With sleep deprivation on the rise, luxury hospitality and wellness brands around the world have introduced a series of treatments and retreat programs that can offset jetlag and relieve even the most long-suffering insomniac.
Luxury skincare and wellness brand ESPA collaborated with binaural rhythm experts—who stimulate the brain through differences in frequency between the left and right ears—to devise the high-tech Sleep Ritual now offered at ESPA Life at Corinthia London. The two-hour experience starts with abdominal yogic breathing and visualization before moving on to a scalp and hot-stone massage. Spa-goers then listen to binaural rhythm audio as the therapist performs acupressure on the feet.
Guests at The Peninsula Hong Kong can unwind through the 120-minute Peninsula Sleep Ceremony, also created by ESPA. In the privacy of a candlelit spa suite, you’ll be treated to an aromatic bath, meditation, and deep breathing exercises to clear the mind, followed by a restorative hot-stone massage and a facial and scalp massage. Recommended for late-night arrivals, the treatment is also available at Peninsula spas in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, and New York.
Over in Thailand, the Bangkok and Chiang Mai properties of 137 Pillars Hotels and Resorts deserve a mention for the 90-minute Sleep by Design Therapy launched last year. This is enhanced by a Glyph headset playing binaural beats while a full-body massage is performed to the rhythm of your breathing patterns. Guests staying in the suites can also request a Sleepdown Service, in which a “sleep butler” and “sleep curator” prepare the room with temperature control, mood lighting, and luxury sleep amenities—including bergamot bath salts for an indulgent pre-bedtime soak.
Meanwhile, neighboring Cambodia’s Song Saa Private Island offers the jet-lagged and insomnia-prone an antidote in its 2.5-hour Night Spa Ritual by leading British brand Ila Spa. Designed to shield the nervous system from sensory overload, the treatment cocoons spa-goers in aromatherapy-infused body scrubs before slow, sleep-inducing Ayurvedic marma-point and facial massages.
Devised by Australian spa brand Subtle Energies, the newly launched two-hour Sleep Support Therapy at Perth’s Crown Casino Spa also harnesses Ayurvedic techniques to regulate the body’s natural rhythm. The treatment begins with deep pranayama breathing and a full-body massage, progressing to a marma-point facial massage—aimed at activating the pineal gland believed to regulate circadian cycles—before closing with a guided savasana meditation.
Six Senses was one of the first hospitality brands to realize that sleep was just as important to personal wellbeing as diet and exercise. Its Yogic Sleep retreats, developed with in-house yoga master Dorelal Singh, are oriented on the state of consciousness known as yoga nidra, and comprise restful treatments and sleep-boosting amenities and cuisine. Six Senses has also collaborated with renowned sleep doctor Dr. Michael Breus to roll out a “sleep upgrade” worldwide, enhancing villas with optimal room temperatures, lighting that boosts melatonin production, organic bedding, and humidifiers for easier breathing.
If you’re planning some downtime in Melbourne, consider the Sleep Deeply program at the recently opened Willow Urban Retreat, a chic wellness space dedicated to yoga, movement, whole foods, and healing. Half- or full-day itineraries balance mindful exercises with therapies that include Ayurveda, acupuncture, and holistic massage, as well as naturopathic prescribed meals. A three-day option is also available, while those staying for longer periods of time can extend the program up to six weeks.
Thailand is another top choice for sleep-centric vacations. At Koh Samui’s luxury wellness sanctuary Kamalaya, the Sleep Enhancement program is available as a standalone offering or can be integrated into any retreat stay. It includes lifestyle consultations, treatments, healthy meals, plus activities to reduce an overactive mind and other issues that contribute to poor sleep.
In Indonesia, one of the newer arrivals to Bali’s spa scene is Revivo Wellness Resort. The Sleep Well retreat here teaches methods that can be easily implemented at home; after your consultation, you are prescribed a customized program that incorporates meals, activities, and a range of treatments. Expect acupuncture, Ayurveda, or reiki alongside hammock yoga and meditation. Meanwhile in Ubud, the latest offering at eco-wellness lodge Svarga Loka is the 7-, 10- or 14-night Deep Restorative Sleep Retreat led by energy-field practitioner Eros Ferrari. The cause of poor sleep is identified and cured in daily healing sessions with Ferrari, and guests also enjoy detoxifying saunas, sound healing treatments, and pressure-point massages.
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Snooze Control”).