Sleep is no longer something we simply do without thinking; the wellness movement has turned it into a practice to be analysed, aided and, ultimately, improved. Recent figures from analyst The NPD Group showed a 74% year-onyear increase in sales of night-only skincare in the 12 months to the end of September 2018, driven by “self-care” trends, as consumers purposefully carve out time to address their wellbeing.
As well as retailing products specifically designed to support clients’ skin while they sleep, salons and spas can offer the perfect environment to help customers on their way to healthier rest. A few adjustments should be made to treatment rooms before carrying out sleep treatments. “The optimal room temperature for a good night’s sleep is 16ºC so we aim to keep it around this temperature,” says Andrea Polly, senior therapist at Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in County Down, winner of PB’s Northern Ireland Spa of the Year 2018 (see page 75). “We also give clients a choice of lighting colours and music to aid with relaxation and adjust the bed to suit their comfort.”
Sleep treatments are also approached in a slightly different way at PB-Award-winning The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village, Lancashire, where Neom’s Sleep Treatment is on the menu. “The therapist shows the client how to prepare for a great night’s sleep with progressive relaxation techniques like mindfulness meditation,” says spa duty supervisor Emma Nutter. Variations on meditation, such as breathing and visualisation techniques, can also be incredibly effective in helping clients relax.
Scents of rest
“In our Sleep Ritual, we use a technique called polarity balance to ground the therapist and client before the treatment, allowing physical and emotional stress to leave the body,” says Polly. When choosing products and scents, aromatherapy lends itself perfectly to sleep treatments. Get clients to choose from a selection of calming and soothing aromatherapy oils, letting the body guide them to what it needs – “usually oils that contain frankincense, myrrh, lavender, sandalwood or rose geranium”, advises Polly. She uses long, stroking movements “such as linears and efleurage” during sleep treatments, and recommends hot stones to help the muscles relax quicker and swiftly bring about a feeling of serenity in the body.
Post-treatment, give clients practical advice about how their experience can have a lasting effect. “We advise clients to incorporate the following into their bedtime routines,” says Nutter. “Remove electrical items from your bedroom including clocks and televisions and avoid high-intensity exercise two hours prior to bedtime.” Here are just a few of the many treatments that have been created to aid sleep.
Aromatherapy Associates We De-Stress
Ideal for clients who have trouble switching off before sleep, this deeply relaxing massage focuses on the back, legs, scalp, neck and shoulders to relieve physical aches that could be contributing to an overactive mind. Clients can choose from two blends: De-Stress Mind, with frankincense, petitgrain, wild camomile and rosemary; or De-Stress Muscle, a blend of black pepper, lavender and ginger.
Recommended price: £150 for 60 minutes
020 8569 7030 aromatherapyassociates.com
Comfort Zone Tranquillity Pro-Sleep Massage
This treatment works by stimulating the three most important sensorial pathways – olfactive, using a blend of cedarwood and sweet orange essential oils to ease the mind; tactile, brushing oil over the body with light pressure and rhythm to activate sensorial receptors that help to de-stress; and aural, playing bespoke music not dissimilar to a heartbeat to induce good-quality sleep.
Recommended price: £60 for 60 minutes
020 3301 0496 comfortzone.it/en
Neom Sleep Treatment
Part of the brand’s Wellbeing series of spa treatments, this focused ritual incorporates meditation, shiatsu, cranio, Thai massage, trigger point and relexology. It is designed to put clients in a blissful state, ready for a deep sleep. The treatment begins with a guided meditation and uses the Neom Scent to Sleep Tranquillity fragrance both in treatment and to scent the room.
Recommended price: £70 for 60 minutes, £95 for 90 minutes
01423 878810 neomorganics.com
Voya Mindful Dreams
Incorporating different massage techniques to decompress and relax the body and mind, this treatment is a full-body massage that uses Balinese and Hawaifian techniques of rhythmic, powerful and lowing movements. Products from Voya’s Tranquil line are chosen for their lavender and geranium essential oils, which can lead to a more comfortable and restful sleep.
Recommended price: £80 to £125 for 75 minutes, depending on location
+353 71 91 61872 voya.ie/en