Sleep health and the role of the spa, wellness and hospitality sectors was the subject of a lively panel at the recent GWS in Florida.
Moderated by Allison Howard, founder and CEO of Nollapelli, the session, titled Sleep: The Foundation of Health and Hospitality
, heard the views of Francisco Levine from smart-bed supplier, Bryte; Tammy Pahel, from Carillon Miami; and sleep researcher Dr Rebecca Robbins, with contributions from Six Senses’ Anna Bjurstam.
The panellists agreed that sleep is one of the most under-researched areas in travel.
Robbins said: “We conducted a study of 800 recent travellers and asked them about their quality of sleep and willingness to return to a hotel.
“We found quality of sleep was generally very poor, but on the occasions when people had a better night's sleep at a hotel, they were much more likely to talk about it and return for another stay.
“We looked at factors that were strong predictors of the quality of sleep – some were obvious, such as a good pillow or fantastic mattress, but we also found surprising things, such the presence of a plug near a bed!
Pahel said hotels are overlooking sleep as a variable, saying: “If you're in the hotel business, the Forbes standard is what you live and breathe, but one of the big things we're missing is having a sleep programme because it will separate you from other luxury hotels.”
She explained that Carillon aims to be a leader in wellness, saying: “We've added Bryte beds to see how people will react. These digital beds collect data on how people sleep and will be a game-changer in how we deliver service."
Bjurstam spoke about what Six Senses does, saying: “We work with sleep specialist, Dr Breus. We have moisture-wicking sheets, a pillow menu, special hand-made beds, white noise machines and humidifiers, plus we set the room at the right temperature and offer snacks and bedtime yoga or yoga nidra programmes.
“Sleep is bigger than just the time you spend with your eyes closed,” said Bjurstam, “Its about your wellbeing during the whole of the day.”
The panellists suggested spas could open later to give relaxing treatments to help people wind down, offer herbal remedies, create sleep sanctuaries and eliminate all light from sleeping spaces.
You can find out more about this and all other GWS sessions via the GWS portal