Gwyneth Paltrow recently coined the phrase “clean sleeping” to convey what experts have known for decades: Quality slumber is a foundation for wellness – inside and out.
It’s no longer just about getting the minimum seven or eight hours per night. Proper R&R means reducing daytime stress and hitting the sack in the right state. The benefits are endless: increased energy, better memory and mood, healthier weight, and even a glowing complexion.
To assist in attaining those precious zzz’s, a whole new set of rest-related services is taking over our culture. In an effort to control stress at the office, nap pods are already a fixture at companies like Facebook and Google, and have started popping up in airports (see Dubai International’s SnoozeCube). Travelers can also improve their sleep habits on the go with ingenious apps such as Sleep Cycle, which tracks patterns and wakes you when you’re most likely to feel alert, and Pzizz, which emits binaural beats and sounds designed to prep your brain for slumber. The NASA-approved Sleep Genius app can help find your ideal bedtime and even guide you through a midday power nap, timing it so that you wake up feeling fresh, not groggy.
For the ultimate accessory, try the Lumie Bodyclock, a lamp that gradually gets brighter during the last 15 to 90 minutes of sleep to suppress sleep-inducing melatonin and boost get-up-and-go cortisol. The result is an energy boost when the alarm goes off, no matter what time it is (it’s used by the British swim team for early- morning trainings).
State-of-the-art spas looking to get ahead of the curve are also adding sleep-oriented treatments to their menus. A therapeutic nap at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona, makes use of a high-tech, zero-gravity nap pod that emits gentle sound frequencies to induce brain waves for deep relaxation – so you can doze off quickly and wake up feeling refreshed and calm. A similar effect comes from the tones of ancient Tibetan singing bowls, used in the sleep therapy treatment at Fairmont Chengdu, China. These sounds are said to balance the chakras and quiet the nervous system to induce a meditative state, from which you can choose to focus inward or indulge in a healing snooze.
At the end of the day, whether you’re sluggish, stressed or jet-lagged, there’s a nap for that.
Written By Renée Morrison