Sleep tourism: Why more people are waking up to it

Video report and words by Rebecca Fraser, Here's The Story Digital Video Producer

One in seven Brits survive on "dangerously low" levels of sleep of less than five hours a night, according to a study.

Which perhaps explains why travel consultants have reported a rise in sleep-tourism, calling it the travel trend of 2023.

Sleep retreats, or ‘sleep-cations’, are a new part of wellness tourism that see’s people travel to get better sleep.

Jules Perowne, founder of travel consultancy Perowne International, told ITV News she's seen people travelling to and from Asia, Indonesia and Africa in hope of a better snooze.

"It's becoming a much more normal thing than any of us realise. There is this desire and demand for people across the spectrum to sleep better. And the hotel industry is responding to that need and that desire from travellers," she said.

A bed at the Cadogan in Chelsea, which offers a 'Sleep Concierge' service for those wanting better quality sleep.

Malminder Gill, a Harley Street hypnotherapist and sleep expert, told ITV News she’s seen a rise of 20-25 percent in people coming to her for sleep tourism in central London over the past year.

She said there was no typical client, with customers ranging from the age of 18 to 85, and commonly reporting similar issues in their lives - like hair pulling, nail-biting, or skin picking.After a consultation, it becomes clear that the root of their issue is a lack of sustained overnight rest.Malminder said she's seen people's capacity for a good night's sleep deteriorate in recent years.“Lots of people's lives got accustomed to being only online through phones and tablets because of the pandemic, and that’s had a huge impact on mental health because you’re looking at a screen and there’s blue light being emitted from that,” she said.So what if you can't afford to fly across the globe in search of a perfect night's kip?Dr Azmain Chowdhury told ITV News setting a regular bedtime and avoiding heavy foods and alcohol in the hours before bedtime would be a good start. 

And he suggested the answer for screen addict phone users may be in their settings.“You can use the blue light filters on your phone, because we know that blue light can interfere with the release of melatonin - which is really important for your circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle."