As my wife – and all my exes – will attest, I’m really good (at staying) in bed. I’m not one of those weirdos who jumps out from under the sheets at the crack of dawn, ready to seize the day: my modus operandi has always been to remain horizontal for as long as possible, screeching “five more minutes” to anyone who tries to rouse me. Some may call it laziness; I call it self-care. After all, sleep is restorative. Quality sleep adds years to your life and is great for your mental health. Why wouldn’t you snooze for as long as you can?
Because you have a job that requires you to get up early, that’s why. Or because you have anxiety-induced insomnia. Or because you have a child who won’t let you sleep a minute past 6.49am. As I have come to realise, sleep is a luxury item. I used to take slumbering for granted, but now that I’m the mother of a hyperactive toddler (is there any other kind of toddler?), sleep is something I would pay a pretty penny for.
I am not the only one. Sleep has become such a precious commodity that one of the biggest trends in upmarket travel is sleep tourism. Swanky hotel chains are now geared up to be great places to get a good night’s rest. Last year, for example, the Park Hyatt New York launched five fancy sleep suites with AI-powered beds. And London’s Zedwell hotel is designed to be a luxuriant cocoon where you “check in to tune out”. Now, expensive resorts around the world are offering upmarket sleep retreats where you fork out thousands of dollars to “master everything there is to know about the art of sleep”.
While the rise of sleep tourism may sound ridiculous on the surface, it makes perfect sense when you consider the zeitgeist. We live in incredibly anxious times. We have climate change to the right of us, a potential world war to the left of us, and general mayhem all around us. Who wants to spend their hard-earned cash going on adrenaline-filled adventure holidays in this climate? Far better to spend your money switching off.