My tumultuous relationship with sleep started during University, but didn’t we all have a problem sleeping at Uni? Reality hit when I was due to start my new job at GLAMOUR but found myself starring at my bedroom ceiling at 4am thinking about what I said to someone back in October 2013. Tragic.
According to a new report on sleep published by the , only 38% of women class themselves as ‘good sleepers’ and a shocking 39% were estimated to have chronic insomnia.
This year, in order to make the most of the best summer England has ever seen, I sacrificed my already-weak sleeping pattern. A wellness and sleep retreat to seemed like the getaway my body craved.
We were hosted at the beautiful 5* built into the side of a mountain. It was surrounded by desert-like terrain and beautiful views of the North Atlantic Ocean. The isolation of the hotel was the exact serene escape we were looking for, a far cry from Oxford Circus station. A few days of doing nout, come at me.
The offers some truly unique spa experiences, including an oxygen chamber. It’s a small room full of oxygen-rich air that’s 99.9% free of dust, mites and bacteria. Around 10 to 15 minutes in the chamber promises to boost the immune system, soothe the mind and restore healthy sleep. After 15 minutes of heavy breathing in the chamber and a meander around the luxury spa facilities, I was ready for a snooze, which never happens.
The outdoor pool area was the most idyllic place for napping, with four poster shaded pergolas perfectly placed next to the calming water. After an hour kip, I woke feeling refreshed, which also never happens. Was it the air? Turns out it was. Gran Canaria is home to the purest aloe vera in the world and it’s one of the top plants for improving quality of air, according to NASA. Since it is so concentrated in the mountains of the Salobre Hotel Resort it vastly enhances sleep quality.
For the remainder of the day, we had spa circuits and treatments booked at the beautiful It’s home to Europe’s largest and most modern thalassotherapay centre with approximately 7000m2 dedicated to seawater treatments. Thalassotherapy heals and restores the body by absorbing ocean minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium through the skin. The circuit also has 29 different massaging jets of various temperatures that relax each and every muscle in your body. After two hours of thalassotherapy, I was knackered. It felt like all the toxins (probs had quite a few) had been fighting their way out of my body.
After a delicious evening meal and a short trip back to Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity, our first full day in Gran Canaria was over. A day of sleep-inducing treatments actually had me looking forward to my bed instead of dreading it as usual. I woke the next morning feeling completely restored and energised, for the first time in weeks I had a full uninterrupted eight hours sleep.
The following day we took a trip to the gorgeous for a Pantai Luar massage, a technique founded in Indonesia. It consists of small herbal bags that are heated in a steamer. Together with a splash of oil, the bags are dabbed rapidly across your body with gentle pressure to create a unique massage. I’ve never had a treatment like it, feeling like a punchbag but also feeling so destressed and relieved of tension. For the remainder of the day we decided to go exploring. A short stroll from the hotel is the sand dunes of Masapalomas, a sweaty but worth-it climb to the top of the dunes leaves you feeling overwhelmed at how beautiful the natural world is and a little bit like Indiana Jones. The next morning, I again had a full eight hours sleep and I was beginning to feel like I actually had a decent sleeping pattern again.
The final day had us travelling to other hotels including situated at the Puerto de Mogan. It’s a spa hotel that strongly focuses on the benefits of fresh Gran Canarian air and vitamin D, as most of the spa is outside bringing in lots of natural light. After a relaxing massage, a stroll around the port and a wholesome lunch at the hotel’s ‘La Fula’ restaurant, I felt totally zen and almost-ready to face the hustle and bustle of London again, which I thought I’d never say.
To top off a sleep-restoring getaway, I’d highly recommend The Singing Bowls Massage at the four-star . It honestly is one-of-a-kind and this, and it was the final jigsaw piece for my sleeping pattern.
It’s a treatment that originated in pre-Buddhist Tibetan Bon culture and used widely in India, Japan, Korea and China. Bowls known as ‘healing-bowls’ are placed on or near the body and gently tapped with a felt mallet. It allows you to focus on the soft sounds of the singing bowls as your mind becomes still. The vibrations from the bowls help release blockages in the body and release energy which triggers self-healing and the regeneration process, whilst a full-body massage releases any physical tensions. Seriously, after this treatment no amount of negative energy can get to you. My return flight could have been delayed by 87 hours and I would’ve blissfully have accepted the news.
Gran Canaria may have a 18-30 boozy-Brit reputation, but there is a serene side to this small island that is well worth exploring, especially for weary night-owls. With year-round sunshine, the optimum quality of air for sleeping and spa experiences that comfort you into a restorative snooze, it’s fast becoming a popular destination for travellers hoping to cure their sleeping habits. This sleep retreat worked a dream (literally) for me and I would return in a heartbeat.