For a few years now, I’ve traveled with a DIY sleep kit. This consists of a silky pouch stuffed to the drawstring with rest-inducing aids: sleep mask, earplugs, lavender essential oil, CBD oil, selenite crystal, Guatemalan worry dolls, and Tylenol PM. Because I struggle terribly with falling asleep, I’d be more upset if I forgot this pouch at home than, say, my toothbrush or clean socks. The variety and abundance of items included in my kit sums up my general sleep-therapy philosophy: Gimme all the treatments.
That’s why I was excited to stumble across sleep therapy on the spa menu at Enchantment Resort during a relaxing weekend in Sedona, Arizona. And while the treatment, which consisted of simply chatting for an hour with a specialist about my sleep habits, didn’t yield another goody for my literal bag of tricks, it did inspire an epiphany. While I described myself as “just a bad sleeper by nature,” my specialist explained that “insomniac” isn’t innate to who I am and that my issues had an origin somewhere in my past. If we could pinpoint that starting point, the specialist said, we could cure it. Low and behold, my sleep struggles, which I assumed had always been there—like my spleen or right kidney—actually truly began with the loss of someone close to me about five years ago. Once we figured out the timeline, my specialist then walked me through an anxiety-busting mindfulness technique, which I have been using ever since with snooze-worthy success. And while I still pack my kit (I love a tchotchke and a ritual), I have at least ditched the Tylenol PM.
In the sleep department, I’m certainly not alone. Up to 70 million adults in the U.S. have a sleep disorder, according to the American Sleep Association. And in the healing department, Enchantment Resort is also not alone. More and more hotels are rolling out programs to make sure their guests catch a solid eight hours, not only during their stay, but when they head home, too. Beyond comfy pillows and high-thread-count-sheets, these hotel therapies, detailed below, include body-movement monitors, targeted massage, breathing workshops, personal consultations, and, to my delight, a healing crystal or two.
Hotels with sleep programs in the U.S.
Enchantment Resort, Sedona, Arizona
If your white noise machine isn’t cutting it, up your remedy game with sleep therapy, red-rock canyons, energy vortexes, and 24,000 square feet of spa. Mii amo, Enchantment Resort’s destination spa, has all of the above. As mentioned earlier, the Sacred Sleep treatment includes a one-hour session with a consultant talking through the source of your troublesome Zzz’s, as well as learning breathing and stress-management techniques to nip the issue in the bud. Afterward, meditate on all you’ve learned by hiking the surrounding trails of Boynton Canyon, where, according to Native American wisdom, there’s a surplus of healing energy.
Park Hyatt Aviara, Carlsbad, California
Believe it or not, in California sleep serenity lies within five miles of Legoland and its legions of amped-up kids. Park Hyatt Aviara is home to VeraVia, an integrative wellness retreat with multi-day programs designed to inspire lasting lifestyle changes. The VeraVia Sleep Package, which can be combined with other programs such as weight loss or stress management, includes sleep tracking, a one-on-one consultation with a naturopathic doctor, holistic approaches to sleep restoration, and nightly use of a 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. All that technology and you just might emerge energized enough to take on Lego mania. (Probably not, but maybe.)
Red Mountain Resort, St. George, Utah
Relying on touch rather than tech, the Sleep Tonic Massage debuted last year at Red Mountain Resort’s Sagestone Spa. The treatment lasts for 75 minutes and begins with a session of Himalayan singing bowls, followed by a full-body massage that focuses on eight acupressure points to relieve areas where stress commonly pools. But just because the massage is low-tech doesn’t mean it comes without bells and whistles. The process includes healing crystals places on facial points, an oral tonic, probiotics, flower essences, essential oils, and a salt stone gently pressed against the abdomen—all with the aim of easing stress and anxiety, plus ramping up natural melatonin production. And because good sleep doesn’t always happen, well, over night, each guest leaves with all the tools they need to create a sleep ritual at home: a rose quartz crystal, Zen Blend Oral Tonic, pranayama breathing instructions, and acupressure guide (basically your own kit, sans the silky pouch).
Peninsula Hotels, New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois
Even the city that never sleeps is looking for ways to aid circadian rhythms. Earlier this year Peninsula Hotels rolled out Sleep Support Therapy at spas in two locations: NYC and Chicago. Each treatment lasts two hours and includes an aromatic foot soak, body massage, facial massage, and an ayurvedic technique called nasya—nasal oil application (the Ayurvedic Institute says the nose is the “pathway to our inner pharmacy”). At The Peninsula New York, you’ll also get shirodhara, the practice of slowly pouring oil over the forehead to stimulate melatonin production, while The Peninsula Chicago tacks on yoga nidra, a guided sleep meditation that you can continue to practice at home, long after the massage oil has worn off.
Of course the granddaddy of wellness resorts, Canyon Ranch, has sleep help. At both the Tucson and Lenox locations, you can meet with a lifestyle coach or licensed therapist for a 50-minute consultation in which you’ll pinpoint the depth of your issue and discuss solutions. If you have further sleep mysteries to explore (such as potential sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome), your therapist may recommend polysomnography, or an all-night sleep study. Because this test is more involved than the WatchPat One (rather than a finger sensor you’ll be hooked up to multiple wires and body sensors), polysomnography takes place in accommodations in the resort’s medical wing (but don’t worry, rooms here are just as cushy as the rest). The next morning, you’ll pore over the results with a sleep specialist, then it’s back to green smoothies by the pool.
International hotels with sleep programs
Hotel St. George, Helsinki, Finland
The fact that Helsinki only gets about six hours of daylight for certain periods during the winter makes the destination ideal for snoozing right off the bat (no blackout curtains necessary). But beyond the city’s light cycles, there’s Hotel St. George—an urban outpost that’s big on Nordic well-being. Rooms are stocked with resistance bands, healthy snacks, and curated libraries to encourage guests to unplug. Additionally, you can turn your room into a bonafide sleep lab by booking a personal sleep consultation. The hotel’s wellness team lends you an Emfit QS sleep monitor to slide seamlessly under your mattress at night. As you doze, the Finnish-designed device tracks heart rate, breathing, body movement, and, ultimately, your parasympathetic nervous system (also called the rest and digest system) to determine your quality of sleep. You’ll dissect the results, plus discuss holistic solutions, the following day. And while there’s no scientific proof that all the art and high-design Scandinavian furniture in your room aid with rest, the decor here certainly makes turning in for the night more enjoyable.
Sangha Retreat by Octave Institute, Suzhou, China
Suzhou, AKA the “Venice of the East,” is known for its ancient canals, silk factories, and freshwater pearls. Now, thanks to Sangha Retreat, the city just outside Shanghai (a mere 23 minutes by high-speed train) has also gained a reputation for wellness. After snagging a pair of silk pajamas, the sleep-challenged would do well to book the recently-unveiled Sleep Recovery program at Sangha, which takes place over six nights and seven days. This includes an in-depth evaluation of the roots of your sleep disruption, healing through traditional Chinese medicine, and a rest-inducing massage. Guests also receive a full health assessment at the property’s onsite AT ONE Clinic, access to the spa’s 12-step hydrothermal circuit, sound baths, daily fitness classes, mindfulness workshops, and three low-calorie meals from a two-star Michelin chef each day. And if that’s not sufficient, rest easy knowing there’s a healing crystal built into the bed frames in each of the lakefront suites.
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