The rise of 'sleep tourism': when sleeping is the best adventure

Finding new trends and giving them a name is an art.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 August 2023 Thursday 10:30
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The rise of 'sleep tourism': when sleeping is the best adventure

Finding new trends and giving them a name is an art. Tourism is no exception to this need and after the dictatorship of experience, be it exploring the ocean floor or the top of Mount Everest, it is time to rest: sleep tourism, or dream tourism, is already elevated to the rank of official category after the first post-pandemic experiments.

In recent years, anxiety, stress and uncertainty have worsened the quality of sleep for 40% of people, according to an article published by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Holidays do not always solve the problem, but they do offer hope: a study commissioned to Appino by Emma, ​​a brand of rest products, shows that 77% of Spaniards want to go on holiday just to sleep.

The fact is that we have become hyperactive, and even during the summer we want to be everywhere and see everything: “I'll sleep when I get home”, people on vacation often say. Added to this is the abuse of electronic devices that lower the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. In short, sleeping has become a luxury and the tourism sector is adapting.

In general, the hotels and resorts that are becoming aware of this need try to guarantee the best possible soundproofing, with personalized menus that promote relaxation or experiences in contact with nature. There are even forms of voluntary enrollment in structures where scientific research on sleep is carried out: people agree to become guinea pigs as long as they have nothing else to do but sleep.

The birthright of the definition of sleep tourism belongs to the Forbes journalist Roger Sands, who has selected some structures where the priority is to sleep well and a lot. However, there are many other options, even better if they are located in an incomparable setting.

The Preidlhof resort, in the eastern Italian Alps, has developed the Sleep Better program, which consists of a one-week stay to re-educate yourself in the night/day cycle under the supervision of sleep medicine experts. The guest is fitted with a device that records her behavior while she sleeps and when she is awake; Your data is analyzed while you undergo massages, acupuncture sessions with sounds and quartz. Also, it seems that the real jewel is the bed placed on the balcony to sleep under the stars and thus balance melatonin levels.

For its part, the Rosewood hotel chain has presented Alchemy of Sleep, a global collection of immersive retreats designed to promote rest through sleep-inducing treatments. Taking a holistic approach, nutrition, movement and self-awareness practices are addressed, presenting a combination of treatments, experiences and expert advice. Guests can opt for a one-night Dreamscape or stay five nights for a true 'dream transformation'.

51% of Spaniards miss their mattress during the holiday period, and silk sheets are not enough to facilitate sleep, which is why many hotels also have special tools. The international firm Sofitel has special mattresses called Sofitel MyBed where, according to those who tried them, it is impossible not to sink into the best sleep of life. These are mattresses made to measure with the highest quality materials to relieve pressure and offer optimal support. The system is also present at the Sofitel Barcelona Skipper, where you can even buy the luxurious bedding.

Sleep tourists look for unique places to rest and it has been proven that contact with nature favors rest. This is what Selina glamping is based on, a group that offers camps dedicated to sleeping in different parts of the world, among which Agafay stands out, in the Moroccan desert. The relaxing power of the stars is also the trump card of the Milodge Elqui Domos hotel in Chile, where the rooms are authentic observatory-cabins. On the other hand, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa, Farm House 58 develops the Digital Detox program, made up of a meditative writing room, activities around nature and the local population, regenerative agriculture sessions or perfumery workshops.

The Swiss Alps are a favorite destination for dowsers of rest. The Tschuggen Collection group at its hotels across the country offers the Dream Butler experience, literally "dream butler", which begins with a massage and nightly foot bath in the spa, while the staff prepares the room with soft lighting, temperature regulation and humidity, choice of pillows from a pillow menu, a book on the table and dinner based on foods that promote sleep. In the Alpine country, the DeltaPark hotel also stands out with its Flow sleep system consisting of box springs, mattresses and sheets built by hand according to the principles of sleep therapy.

Of course, sleeping is not the most popular Ibizan activity, but the Six Senses Ibiza includes a program of three, five or seven nights designed to help improve the sleep of its guests. The Sleep with Six Senses standard includes personalized advice, sleep monitoring during the stay and a final session with a team of specialists. Also in the Balearic Islands, the Hotel Can Albertí in Menorca decided to give up televisions in the rooms, as well as to have a restaurant inside to preserve silence and promote rest. Finally, a timeless alternative for those who want to try sleep tourism is to look for a monastery: there is no shortage of options in Spain.