The importance of quality slumber cannot be understated. Research has found that sleep deprivation can lead to DNA damage and hamper the body’s ability to repair itself. That said, all it takes is just a single bad night to understand how disruptive it can be to one’s daytime routine.
While there are sleep doctors to help those with chronic issues, everyone else in between has long had to rely on generic advice, like to sleep in a cool, dark place; take a hot bath and switch off all devices before bedtime. Not anymore.
There is now an increasing number of aids and wellness treatments – some based on high tech research and others on feel-good wellness principles – to help lull you into dreamland with ease. So for all insomniacs, bad sleepers and frequent flyers out there, here are five ways to sleep better.
USE A JETLAG REMEDY APP
Timeshifter churns out personalised sleep timetables based on the same science-based circadian algorithm that Nasa astronauts use while in space. It works on the principle that the human body reacts to light exposure and darkness to feel awake or sleepy. Key in your travel itinerary and sleep preferences for the algorithm to create a three-day pre-flight schedule with sleep times and instructions to get light exposure (turn on the lights or look at a device) or to avoid light (wear sunglasses) at specific times. Even partial adherence to the schedule will help alleviate the effects of jetlag. There are also recommendations for the use of melatonin and caffeine. www.timeshifter.com
AVOID DEHYDRATION ON LONG-HAUL FLIGHTS
MY FLIGHT PACK
Business class cabins are the driest place on an aircraft because of its lower passenger density. It turns out dehydration has an outsized effect on jet lag, which may explain why business travellers often get hit with travel fatigue the hardest. Enter My Flight Pack, a specially formulated drink pack developed by nutritional researcher Dr Stacy Sims and pro-cyclist chef Hannah Grant. The set of three powders is meant to be mixed with water and consumed at specific times during a long-haul flight. Tested by top athletes, it is formulated to allow the body to stay hydrated much better, compared to regular water or other sports drinks. www.geterw.com
GET A SLEEP MASSAGE
01 ESPA, RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA
The difference in Espa’s new 90-minute Sleep Ritual treatment is that every step of the treatment is designed to soothe the mind and body so that sleep comes easily afterwards. The session starts with a short guided breathing and visualisation exercise to calm the mind. The zzz-inducing body massage that follows uses a combination of long, flowing strokes with hot stones and warm oils to soothe deep-rooted muscular tension. You then have the option of hiding out in one of the spa’s peaceful sleep pods afterward to catch up on quality slumber. Resorts World Sentosa. www.rwsentosa.com
02 RAFFLES SPA
When the body yearns for sleep but the brain is still active, a power treatment is in order. Raffl es Spa has a luxurious 120-min Chakra Deep Sleep Ritual, which utilises Ayurvedic principles. Enjoy gentle, rhythmic strokes on the back, a thermal wrap to cocoon the body, the liberal use of sleep-inducing oils and a warm oil head treatment that would send the most hyped-up individual straight to slumber land. There is also a 30-minute Jet Lag Massage, which is quick and superbly executed, addressing the tired back and leg muscles that result from a long flight. Raffles Arcade, #01-31, email@example.com
FLOAT YOUR WAY TO DREAMLAND
PALM AVE FLOAT CLUB
Bobbing in a saltwater pod might sound like a scene out of The Matrix, but devotees of flotation therapy swear by its sleep-inducing efficacy. “Flotation works via a combination of sensory deprivation, weightlessness, and the effects of Epsom salt to relax the mind and body,” says Sarah Chan, co-owner of Palm Ave Float Club, which offers private pods. Simply get in and close the lid. Without sensory stimulation, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated to bring about a sense of calm while the floating allows the body to decompress quickly. Let the zen begin. #05-01, 66 Kampong Bugis. www.palmavefloatclub.com
GO ON A SLEEP RETREAT
REVIVO RESORT, BALI
To re-learn and improve out-of-sync sleeping patterns, take a time-out for a four-night retreat focused on sleep. Curated by Tristian Kelly, a sleep therapist and author, this retreat is not only tailored for each individual, it also includes mindfulness practices like meditation and relaxing walks, spa treatments and gentle fitness sessions. In the room, make use of the Breath Lux Light, programmed with different modes of lighting and guided breathing exercises. At the end of the retreat, the wellness coach will also design a personal zzz plan to implement at home. www.revivoresorts.com/sleep-well-retreat
TEXT KAREN TEE ILLUSTRATION 123RF.COM