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From Costa Rica to India: Travel to these Destinations for Better Sleep

Destinations for Better Sleep

A global call to action for sleep health awareness, World Sleep Day is recognized on March 15th around the world. Raising awareness on the importance of sleep for one’s mental and physical wellbeing on World Sleep Day, National Sleep Awareness Month is recognized throughout the entire month of March. 

Research has functions, mental abilities, and sensory perception. Chronic sleep problems are growing exponentially globally due to upended routines, more screen time and irregular physical activity, increased food and alcohol consumption, and dissolving boundaries between work and private life.

Circadian misalignment induced by sleep deprivation could lead to inflammation, cardiovascular conditions, hypertension, obesity, attention disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, and depression. From hotels to wellness retreats to beach towns around the world, below are just a few ways destinations are ramping up their offerings to help with sleep issues. 

Taking a Cold Plunge for Better Sleep

Bath Therapy and Cold Plunge to guests and residents of Las Catalinas. Ice baths have been found to aid in better sleep. Cold therapy, also known asold water therapy or cold exposure, involves submerging most of the body in extremely cold water. This practice has various positive effects on physical and mental health. When initially exposed to the cold, the body activates the sympathetic nervous system, triggering a fight-or-flight response. However, after a few minutes, the parasympathetic nervous system takes over, creating a more centered and meditative experience. Cold therapy improves immune function, lowers inflammation, aids in recovery, enhances mood and stress management, and strengthens the cardiovascular system. It’s been found to improve sleep quality, with individuals experiencing deeper sleep and feeling more refreshed upon waking.

Destinations for Better Sleep

Center of Joy is a wellness retreat center with a variety of beautiful spaces in the heart of Beach Town in Las Catalinas offering regular yoga classes, wellness activities, sound baths, and more. Many individuals and organizations use this extraordinary space for larger group retreats, though residents and guests also benefit from its ongoing programming and rotating offerings. Private rooms can also be booked for special therapies and services as well.

The conscious town of Las Catalinas is Costa Rica’s desirable beach town inspired by New Urbanist philosophy. The car-free, highly walkable town includes several inns and intimate hotels, shops, restaurants, retail, day spas, pedestrian streets, parks, plazas, and recreational facilities, all located between two of Costa Rica’s loveliest Pacific beaches and 1,000 acres of protected tropical dry forest, which are interlaced with extensive hiking and biking trails. Within the town, the walkable public spaces are interwoven with nature, and the architecture emphasizes indoor-outdoor living and scenic views. Cars are refreshingly absent. Founder Charles Brewer’s core values and beliefs include environmental stewardship, connection to one another and to the rhythms of nature, promotion of wellness, and an emphatic preference for quality of life over quantity of material possessions, understanding that the “good life” is not about material possessions but about human connections, good health, and ecological sustainability. For more information, visit www.lascatalinascr.com.

Retreats Offering Dedicated Sleep Programs

Destinations for Better Sleep

Launched in 2023, award-winning destination spa and wellness retreat Ananda in the Himalayas offers a holistic program for sleep enhancement. The multi-disciplinary approach addresses the growing global phenomenon of sleep disorders. A luxury wellness retreat on a 100-acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate in the Himalayan foothills overlooking the spiritual river Ganga and Rishikesh valley, Ananda in the Himalayas’ Sleep Enhancement Program  utilizes lifestyle modifications, dietary corrections, Ayurveda including Panchakarma and Shamana therapies, Yoga and Emotional Healing, Traditional Chinese Medicine including Acupuncture, Cupping and Moxibustion. The program aims to improve sleep quality, energy, and attention, remove associated memory difficulties, cognitive dysfunction, or fatigue. The secondary goals are to educate people to manage work-life balance, reduce stress and anxiety levels and to teach traditional methods to handle mental disturbances in an effective way.

Ananda in the Himalayas Sleep Enhancement Program Inclusions:

  • Program available from 7 nights, 14 nights recommended for optimal results
  • Pre-arrival assessment of sleep issues and lifestyle
  • Individual consultations with team of experts including Ayurveda, Yoga, TCM and Emotional Healers
  • Customized wellness meal plan based on Ayurvedic principles
  • Average of 2 therapies / personal sessions per day across Ayurveda, Yoga, TCM and Emotional Healing
  • Program price range based on season – from $800 to $1000USD per night in single occupancy plus applicable government taxes based on accommodation in a Deluxe Palace/ Garden View room

Ananda in the Himalayas is a multi-award-winning luxury wellness retreat in the Himalayan foothills, surrounded by the majestic Himalayan Mountains, the birthplace of India’s ancient practices of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda. Overlooking the spiritual town of Rishikesh and the Ganges River valley in Northern India, Ananda is a retreat dedicated to restoring balance and harmonizing energy through a holistic approach to wellbeing. It integrates traditional Indian wellness practices of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta philosophy with the best of international wellness experiences and healthy organic cuisine to bring about the union of mind, body and soul. For more information, visit www.anandaspa.com.

Plant-based Diets Help Regulate Sleep

Studies have found that eating vegetarian or vegan can improve sleep and help alleviate insomnia. Plant-based diets are high in complex carbohydrates, including fiber and isoflavones which may help with quality sleep. Plant-based foods can also be sources of tryptophan and melatonin, which are known to aid in good sleep hygiene and help regulate sleep. For travelers in search of improving their sleep while on the road, here are some hotels offering extensive vegetarian and vegan menus.

Hotel Massimo D’Azeglio

Within walking distance from historic landmarks including the Colosseum, Opera House, Forum, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, Bettoja Hotels offers three hotels located in the heart of Rome. In 1875 Maurizio Bettoja, passionate about wines, good food and hotels, opened a restaurant just above his wine cellar which today offers a unique setting for special candlelit dinners. Located in Hotel Massimo D’AzeglioRistorante Massimo D’Azeglio offers traditional cuisine from Piedmont along with international dishes. Known for its ancient wine cellar with more than 1800 bottles including precious labels, the restaurant’s vegetarian menu has grown over the years. Signature favorites including courgetti flowers stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and organic ricotta with cream of Jerusalem artichoke, chickpea soup with olive oil and rosemary, risotto with tomato, cumin seeds and lemon sauce, stir fried mushrooms and potatoes with garlic, parsley, sage and marjoram, cereal salad, red rice with vegetables, basmati rice with chickpeas and rocket salad, organic pastas and more. Newer vegetarian dishes include Tuscan spelled soup with bread crust and pecorino mousse, sauteed wholemeal fusillone, courgette cream and ginger, toasted vegetable quinoa with potato mousse and grilled radicchio and special desserts including apple pie with mascarpone cream, chocolate mousse with wasabi and raspberry cream and the Chef’s tiramisù. For more information, visit www.bettojahotels.it.

Calabash Cove Resort and Spa

As one of the only properties in Saint Lucia to offer a vegan menu, Calabash Cove Resort and Spa offers an extensive menu featuring vegan and vegetarian dishes based on the seasons. With its ability to accommodate most dietary restrictions, the culinary team is constantly upgrading its vegan and vegetarian offerings with new items. Much of the restaurant’s food and beverage is sourced locally focusing on local farmers and fishermen. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Windsong Restaurant offers an eclectic menu inspired by Asian cuisine using the freshest, local ingredients in every dish. The restaurant’s all vegan dinner menu features dishes including Yellow Split Peas Soup with sweet potato, Tempura Cauliflower Bites, Sesame Braised Eggplant, Pan Seared Tofu, Vegetable Stroganoff, Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple and more. The culinary team at Windsong Restaurant can accommodate guests’ special diet needs and personal requests. Calabash Cove Resort and Spa is an eco-conscious hideaway offering seclusion, beauty and mesmerizing views at every turn. Its 26 villas feature old Caribbean charm coupled with luxurious resort amenities of today. For more information, visit www.calabashcove.com.

Exercising for a Good Night’s Sleep

Numerous studies show a direct link between regular exercise and sleep quality. Moderate physical activity during the day can help people sleep better at night. Walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming, yoga, lifting weights are all great pursuits – whether it’s 30 minutes or a longer duration – any movement is highly effective in improving sleep and getting better sleep.

Destinations for Better Sleep

Car-free means more time on foot which means daily physical activity is a given in this walkable seaside town. Located in a tropical dry forest bordering the Pacific Ocean, Las Catalinas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica offers many opportunities for exercise in the great outdoors. CORE by ChakFitness is a unique outdoor gym located on the beach offering a beautifully designed Flinstones-esque strength building experience with all weights and machines made almost entirely of wood, as well as a full schedule of classes. For mountain biking, kayaking, paddle boarding and more, check out Pura Vida Ride for rentals, lessons, and tours. The Center of Joy is a wellness gathering hub offering regular yoga classes, Pilates, ice baths, sound baths and more, all with a focus on mindfulness. There is a wide range of fantastic accommodation options in town for guests to stay at the boutique Santarena Hotel or any of the villa offerings with Las Catalinas Collection at Beach Town Travel.

An outdoor paradise for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, yogis, and water enthusiasts, Las Catalinas has an exciting array of activities for all ability levels. With over 26 miles of world-class, single-track trails that feature stunning views of the coastline and valley vistas, Las Catalinas is the most prominent mountain biking destination in the American tropics. All hiking and running trails feature spectacular viewpoints and opportunities to get a glimpse of some of the area’s amazing local wildlife, including monkeys, peccaries, and coatis, not to mention a wide variety of exotic birds. Trails vary in difficulty and length, from high-intensity hills to low-impact flatter tracks. The town is flanked by two of the best beaches on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Sheltered just enough from the southern swell, Las Catalinas is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, and consistent moderate waves make it ideal for body surfing and boogie boarding as well as standup paddle-boarding and sea kayaking. For more information, visit www.lascatalinascr.com.

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