How a sleep retreat can help you catch up on your Zzz's

No, we’re not talking about holiday lie-ins but a trip dedicated to the art of slumber. Sleep vacations, one of the hottest travel trends for 2019, may be just what the doctor ordered.

A woman rests on a luxurious bed
  • Alison Bone
  • September 2019

When was the last time you woke up feeling completely refreshed? Good sleep is crucial to our wellbeing, yet in our hyper-connected 21st century lives, many of us find it difficult to disconnect and disengage, which can lead to various health disorders.

According to the Sleep Health Foundation, nearly 40 per cent of Australians suffer from sleep issues, caused by a combination of stress, screen time, and poor diet and exercise habits.

We all know the benefits of a holiday – the chance to escape the daily grind, let loose and unwind but the effects can be fleeting, which is why a growing number of people are seeking wellness from their travels. Within the rampant rise of wellness tourism, the micro-trend of sleep vacations is also gaining popularity. And as awareness about the importance of sleep for overall wellbeing grows, an increasing number of hotels and resorts are offering programs to cater to the sleep-deprived.

All around the world, the wellness trend has brought about a range of treatments to help you sleep more soundly.
Soothing spa treatments are an integral part of a sleep retreat.

“Sleep is the new luxury,” says Paul Joseph, wellness travel specialist and co-founder of healthy holiday company Health and Fitness Travel, which reports a 22 per cent increase in bookings for sleep retreats in the past two years.

While the thought of spending a week in bed snoozing away your sleep debt might sound heavenly, there is more to a sleep retreat than just some extra shut-eye. “They’re designed to teach you to sleep and combine wellbeing and getting away with learning tools to incorporate into your life back home,” explains Paul.

Internationally renowned “Sleep Doctor” Michael J Breus, who consults with Six Senses Resorts and Spas on their sleep programs, adds, “It’s more than an opportunity to ‘sleep in’ – it’s about educating a person on the important aspects of sleep and how to do it better.”


In addition to specially selected beds, pillows and sheets, you can typically expect soothing spa treatments, meditation sessions, yoga, sleep-promoting foods, plus a team of wellness experts to guide you on your journey towards better sleep and arm you with the tools for a healthier, happier life.

By stepping away from daily routines and distractions of everyday life, we can break old habits and adopt healthy new ones that can have a positive impact long after checkout.

As Tristian Kelly, sleep therapist and author of Three Weeks to Better Sleep (Booktango, AUD $9.99) says, “A sleep retreat will help you take control of sleep, rather than sleep, or lack of it, controlling your life."