Driving hospitality revenue with innovative sleep tourism programs

sleep tourism

Sleep tourism is a big revenue opportunity for hotels and resorts. Some examples of innovations in this area.

Sleep is of big concern right now and sleep tourism represents a big potential market, not just for the luxury sector, but for hotels and resorts across the board. According to the Sleep Foundation, one third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and Google searches for “sleep” hit an all-time high in 2023. Specific searches such as, “Why am I tired all the time” were also common.

This is obviously important, as we know sleep is tied to longevity, health, and wellbeing, while a lack of it is connected with some very bad things, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression. 

Research findings presented in 2023 at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together With the World Congress of Cardiology suggest that about eight percent of deaths from any cause can be attributed to poor sleep patterns, and that people who have more beneficial sleep habits are incrementally less likely to die younger. Separate research has found that poor sleep is connected with memory loss and dementia. 

Awareness around the topic has people seeking solutions. According to research on the Sleep Foundation website:

  • 37% of U.S. adults say they slept somewhat or much worse in 2023 than in previous years.
  • The top sleep hacks people tried in the year prior to the report were showering before bed (45%), using a weighted blanket (26%), and keeping a bedroom window open (26%).
  • 27% exercised more to improve sleep, 27% got up earlier, and 25% limited or avoided caffeine, while only 19% turned off their phone at bedtime.
  • The most popular products purchased to improve sleep were comfortable pillows (40%), quality sheets (24%), and a new mattress (23%).

The rise of sleep tourism

Sleep tourism, meanwhile, is on the rise, with more hotels and resorts offering sleep-focused rooms, amenities, and programs. Sleep tourism is projected to grow by nearly 8% and over $400 billion between 2023 and 2028, according to an analysis by HTF Market Intelligence as reported by Fortune magazine.

Rebecca Robbins, a sleep researcher and co-author of the book “Sleep for Success!” told CNN in 2022 that it’s about time for this shift. 

“When it comes down to it, travelers book hotels for a place to sleep,” Robbins told CNN Travel. “People often associate travel with decadent meals, extending their bed times, the attractions and the things you do while you’re traveling, really almost at the cost of sleep. Now, I think there’s just been a huge seismic shift in our collective awareness and prioritization on wellness and well being.” 

Trends in wearable and sleep tech

In 2023, the Global Wellness Institute listed sensorial based technology products among its sleep trends: 

“Sensorial-based technology products include smart mattresses that use sensors to monitor sleep patterns and adjust the mattress firmness and temperature accordingly. Additionally, there are smart pillows that track sleep data and provide soothing vibrations to alleviate snoring or provide a more comfortable sleep. These products also offer guided meditation and relaxing music to help people fall asleep faster, creating a more sensorial sleeping experience.” 

Wearables include the Ouoro Ring and the Whoop 4.0.

Hotels and resorts are turning to similar technologies – as well as more natural solutions – to appeal to sleep deprived guests in search of a restful holiday. What distinguishes one from the others will be unique and imaginative sleep program ideas that offer guests experiences unavailable elsewhere.

Some examples of hotels and resorts offering innovative and creative sleep programs include:

Four Seasons Bali at Sayan

One of the sessions in the Life Talks and Meditation series at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, a breathtaking five-star property in the Sayan Valley, is a sacred nap. For this afternoon “air nap,” guests are suspended from a bamboo ceiling cocooned in an aerial silk hammock. Rocking gently while listening to the sounds of nature in the tranquility of the Sayan Valley and the life story of Buddha as told by Four Seasons Wellness Mentor Ibu Fera, guests are lulled to sleep in tranquil bliss. “Deeply soothing and nurturing, this is a not-to-be-missed relaxation technique that will leave you feeling refreshed and recharged, and planning your next air nap.” 

Park Hyatt New York

At Park Hyatt New York, the luxury five-star urban oasis in the heart of Midtown, Bryte Restorative Sleep Suites are outfitted with Bryte Balance Restorative Beds. These beds offer a multi-sensory relaxation experience that synchronizes calming sleep-inducing sounds with soothing motions to ease the mind into a peaceful state and help guests fall asleep faster. Sleepers can personalize support settings on each side of the bed for tailored comfort, while intelligent cushions continually rebalance to minimize waking episodes. A Silent Wake Assist feature begins gradual movement beneath the sleeper 15 minutes prior to wake time, ensuring a smooth awakening. The suites are also outfitted with sleep-enhancing amenities such as a Vitruvi Essential Diffuser and signature “Sleep” Essential Oil blend, Nollapelli Linens, sleeping masks, and a collection of sleep-related books.

Six Senses Ibiza

Sleep with Six Senses sleep programs were designed to enhance and improve restorative rest and wellbeing in partnership with Sleep Doctor Michael Breus. These programs, which vary across locations, incorporate yoga nidra and meditation, relaxing treatments and amenities, wellness therapies, nutrition advice and low intensity training. The benefits include insight into current sleep patterns through sleep tracking and analysis, boosts in mood and energy levels, strengthening of the immune system, improved memory and learning, and decreased systemic inflammation. At Six Senses Ibiza, programs range from three to seven nights and include wellness screening; private yoga, Pilates, and personal training sessions; meditation/pranayama; a Nottnuit Facial; cryotherapy; and sound healing.

Factors to consider when designing hotel sleep programs

The findings of a 2023 study highlight the value of integrating sleep programs as part of wellness offerings in hospitality and point to five sleep factors that may contribute significantly to longevity. While controlling for other factors, researchers assessed five different sleep-related factors: 

  1. Ideal sleep duration of seven to eight hours a night
  2. Difficulty falling asleep no more than two times a week
  3. Trouble staying asleep no more than two times a week
  4. Not using any sleep medication
  5. Feeling well rested after waking up at least five days a week

Those who reported having all five quality sleep measures were given a total score of five.  Compared to people with only zero or one positive sleep factors, those with all five had a 30% reduced risk of death from any cause, a 21% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 19% decreased risk of dying from cancer, and a 40% reduced likelihood of death from reasons other than heart disease or cancer. These other reasons likely include accidents, infections, and  neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Image by drobotdean on Freepik


Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.

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