When planning your next getaway, consider a sleep vacation.
Sleep vacations, which are rising in popularity across the world, typically involve a hotel package that includes a consultation with a sleep expert, physical/mental relaxation exercises, aromatherapy and overnight sleep monitoring. Upscale resorts and hotels in Europe have popularized these holiday retreats, but a sleep vacation is easy to do yourself without leaving town. You’ll still benefit from the experience while saving money and enjoying the comforts of your own home.
We recommend five steps to treating yourself to an at-home sleep vacation.
- Choose a weekend that’s completely free of events or commitments. The point of this mini-holiday is to escape the stress and busy schedule of your everyday life.
- Unplug from your cell phone, TV and computer. If you can’t turn these devices off for the whole weekend, make sure to shut down at least one full hour before sleep. In 2011, the National Sleep Foundation found that 95 percent of Americans use electronic devices within one hour before sleep, which disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm in multiple ways. The light electronics emit interferes with your ability to produce the hormone melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy, and the between text messages, apps or shows, the devices can increase mental stimulation and stress. Challenge yourself to go a full day without your device – you may be amazed at how relaxed you feel.
- Book a massage. Mind-body relaxation is a good way to de-stress. We recommend getting a massage or doing yoga to reduce both physical and mental stress. If neither of these activities strike your interest, try a light workout. Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and help you sleep.
- Give your sleep environment a makeover. Everything from your bedroom temperature to décor can affect your sleep quality. If your curtains or blinds don’t fully block out the light, update your window treatments so you have a dark room at night. Reduce clutter around your room, and try out a sound machine designed to promote sleep.
- If you’re concerned about the quality of your sleep, snoring or other sleep problems, set up an appointment with us at Iowa Sleep. Our sleep professionals will help uncover the reasons why you have problems sleeping and find a solution to help you sleep better in no time.
With these simple tips, you may want to treat yourself to a sleep vacation even more frequently than your typical vacations. It’s important to remember that good sleep is a critical part of your overall health – not something you only indulge in every few months. However, a sleep vacation is the ideal way to refresh your mind and body in the middle of the busy summer months.
Want to look into sleep vacation packages offered around the world? The team at SheKnows.com put together this list of hotels with popular sleep vacations, including two in the U.S.