Whether you stay one day or 30, you will know how to sleep better for the rest of your life
Craving those extra zzzs? We visit the hotel that’s helping guests get the perfect night’s sleep
Whoosh – the Six Senses’ speedboat whisks me out of Phuket marina across the water to the island of Yao Noi. It was here I was told I would find a miracle cure that had deluded people for centuries… it was here that I would find the secret to the perfect night’s sleep.
As the boat followed the lines of limestone karsts that stretched out over the horizon I wondered what tricks they could use to make me close my eyes to this breathtaking scenery.
Twenty minutes later, the boat pulled up to the Six Senses Yao Noi wooden jetty that jutted out into the sea. My GEM (Guest Experience Manager) was waiting for me with a buggy that would take me through the winding forest pathways to meet the guru who could divulge the secrets to deep sleep.
Six Senses, who has long practised healthy living is now focusing on getting the ultimate amount of zzzs. It has joined with renowned Sleep Doctor Michael Breus to launch Sleep With Six Senses, an innovative package that helps you achieve the perfect night’s sleep. For it is believed that long-term sleep deprivation can lead to mood swings, depression, obesity and even heart disease. However, Breus believes that they have the solution: “Whether you stay one day or 30, you will know how to sleep better for the rest of your life”.
Six Senses Yao Noi’s guru is Dr Aneesh Kadappuram Vadakkeveedu. Within his palm-frond covered office he keeps a state-of-the-art screening programme that analyses your body from top to toe. The quiet physician encourages me to fill out a health questionnaire, then he asks me to clip a node on my finger which he will help him log my body composition, metabolism and stress parameters. I had just got off a long haul flight, so Dr Aneesh had been set a challenge. Not only did he need to help me achieve the perfect night’s sleep, but he also had to work with someone suffering from jetlag. Undeterred he explains that over the next couple of days they would give me the tools that I needed to wake up feeling rested.
My three pronged nocturnal attack would include relaxing yoga sessions, soothing spa treatments and a suite that would make the Princess and her Pea envious. While I had been chatting to Dr Aneesh, my GEM had been giving my sea-facing villa a makeover, which included feather-filled pillows, an organic wool mattress and the Withings Aura sleep system that combines an app, sleep register pad and lamp to track and train my sleep patterns.
But before I visited my suite, it was time for me to begin my treatment and visit the spa for a relaxing massage. This quite frankly, was worth travelling to the island for alone, and when my masseur finished my treatment I floated back to my villa.
My GEM was waiting for me with a Sleep With Six Senses tote filled with goodies. It included a super soft yak down sleep mask, a jasmine room spritzer, a lavender scented bag and a Neti pot to help me breathe more easily. There was also a pair of bamboo fibre pyjamas hanging in my wardrobe designed to keep me cool when I slept.
Then there was the final secret weapon – the Withings Aura sleep system, a lamp that changed from blue to red to encourage you to wake at the correct time. It also, thanks to a pad under my mattress, would measure how long I slept for too, and if I tossed and turned this would also be noted.
The next day I woke to attend my first yoga class. As a cold blooded Westerner, I probably didn’t need the duvet in tropical climes, and I was worried that my tossing and turning meant that I had already flunked my napping night class.
However, I felt awake enough to roll out my yoga mat in the resort’s sala that overlooked the river. It was the perfect way to kickstart the day before I was given a breakfast menu that would satiate me until night time.
Apart from being given a list that included every possible concoction in the way you could cook an egg, it also highlighted sleep enhancing foods. And as this was the case for every sitting, it was only right for research sake, that I take a seat for lunch and dinner as well.
There was another massage and yoga class to come and then the evening was spent watching a movie on the beach under the stars.
That night I ditched the duvet, and fell into a comatosed state until dawn. It was then more yoga and a massage before I met with the doctor once more to see how I’d done.
It was at this point Dr Aneesh Kadappuram Vadakkeveedu explained that the package was designed to help me achieve just two hours deep sleep. This he said was enough to enable my body to detox and repair for the next day. So whether I was tossing and turning, or dreaming, it didn’t matter as long as I achieved this magic number.
As the doctor scrolled through the app, he was pleased to report that I had not only achieved the magic number, but within 48 hours I had managed to increase my deep sleep ratings to a health-boosting two and a half hours.
However, before I caught the speed boat back to the mainland and to the hectic 21st century, he decided to teach me one quick trick – yoga nidra. This yoga pose puts you into an almost meditative state that leaves you halfway between being awake and unconscious. I was told to lay down and then relax each individual part of my body step by step. By the time I’d switched off every part of my body I felt as if I’d been wrapped in a cocoon of cotton wool. When the sea breeze wafted over my face, I had to catch myself from topping up my deep sleep quota even further.
The programme is now available at five of its resorts (Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal, Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles, Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman, Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand and Six Senses Ninh Van Bay in Vietnam) and more will follow.