Lack of sleep can be debilitating to say the least, both physically and mentally. But for some, a good night’s rest is but a dream, leading to mood changes, weight gain, weakened immunity and more serious medical conditions if the insomnia persists. With World Sleep Day on 18 March, we’ve curated the best global sleep retreats that will help you address your current sleeping patterns and disappear into the land of nod.
The World’s Most Effective Sleep Retreats
Doura Valley, Portugal
Luxury hotel group Six Senses takes sleep very seriously. So much so, it currently offers its popular Sleep Programme – devised in collaboration with revered sleep doctor Michael J.Breus Ph.D. – in twelve resorts from the Douro Valley in Portugal to Oman’s Zighy Bay. While each programme varies in length (you can choose between three-, four-, five- or seven-nights) and content, depending on local experts and inspiration, the premise remains the same.
Zighy Bay, Oman
The programme is designed to implement sustainable sleep routines and improve sleep patterns, which in turn will restore energy, de-stress and prepare you for whatever curveballs might come your way. A tracker and app are used to identify sleep patterns, after which a consultant will devise a tailored treatment schedule. This will include a blend of wellness therapies (yoga, pranayama, meditation…); low intensity training, the likes of forest hikes; nutrition advice; and myriad relaxing spa treatments – the sleep retreat of dreams.
The 3-night Sleep Programme at Six Senses Douro Valley costs 697 Euros.
Lefay Resort & Spa
Lake Garda, Italy
Lefay Resort & Spa overlooking Lake Garda has something of a reputation amongst wellness devotees, with guests returning again and again for its meticulous facilities and in-depth expertise. Here, you’ll find a blend of traditional Chinese medicine combined with scientific know-how. The five-night sleep programme is based on the belief that insomnia is the result of an energy imbalance and that by stimulating and realigning the energy lines, slumber will no longer be evasive.
On arrival, guests have a medical examination, before a treatment plan is put in place. One day this could involve moxibustion (a form of heat therapy that involves the burning of dried plant materials to promote healing) or cryotherapy, another day it could be reflexology and a guided walk in the energy and therapeutic garden or a qigong session. Any spare time can be spent in the outstanding spa, which in itself is surely conducive to rest and repose.
From 3,200 Euros per person in a Prestige Junior Suite, based on two sharing.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Hugging Koh Samui’s south coast, Kamalaya is so much more than soft white sand, crystalline lagoon and swaying palms. This wellness sanctuary is built around the Monk’s Cave, an area once inhabited by Buddhist monks for meditation and retreat. This sets the tone throughout, where the emphasis is on nurturing guests through nature via a series of healing programmes for tired bodies and minds.
Whether booked in for the seven-day or nine-day Sleep Enhancement Programme, the goals are the same: to learn the tools to create optimal conditions for sleep and increase the depth and duration of that shuteye. Working alongside the resort’s naturopath, life enhancement mentor and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, kick off your stay with a Body Bio-impedance Analysis (a tool to assess body health). Afterwards, you’ll follow a timetable of treatments and bioresonance therapy, alongside nutritional guidance and supplementation – all designed to introduce a deep state of relaxation.
The seven-night programme costs £2,963 per person, full-board.
Sha Wellness Clinic
The pioneering SHA Wellness Clinic on the shores of the Mediterranean combines medical innovation, natural therapies and healthy nutrition to improve the health of guests. The Sleep Recovery Programme – which, along with the Rebalance Programme, can be added on to a stay – offers a deep-dive into understanding the triggers of your insomnia and developing strategies to overcome them.
The programme takes a diagnostic approach; once the patient is assessed, the SHA team will devise a plan that incorporates medical services (dental health diagnosis, psychotherapy coaching); healthy nutrition; natural therapies (emotional and stress management, acupuncture and the like); and wellness treatments, such as aTibetan healing bowls massage, hydra aromatherapy and a session at the oxygen bar. Guests also have access to talks, holistic and cooking classes to ensure that the zzzs continue back home.
Room only rates at SHA Wellness Clinic start from €350 and rates for the Sleep Recovery Programme start at €4,300 for seven days.
With its uninterrupted views across the Indian Ocean, bougainvillaea and frangipani strewn grounds and super-luxe villas, Shanti Maurice is a world away from the every day. But this island idyll offers so much more than snorkelling, seafood and sunsets. It can help remedy your sleep issues too.
Choose between the five- or seven-night Sleep and Recovery Package which has been purposefully designed to induce a state of relaxation and encourage a restful night. During the five-night option, for example, guests will have a wellness consultation on arrival, followed by a series of treatments in the top-notch Spa. Pranayama, Reiki, Tibetan Sound massage, Magnesium sleep therapy, Shirodhara… all are designed to coax you into a deep slumber.
The five-night package is £706 per person, not including accommodation or meal plans.
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
The NEWYOU Method is the health and wellbeing concept at esteemed Swiss medi-spa Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Seamlessly incorporating all the resort’s strengths – from its holistic treatments to five-star facilities – in a portfolio of unique programmes, this relatively new approach promises guests results-based and sustainable experiences.
Packages include the likes of the four-day ‘My Microbiome’ – a comprehensive examination of your gastrointestinal ecosystem and metabolism – to the seven-day ‘Detox & Health Cleansing’. The wellness resort also offers a Sleep programme, which will be launching later in the year. If you can’t wait until then, why not try the Recharge package? Massages, yoga, ear candling and treatments in thermal waters all combine to calm the mind and relieve stress, and hopefully lead to a better night’s rest.
The basic three-day Recharge package costs £1,600.
Revivo is a wellness retreats brand, with outposts in France and Bali. The latter is set high in the hills in Nusa Dua, surrounded by teak forest. Originally the holiday home of Aman Resorts founder Adrian Zecha, it has been transformed into a minimalist sanctuary, with 16 thatched roof villas dotted around the tropical gardens. So far, so seriously zen.
Here, there are six immersive retreats to choose from, including Sleep Well, a sleep retreat which promises to help combat imbalances that may be causing sleeping issues. Each one is tailored to the individual and includes a private consultation to ascertain current sleeping patterns and lifestyle. Afterwards, a daily plan is put in place covering everything from yoga and reflexology to lavender baths and meditation, not to mention classes, workshops and lectures. A specially devised menu, sleep butlers and a breathing meditation lamp in each room all add to the sleep journey.
From $500 per night per person for a fully inclusive stay including classes, treatments and consultations
Although not a sleep retreat per se, those who want to get to the root of their sleep issues could head to Canyon Ranch in Arizona. Set deep in the Sonoran desert, this all-inclusive wellness haven was established in 1979, and continues to attract people the world over who are drawn to its holistic approach.
Guests choose a Pathway experience – expertly-curated personalised programmes with names like ‘Reconnect With Joy’, ‘Personal Discovery’ or ‘Just Be Here’. There follows nutritious eating plans, spa treatments (the Coconut Melt experience is dreamy) and consultations with a deeply knowledgeable team. As an add-on, opt for the overnight scientific-led Sleep Screening. A sleep device monitors periods of apnea and wake/sleep by using Peripheral Arterial Tone, a non-invasive window into respiratory disturbances during sleep. Having studied the results, a physician will then make recommendations for the relevant treatments.
The overnight Sleep Screening costs $750.