By Angie Argabrite, Friday, July 20, 2012, at 9:01 am.
Looking for more than just a place to rest their weary heads, today’s sleep-deprived vacationers are after the most restorative trip possible. Enter sleep tourism as the next big offering at hotels, spas, even nightclubs. In Paris, the Zen Bar—“Europe’s first nap bar”—dishes up zero-gravity chairs and massage beds, while rooms at the Hotel Gabriel Paris Marais are outfitted with a sound and light system designed to lull visitors into the land of Nod, and its “detox bar” promises harmony and well-being, reports Michael Breus on his Insomnia Blog. See also the Sound Sleep Experience at the Milestone Hotel in London, which includes a consultation with a sleep expert, aromatherapy and massage, and overnight monitoring. Still others are getting away to Switzerland’s Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, which provides “sleep diagnostics in a five-star atmosphere” with a night of sleep monitoring, a medical consultation and a health analysis. Most people, though, say they prefer to stay active during a vacation; 57 percent of people actually report getting less sleep while traveling. Sleep deprivation might be a public health epidemic, so surely the time is right to pay more attention to the problem, even if a Swiss sleep spa isn’t in the budget. Although pills and devices (even Dream Water) are being touted to cure insomnia, relaxation techniques may work best for long-term treatment. And you’re not alone if you think you sleep better on clean sheets; 71 percent of people report a better night’s sleep on fresh sheets, and 29 percent said they even went to bed earlier because of it. Hmm … how to market better housekeeping?