Sleep Therapy Might Just Be The New Wellness Trend That Actually Works

Sleep Therapy Might Just Be The New Wellness Trend That Actually Works

On a quest to discover the secret to a perfect night’s kip, one writer deletes her sleep-tracking apps and swaps counting sheep for London’s latest sleep concierge service

This article is part of a regular column from SUITCASE’s
Grace Lee exploring new wellness trends worth trying

friend wasn’t the first to mention it. “REM is the new DnB,”
she joked, rolling her eyes over the number of sleep-honing tips
shared in the previous week on her uni WhatsApp group (a forum
where, she laments, all-night club tickets had historically topped
the agenda). “Why’s everyone so obsessed with sleep?”

Sleep rituals are in vogue – whether it’s waking with circadian
rhythm-hacking alarm clocks, app-tracking our sleep cycles or
vigorously dousing bed linen with lavender mists – and our
pathological preoccupation with them even has a new name:
orthosomnia. Yet is it any wonder we’re all a bit hung up on kip
when the average person only gets a fraction of the hours we
actually need for a good night’s rest?

The global sleep-health economy has grown by around £8billion in
the last two years, so it’s no surprise that sleep tourism is
rapidly on the rise. Airlines have been leading the charge, with
state-of-the-art lounge facilities such as Qantas’ body
clock-adjusting “light therapy” showers and British Airways’ “zero
gravity” capsule-style sleep pods offering soothing slumbers for
travellers on a tight stopover.

And now hotels are waking up to the trend, with sleep technology
including AI-equipped mattresses arriving in rooms across the
world. In the Italian Dolomites, bedrooms at Hotel de
are equipped with “sleep radiance panels” that reorganise
natural ambient energy based on mechanical, light and temperature
stimuli, while at Austria’s Lanserhof Lans, sleep specialists tailor
bespoke programmes for guests based on data gathered in an on-site
mobile sleep laboratory.

Room, Hotel de Len, Italian Dolomites
Room, Hotel de Len, Italian Dolomites

Hotel de Len, Italian Dolomites

All exciting innovations, but the Luddite in me still wonders
whether the solution to our tech-induced sleep problems is yet more

Checking in: The Sleep Concierge at The Cadogan, London

“It’s time to unplug your thoughts and leave them behind,”
Malminder Gill, The Cadogan’s resident sleep concierge,
whispers from a chair in the corner of my suite. A
multi-award-winning therapist, Gill guides sleep-deprived guests
through bespoke sleep hypnotherapy experiences at the Chelsea
address. For my session, the lights are out and I’m lying
sausage-like in bed, all swaddled and feeling distinctly like a
child. Awkwardness aside, it’s pretty relaxing.

“Imagine you’re in a field, surrounded by beautiful autumn
leaves,” Gill continues. “Choose a leaf, then pick it up from the
ground. The leaf that’s now in your hand is your biggest
obstruction in life. What is it?”

Suite, The Cadogan Hotel, Chelsea, London, UK
Sleep expert Malminder Gill

The Cadogan, left, and sleep concierge Malminder

Startled by my own answer, I’m distracted and start to stir.
Once the visualisation is over, I confess that I’d seen myself as
the obstructing leaf and Gill is quick to soothe. “Don’t worry, a
lot of people end up seeing themselves. We’re often our own worst

Switching the bedside lamp on, she gently begins to ask about
stress levels. “Yes, they are quite high,” I mumble. Noting the
link between stress and a lack of sleep, Gill suggests this might
be why I find it hard to turn off my thoughts: “the link between
stress and poor sleep is a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep increases
stress. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline, which in turn can
make it hard to relax and fall asleep.”

So how can hypnotherapy help? In lots of ways, apparently. Aside
from generating a profoundly relaxed state, Gill suggests that her
methods can help people identify underlying issues that might be
feeding into heightened stress levels. She’s also able to provide
coping methods such as breathing exercises that can alter negative
thought patterns before bed.

Over the next hour, Gill goes on to ask about my menstrual
cycle, diet and general day-to-day routine, offering nuggets of
advice and suggesting small changes that could all contribute to
better shut-eye, from building a sleep schedule that works in
harmony with my monthly cycle, to sequencing meals in order to aid
digestion. This holistic approach, coupled with her meditative
energy, leaves me feeling seen in ways I hadn’t expected. By the
end of our session I’ve got a new sense of clarity – not just on my
relationship with sleep, but on my relationship with myself, too.
That night, imbued with renewed confidence in my ability to switch
off, I charge theatrically into bed and sleep like a baby. And
there’s no sleep-tracking gadget in sight.

Lights out: three ways to get a better night’s sleep

Modern Wisdom Podcast


Modern Wisdom, Dr Greg Potter – The Definitive Guide To Sleep

How does sleep impact our weight? Can a good night’s kip improve
our fitness levels? What are we risking when we stop prioritising
rest? Chris Williamson asks all these questions and more with his
guest, health and performance consultant Dr Greg Potter, who shares
nuggets of wisdom from his PhD research on sleep and chronobiology
in this thought-provoking podcast.

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker


Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

Dive into the science of sleep with this much-talked-about
bestseller, in which neuroscientist Matthew
Walker explores 20 years of cutting-edge sleep research. Revealing
just how vital a good night’s shut-eye is for our health and
longevity, Walker covers everything from the links between major
diseases and sleep deficiency, to why our sleep patterns change
across our lifetime, and what really happens during REM sleep.

La Vie En Rouge Eye Mask,


La Vie En Rouge Eye Mask, £69, Drowsy Sleep Co

Struggle to nod off on long-haul flights? Set aside that flimsy
airline eye mask and settle in for some serious R&R with this
pillow-soft, silky saviour. Featuring a wraparound head strap
that’s fully adjustable (goodbye, awkward crease lines), the mask’s padded lining not only blocks out
light, but muffles sound, too.

The Lowdown

Doubles at The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel cost from £930.
All rates include The Sleep Concierge’s bespoke turn-down service,
featuring a pillow menu with the option of a weighted blanket, a
bedtime tea developed by The Cadogan, and a Bamford scented pillow
mist. A sleep-inducing meditation recorded by Malminder Gill is
available in rooms via the Belmond app. For a more personalised
experience, guests can book an in-room one-to-one with Gill (if
reserved in advance).

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