What is Sleep Tourism? Here's Everything You Need to Know About a Sleep Vacation

Few things hurt like poor sleep, so it's worth ensuring that your sleep travels take you only to the most restful and rejuvenating locations.

Joshua Cox-Steib
Joshua Cox-Steib is a sociologist and freelance writer. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife and their menagerie of pets. Joshua holds a degree in sociology from the University of Tulsa and worked as a behavioral analyst before becoming a professional writer.
Joshua Cox-Steib
5 min read
Travel hotel and luggage in a hotel room.
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Few things feel better after a long day of travel than sinking into the perfect bed. Depending on where you're headed, that refreshing mattress may be a given. However, not every bed is made the same, and some hotels are known for more comfortable sleeping arrangements than others. If a long night of rejuvenating sleep is your goal, then making sure your accommodations have the perfect mattress can be a game-changer. For many, the opportunity to rest and recharge is at the forefront of destination goals. And hotels are beginning to catch on, with some redoubling their efforts to appeal to sleep tourists and all those who prize an excellent night's sleep.

What is sleep tourism?

Poor sleep and lack of rest and recovery can be linked to poor health outcomes and lower rates of happiness. With that in mind, it's not surprising that people are increasingly booking vacations to deal with precisely these things. Imagine, instead of going sightseeing and shopping, you visit a place that offers top-of-the-line mattresses and every conceivable sleep amenity one can imagine. Some hotels might have hypnotherapists on hand, and others might include guest access to a sensory deprivation chamber. Increasingly, if you can imagine a sleep amenity, there's a business out there working to meet that need.

Sleep tourism isn't happening in a vacuum, however. Research has shown that many Americans aren't getting enough sleep and that it isn't of good quality when they are. If sleep were less important, this might be less problematic, but sleep is essential for good health and well-being. With great sleep becoming increasingly rare yet consistently important, sleep tourism has become a quickly booming industry.    

Everything a sleep hotel has to offer

Travel can be exhausting, so what's waiting for you when you arrive matters. Sleep trends and amenities can vary significantly between hotels, even among those specializing in sleep tourism. Depending on where you stay, you may expect to see some or many of the following amenities:

  • Advanced smart bed mattresses
  • Soft colors
  • In-house sleep hypnotists
  • Sleep masks
  • Ambient sound generators
  • In-house masseuse
  • Personalized pillows
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Aromatherapy
  • Smart lighting
  • Teas and other soothing beverages
  • Heated flooring

Some amenities, like spas and saunas, may be separate from the room, although not always. Hotels that offer masseuses and hypnotists may provide these services in your room.

Best sleep hotels

The Park Hyatt's sleep suite

Not every hotel is well equipped for sleep tourism. More and more, however, are working to make themselves stand out as proper sleep hotels, perfect for the modern sleep tourist. These locales will help you counter jet lag from travel, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. While the list below is far from comprehensive, these hotels have earned a name for themselves as some of the best locations to sleep travel.

The Park Hyatt

This New York five-star hotel offers a handful of Restorative Sleep Suites among its many rooms. Included in the Hyatt's sleep amenities in these rooms are specialized AI mattresses made by Bryte. These rooms also have an aromatic diffuser and sleep-focused essential oils, among other amenities.

The Little Nell

This sleep hotel in Aspen, Colorado, has earned five stars and five diamonds. The Little Nell won the Reader's Choice award from 2017 to 2023 (barring 2022). Sleep-focused amenities include a Bryte Balance mattress, comfortable and relaxing décor, down comforters and pillows, steam showers, heated marble floors and walls, jacuzzi tubs, and more.

Four Seasons One Dalton

This five-star sleep hotel in Boston includes a specialized sleep ritual package for customers seeking rest and rejuvenation. This package includes guided breathing exercises, massage and aromatherapy. The hotel also includes an entire wellness floor, a gym, 24-hour room service and an indoor pool.

Lotte New York Palace

This New York hotel in midtown Manhattan offers its Hastens Ultimate Sleep Suite, which includes a top-of-the-line Hästens Vividus king-size bed and two queen-size Hästens beds in the guest bedroom. These luxurious suites also include deep soaking tubs, a library, a powder room, a dining room, a kitchen and more. The hotel offers a gorgeous view from its tower over Manhattan.

Hotel Figueroa

In business since 1926, this iconic Los Angeles hotel offers its signature Rest and Recovery Suite. The suite includes sleep amenities like a personal Pluto pillow, an Eight Sleep smart mattress with customizable settings, in-room fitness training, hyperice compression massage technology, specialized therapeutic lighting for sleeping and waking, advanced earplugs, air purifiers and access to guided meditation apps.

MGM Grand

This Las Vegas hotel has many sleep amenities to help those visiting the City of Lights find rest and rejuvenation. Among these amenities are aromatherapy options, advanced air purification, a Stay Well memory foam mattress, specialized lighting to augment morning and night and more. The MGM Grand offers Stay Well rooms and suites, with some of the suites having extra amenities like spas or sweeping city views.

5 tips for sleeping in luxury

Hands arranging sheets on a bed
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If you're having trouble sleeping but aren't ready to foot the bill for a sleep vacation, you may be interested in sprucing up your arrangements at home. With a little effort and insight, you can make your bedroom feel like a rejuvenating luxury hotel. The tips below may help you find deep, restful sleep at home:

Consider a mattress topper

One relatively quick, easy and inexpensive way to improve your bed's sleeping comfort is to add a mattress topper. These cushioned additions provide extra padding and support to the top layer of your mattress and can help with beds that are feeling worn out or excessively firm.

Upgrade your bedding

While the mattress is crucial to comfort, so is the bedding you put on it. Buying new sheets, blankets and pillows can go a long way toward improving your comfort at night.

Ensure your pillow fits your sleeping position

People sleep differently. Most people generally sleep on their side, back or stomach. Some people shift between these positions regularly, while others are more consistent. How you sleep can help determine what kind of pillows work best for you. For instance, people who sleep on their stomachs tend to benefit from low, thin pillows, while side sleepers often prefer loftier pillows. The trick is finding an arrangement that doesn't misalign your neck and spinal posture while you sleep.

Try pillow mist or a sleep mask

Many people find that aromatherapy can help with sleeping comfort, so they use pillow mists, a gentle blend of essential oils and water to be spritzed on the pillow. Sleep masks are another great amenity that can help one to let go of the day and drift into sleep. The mist helps your olfactory sense recognize comfort and rest, while the mask blocks light and informs the eyes that it's time to slumber.

Put up blackout curtains

One way that hotels provide a rest-ready environment is by carefully controlling the lighting with items like blackout curtains. Reducing the light entering the room creates an atmosphere of gentle darkness and quiet. These curtains can be added easily at home to provide the same restful benefit. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.