Where to Get Some Sleep During Fashion Week

After an “out-of-office” August, the fashion industry wakes from its collective summer slumber each September to be immediately immersed in a busy Fashion Month.

But jet lag and late nights can take their toll and editors, buyers and publicists still need their beauty sleep.

Sleep and all its accoutrements, from old-fashioned lavender scented sprays and supplements to high-tech sleep tracking devices, are a rapidly growing part of the $1.5 trillion wellness market, as estimated by McKinsey. Half of consumers around the world report a desire for more products and services to meet the need for higher-quality slumber.

In Paris, the Hôtel de Crillon launched its “Alchemy of Sleep” program in the wake of the pandemic, when people’s sleep patterns were widely disturbed.

“Sleep plays a vital role in a good health and well-being,” says spa director Marlène Belvalette. “During sleep your body’s working to support your brain functions and maintain your physical health. Good sleep helps to recharge and improve your brain performance.”

A full four-day program on offer also includes shiatsu massage, to tackle chronic pain and stress, and meditation sessions, to reduce cortisol in the body and release natural melatonin. There are also rounds of meditation, breathing therapy and nutrition coaching.

Through the program the hotel not only provides sleep amenities such as silk pillowcases upon arrival, but also offers breathing and neurofeedback training sessions.

In mid-September, the hotel is hosting a breathing course with five-time freediving world champion Arthur Guérin-Boëri. Slow and deep breathing is known to reduce stress, calm someone in “fight-or-flight,” increase production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and promote relaxation. After the hour-and-a-half session, guests are better able to hold their breath for stretches at a time, while Belvalette emphasizes that it is also about forming a habit — just five minutes of better breathing each day will improve sleep quality.

A neurofeedback course will be held in November with kickboxing world champion Cyril Benzaquen. The athlete did a neurofeedback program through the hotel, and saw his performance improve. Now he’s back to help teach the technique to others.

“It’s training for your brain to regulate and help you manage stress,” Belvalette says of neurofeedback. With electrodes dotting the head, the therapy uses music to help the brain focus. Though it’s recommended for several sessions, just one relieves enough stress to improve sleep, she says.

It’s all part of parent company Rosewood’s expansion of its well-being programs. “We realize self care is more than only beauty or massage services. We are trying to develop more brain and spirit well-being effects,” she says.

London’s LVMH-backed Belmond hotel, The Cadogan, has brought on Malminder Gill, aka The Sleep Concierge, to help guests de-stress and get some quality shut eye.

Trained hypnotherapist Gill has been working with patients dealing with anxiety and insomnia for more than a decade and created a special program for guests of the Chelsea area hotel.

“I’m helping people go to sleep all the time,” she says, noting it’s one of her clients’ top concerns and is related to many other stress and anxiety issues. She conceived of the program post-pandemic, as it became apparent that sleep was widely disturbed. At first people were sleeping well because the world was on pause, then sleep routines were disrupted as stress set in.

“I started thinking about, ‘How can we bring sleep to places where people don’t often sleep that well?” Hotels, it turns out, are on the top of that list.

A study conducted by AI-based sleep analysis app SleepCycle revealed 46 percent of users took longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep while staying at a hotel, and averaged just 6.7 hours.

Gill chalks it up to a combination of factors. Hotel guests are in unfamiliar surroundings and often wrestling with time zone changes, as well as disruptions in their routine. Quality rest can come down to a difference in mattress firmness or the softness of the sheets.

Gill then curated a selection of pillows and teas to help induce a better night’s sleep — all personally tried and tested, she vows — as well as developed a hypnotic meditation available through the standard on-screen program that will help guests go to sleep faster.

Guests can request to see her privately for an in-room hypnotherapy session, during which she sits bedside until they drift off. Many continue to work with her post-stay for long-term sleep issues.

The new interest in sleep goes hand-in-hand with other health and wellness trends, including exercise, mindfulness and lowering or eliminating alcohol consumption, she says.

While the program was launched in 2021, it’s become increasingly popular and demand this year has been “phenomenal” as both travel and the pace of life have ramped up again. Gill notes that people are coming to realize that sleep not only has an effect on any given day, but a long-term lack of consistent rest can negatively affect both physical and mental health.

“People have had the chance in the last few years to reflect on their lives, to reflect on their well-being. So the question raised in everybody’s minds is, ‘How can I take better care of my body?’” she notes. “The whole pandemic was very much a chance for everybody to look at their own health, and sleep is so important. It’s just a huge part of it.”

In Milan, The Longevity Suite offers a comprehensive “Sleep Better” program that includes detoxing and a personalized meal plan, mindfulness and whole body cryotherapy.

The chill of cryotherapy might seem counterintuitive if you want a cozy snooze, but a French study of professional basketball players found that three minutes of cold exposure of up to minus 238 degrees Fahrenheit helped the athletes achieve deeper, quieter, less disturbed sleep, as well as sped up recovery time from injury.

The Longevity Suite’s cold front isn’t quite as extreme, with temperatures between minus 121 and 139 Fahrenheit. The treatment relies on the release of that Thanksgiving favorite, tryptophan, which supports the production of melatonin and relaxes the body.

The program also adds a personalized plan of mind and body treatments, including LED therapy, aromatherapy and binaural beats used during manual body treatments, performed in synergy with therapeutic magnetic resonance.

The specialized program is designed over six weeks, but for those heading off to other fashion capitals, the clinic can conduct a three-day sleep assessment using a patented monitoring device. Clinicians then create a program of supplements and medical treatments such as IV drips or ozone hemotherapy.

The Longevity Suite has three locations throughout Milan, and will open a fourth inside the Ferragamo family-backed Portrait Milano hotel later this fall.

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