep tracker app. Your results are discussed with a Resident Sleep Ambassador expert at a 30-minute sleep consultation.
If sleep is a concern, I can’t think of a more fun and relaxing way to explore your sleep troubles than to plan an amazing getaway to a place with great solutions. I think we all want the energizing experience of waking up rested and refreshed every morning—and who doesn’t want the benefits of a better brain, better emotions, and better health? I’d be happy to help you find a getaway to help your sleep become what you want it to be.