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Hotels Are Introducing Innovative Programs to Help Guests Get Better Sleep

Can these packages minimize jet lag?

September 28, 2022

Feeling tired? You’re not the only one. In fact, the American Sleep Association says that up to 70 million U.S. adults struggle with sleep, and 35 percent report sleeping less than the recommended seven to eight hours per night.

Quality sleep is essential for health. Chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of everything from high blood pressure to stroke, according to the Cleveland Clinic. For business travelers, a good night’s rest is also critical for on-the-job performance. Professor Michael Gradisar, a member of the World Sleep Society and head of science at sleep-technology company Sleep Cycle, says lack of sleep can cause “presenteeism,” or working with reduced productivity due to illness or fatigue. It’s bad for not just health, but also the bottom line.

“Think of a V-8 engine in a car, an engine designed to run with eight cylinders. When you’re not getting the sleep you need, it’s like your V-8 engine is running on six,” he says. “This inefficiency translates to a loss of productivity. You might be paid an $80,000 salary, but you’re producing at a $60,000 salary level.”

Of course, travel increases the likelihood of disrupted sleep. According to the American Thoracic Society, air travel sends people across time zones more quickly than their circadian rhythms can adjust. This inevitably leads to jet lag, which occurs after crossing at least two time zones. And even without speeding through time zones, some travelers struggle to snooze in unfamiliar spaces.

That’s why hotels are bringing quality sleep to the forefront. “Check out whether the hotel you plan to stay at is ‘sleep smart,’” Gradisar says. “Does its website provide sleep packages? Have they put serious thought into ensuring your bed will be comfortable, and that your room will be as dark as possible?”

The Langham Hospitality Group worked with the World Sleep Society to create a holistic sleep program across its accommodations, including hotels in business-travel hubs like Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles. It incorporates numerous sleep-friendly wellness elements from The Langham’s Chuan Spa brand. Sleep Matters by Chuan “is designed to enhance the wellness of our guests with new rituals and habits they can take home and use long after they have stayed with us,” says Bob van den Oord, regional vice president of operations for Langham.

Some of these offerings include a turndown kit with herbal tea, earplugs and a sleep mask; a sleep menu that lets guests rent add-ons like yoga mats, weighted blankets or white-noise machines; and Som, “an all-natural, drug-free sleep-aid beverage.” Six Senses is another brand making a splash in the world of sleep stays. Its properties in Ibiza, Fiji and Mykonos treat guests with a full sleep program, including on-site sleep analysis, advice from a sleep doctor, and wellness therapies.

Meanwhile, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is offering the Alchemy of Sleep program, which varies by location. At the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, the experience includes a massage, healthy breakfast, private sessions with sleep and wellness experts, and sleep-aid amenities such as bath salts and eye masks. At the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, California, the Alchemy of Sleep features body treatments, movement practices and a “sleep box” with CBD-infused teas and wellness-curated bedtime snacks.

Choosing a sleep-focused hotel is a savvy step toward getting adequate rest, but it’s not the only way to catch proper shuteye traveling across time zones, says Gradisar. He recommends strategizing your flight pattern, too, with an easy yet effective approach to trip planning.

“You’ll need to make your sleep pattern later when traveling westward, so book a flight that departs later,” he says. “It’s the opposite when traveling eastward. You need your sleep pattern to shift earlier, so think about booking a flight earlier in the day.”

Below, three more hotels that offer premium sleep programs.

Hotel Figueroa, Los Angeles

Rest, Relax, Recover and Reset

Book this package to ensure full rejuvenation after a busy day. A stay in the Rest & Recovery Suite includes amenities such as Eight Sleep’s smart mattress, which adjusts to body temperature, and a Forme mirror for workouts.

The Benjamin, New York City

Rest and Renew

Curated by sleep expert Dr. Rebecca Robbins, this package includes top-of-the-line sleep aids: masks, earplugs, noise machines, a lullaby music library and on-demand meditation. Fight insomnia with a 24/7 Sleep Team and a pillow menu offering ten options.

MGM Grand, Las Vegas

Stay Well

Choose from an assortment of rooms and suites that include aromatherapy, air purification and specialized lighting: a dawn simulator for gentle awakenings, energized lighting to reduce jet lag and suppress melatonin, and long-wave night lighting to minimize sleep disruptions.