There are many different reasons that people go on vacation. Some simply go for some time in the sun, others for a spot of cultural immersion and then of course there is a hardcore adventurers who travel to chase adrenaline. Whatever the reason though, the general consensus is that any vacationer should return feeling rested, relaxed and refreshed.
However, for those of you who perhaps long to return from a holiday feeling particularly refreshed and relaxed, then the new travel trend of sleep tourism may be the stuff that sweet dreams are made of…
Yes, you heard us correctly. Sleep tourism is a curious new travel trend that involves travelling to different destinations solely for the purpose of getting a good night’s sleep.
Intrigued? Well, read on to find out more…
What is Sleep Tourism?
Sleep tourism (also known as “napcations” or “sleepcations”) is a type of travel where the focus is simply on getting some quality sleep. It works like this – travellers book trips to destinations where they can rest, relax, and rejuvenate aided by a variety of sleep-enhancing activities and facilities.
Some sleep tourism experiences can involve staying at hotels or resorts that offer specialized sleep programs, including personalized sleep assessments, high-tech, ergonomic mattresses, and customized sleep environments.
Other sleep tourism activities include spa treatments, meditation sessions, and yoga classes all designed to promote relaxation and ultimately, better sleep. Many sleep tourism experiences will also discourage and limit screen-time, and minimise access to things like coffee and fizzy drinks.
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Why is Sleep Tourism Becoming Popular?
Unfortunately, many people today are experiencing high levels of stress and poor sleep quality due to the demands that modern life can place on us. The mainstream medical establishments’ response to this seems to be to prescribe medication which many are reluctant to take. As a result, there’s a fast-growing interest in alternative approaches to managing stress and promoting relaxation.
Sleep tourism is one example. It provides a unique opportunity to disconnect from the daily grind and instead focus on improving one’s sleep quality, which can lead to enhanced overall health and improved well-being.
In addition, sleep tourism still offers travelers the chance to explore new destinations while also taking care of their physical and mental health. By prioritizing sleep and relaxation, sleep tourists can return home after their break feeling refreshed and recharged, rather than feeling exhausted and in need of another vacation (P.S. I always say that after a trip backpacking India)
Where to Go for a Sleep Tourism Experience?
While this movement is still in its infancy, there are already many dedicated destinations around the world that offer sleep tourism experiences. Here are a few choice examples:
1. The Sleep Retreat, Costa Rica:
This wellness retreat offers a range of sleep-focused programs such as yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic treatments. Sleep Retreat guests can also participate in a sleep workshop in order to learn about the science of sleep, and how to improve their sleep habits back home.
Not only that but there’s a swimming pool with views over the mountains, a kitted-out fitness centre, a massage centre and heaps of opportunities to get out and hike in nature.
Looking for more options, have a look at the best yoga retreats in Costa Rica.
2. The Benjamin Hotel, New York City:
This hotel offers a “Rest & Renew” program featuring sleep-inducing massage, in-room sleep amenities, and even a sleep consultation with a sleep expert. The fully kitted-out fitness centre will help you tire yourself out before soaking in your own tub!
Staying in the centre of NYC might not seem like the most relaxing location, but this unique property lets you combine sightseeing with a relaxing evening. Plus, you might just find yourself in town for work or business and need a place to decompress. It’s one of the best places to stay in New York if you’re looking for an escape from the big city.
3. Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal:
This luxury resort now offers guests a variety of sleep-related amenities. These include providing a “Sleep Ambassador” to provide personalized sleep advice, and a “Sleep Bag” filled with sleep-enhancing goodies like earplugs and an eye mask.
Set overlooking the Douro Valley vineyards, it’s the perfect addition to any Porto itinerary. After a few days pounding the steep streets of the city, this relaxing resort offers a stunning pool, gym, aromatic saunas, arctic showers, an organic garden of vegetables and herbs all set in beautiful sprawling woods.
Final Thoughts: Is Sleep Tourism Right for You?
If you’re someone who struggles with getting quality sleep or feels burnt out from the stresses of day-to-day life, then sleep tourism just may be for you. Of course, deciding against an exciting sightseeing trip in favour of a sleep holiday can be a tough choice to make.
However, it is very important to note that sleep tourism experiences (like most wellness-type retreats) can be rather expensive and we can say with some certainty that not everyone reading this will be able to afford to take a dedicated sleep-focused trip.
Ultimately, the decision to take a sleep tourism experience is a personal choice and it comes down to how much you need that sleep! If you’re interested in exploring this trend though, do some good research and try to find a destination that aligns with your needs and budget whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long retreat.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!