My insomnia is so intense that if one more well-meaning person suggests melatonin as a potential solution, I fear I might transform into Britney Spears circa 2007 (read: shave my head and wield a baseball bat). I’ve tried absolutely everything, from meditation to magnesium (yes, melatonin) and beyond. At this point, I’d paint my room black and rent a professional cuddler (it’s a real thing) if someone told me it would help.
So, after spending the most relaxing, chill afternoon in one of the new wellness rooms at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, I decided that trying to replicate the carefully-curated collection of products included in the ultra-serene rooms (and bathroom) was a less-desperate, more-chic alternative to snuggling a stranger. What I found was that by setting the scene with lighting and shower accoutrements, I ultimately led myself to better sleep (and sure, with the help of a vitamin C-infused stream, better skin, too).
Build your own 5-star hotel wellness room below.
Recently, my doctor advised me to eliminate any lights at night that come from lamps or fixtures placed essentially anywhere above my waist because, he says, they trick you into thinking the sun is up. It’s a quick hack to help heal a messed up circadian rhythm, but I still really wanted the fancy circadian lighting system installed in the Four Seasons’ wellness rooms. It features lights engineered to simulate the color temperature and intensity of natural outdoor light, with separate settings for day and night.
Since I couldn’t exactly afford to get my place tricked out in quite the same way, however, I devised another hack: These Philips LED SceneSwitch Color Change Bulbs can be used in any lamp or lighting fixture and feature three different settings—cool daylight, soft white light, and a warm glow. Once the sun goes down, I switch all bulbs to the warm glow setting and have noticed a massive difference in my nighttime sleepiness as a result.
A vitamin C shower head
Ahead of going to sleep, I hop in the shower to wash away the day. At the Four Seasons, vitamin C shower heads are used to filter the chlorine and chloramine out of your shower water, so I installed the AlkaViva Ultra pHresh Shower Filter, which is purported to have beneficial effects on the skin and helps to preserve color molecules in dyed hair longer.
While dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD says vitamin C offers a multitude of benefits for your skin—from evening out your complexion to reversing damage from free radicals to reducing fine lines—she tells me she’s not sure if its effects via this delivery system have been studied. I will say that regardless, I love the intense-and-yet-somehow-soft pressure of this shower head, which can feel like a gentle, soothing rain at night.
Soak in the C
An air purifier
Out of the shower, I head to my bedroom to attempt to fall asleep. The Four Seasons rooms are outfitted with ultra-luxe Oransi purifiers. I opted for a lower price point with the Dyson Pure Cool Link, which shows you when the air quality is deteriorating in a room and then nixes the pollutants. You might be wondering what an air purifier has to do with sleep—and I was, too (although I was also dying to get one regardless to counteract my air-polluting addiction to smudging). For starters, air purifiers reduce allergens in the air, which studies have shown can critically improve sleep for some.
Additionally, the pink noise emitted by some air purifiers has been proven in other studies to help you fall asleep faster. It took me a moment to get used to the whir of the machine, but turning it on has now become a part of my bedtime ritual and the sound is super soothing to me. Plus, there’s something about knowing I’m breathing in “clean” air all night that helps me relax a little more deeply.
Death to dust mites
A sound machine
My only experience with a sound machine up until the point was via Carrie Bradshaw’s boyfriends in Sex and the City. (“What’s so bad about frogs?”) I honestly wasn’t too keen to try one out, but I know a lot of people who swear by them. In a somewhat shocking turn of events, I am actually quite smitten with the machine. While I don’t listen to frogs, I do like tuning in to the ocean every night as in mind, there is literally nothing better than sleeping in a balmy room next to the water with doors and windows open to let the ocean breeze in while you sleep. Since this is not my everyday reality, the crashing waves produced by my sound machine feels like a decent approximation. (Seriously!)
What's so bad about frogs?
Didn’t sleep so well last night? Worry not, as science says you actually can make up your sleep debt over the weekend. Plus, here are 4 more sleep myths, busted.
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