What’s keeping you awake at night? Work worries? Debt? Children? Whatever it is, you’re not alone, with a shocking 51.3 per cent of us claiming we don’t get enough shut-eye according to the Great British Sleep Survey.
Women suffer more than men, with up to 75 per cent saying they have trouble getting to sleep.
Health experts warn long term lack of sleep can lead to diabetes and depression, so what’s the answer? A sleep holiday, of course.
We know, it sounds off-key, but if you’re in desperate need of rest a getaway that promises to put you back on track and deliver eight hours slumber, this could be the answer to your prayers…
Back to school
The Sleep School Retreat at La Source in Grenada is a week-long course in the sun with leading UK sleep specialist Dr Guy Meadows.
You’ll follow Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which sounds New Agey but is actually a mainstream method to treat addiction and anxiety orders for insomnia.
During the week you’ll learn how to cope practically with late-night anxieties, how to calm an over-active mind and discover that fighting lack of sleep only makes thing worse.
And if all this sounds a little heavy, you’ll be delighted to know that your down time can be spent lazing on the golden beach, diving, having a round of golf, trying yoga or t’ai chi or hitting the spa.
The next Sleep School Retreat takes place from November 25 to December 2, 2012 and is free of charge for those on an all-inclusive holiday. Kuoni offers seven nights all-inclusive in November from £1,585pp incl. flights, six spa treatments, three dives, sports, yoga and t’ai chi master classes.
Five-star resort Kamalaya in Koh Samui has just introduced a Sleep Enhancement wellness programme in response to the number of guests reporting trouble drifting off at night in their everyday life. The idea is to enable you to have regular, good quality kip at home as well as in the resort - where a combination of warm tropical air, sea breezes and incredibly soft bed linen make sleeping a doddle - through consultations with experts followed by core treatments including traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture, massage therapy, Ayurvedic solutions like Shirodhara and meditation.
The result? You come out feeling balanced and able to cope again, one of the first steps towards better sleep.
Five-, seven- and nine-night Sleep Enhancement programmes cost from £1,475pp, all of which include accommodation, three meals per day, all drinks excluding alcohol, body bio-impedance analysis, sleep enhancement consultation, massages, acupuncture, naturopathic lifestyle consultation, herbal and nutrient remedies, daily holistic fitness activities and sleep enhancement gift pack, plus additional treatments depending on your length of stay. Excludes flights.
The Sound Sleep Experience package at London’s Milestone Hotel is designed to help you get back on track.
It kicks off with a 60-minute session outlining your specific slumber problems with one of the world’s top neuro-stratologysts (sleep expert to you and me) Tej Samani. You’re also offered use of the Alpha Sleep Pod, a small device embedded with the brain wave patterns of good sleepers, which your own sleep-addled brain can follow, via a pair of headphones, in bed. Genius. A 90-minute massage designed to aid shut-eye, vast pillow menu and candle-lit turndown service are the icing on the cake.
And if you’re worried you’ll slip back into insomniac ways once you leave, don’t be, as every guest experiencing the package gets a gift bag stocked with aromatherapy oils, lavender eye mask, Alpha sleep pod and vouchers for further sessions with Tej.
Sound Sleep Experience package from £813.33 per room per night.
It’s worth crossing the channel to try out the NightCove at Hotel Garbriel Paris Marais. The result of collaboration between sleep problem expert Professor Damien Léger and designer Patrick Jouin, rooms with NightCove use light and sound programmes to act on your melatonin levels and help you get some soothing, deep sleep.
However, it’s not just about the sleep, this City of Light hot spot promotes itself as a detox hotel and I loved the zen-like white interiors, organic breakfast menu and bar’s mixologist serving tox-detox cocktails (alcoholic, yes, but with some serious anti-oxidant juices in there too!).
From €139 per night. Eurostar from £69 return.
Stress is one of the key causes of a bad night’s sleep, so book the Relax and Wellbeing Anti-Stress programme at Lefay Resort & Spa overlooking Lake Garda in Italy. The special package includes an interview with the resort’s doctor, one Lefay aroma massage, an aromatic mud pack, purifying treatment, hydro-aromatherapy in a hot tub and massage with warm aromatic mud. You’ll sleep like a baby after all this and if you don’t, there’s always the amazing al fresco infinity pool lit up at night to enjoy.
Anti-stress package €320pp. Return BA flights to Verona from £149pp.