How much do you value being well rested on business trips? Swissôtel is betting the answer is a lot: The hospitality chain just rolled out a €60 ($76) "deep sleep" package at its Berlin location. Developed by a German sleep specialist, the package intends to ease jet lag for traveling business execs. We took it for a test snooze.
The offer: Guests bask in 30 minutes of simulated sunshine emanating from in-room electronic light boxes. A "light to go" headset discreetly emits light into your ear canal.
Science says: It generally takes a week for your body's inner clock to adjust to a major time-zone shift, and light therapy restores circadian rhythms more quickly.
Sleep success: ZZ (out of five)
The offer: Groggy guests spend 20 minutes in the PowerNap lounge, where relaxing sounds and ergonomic couches optimize shut-eye.
Science says: Short naps yield Stage 2 sleep, which enhances alertness and concentration, elevates mood, and sharpens motor skills. In one study on pilots, a 26-minute nap enhanced performance by 34% and overall alertness by 54%.
Sleep success: ZZZZZ
The offer: Just before bed, travelers sip a mug of hot cocoa, delivered directly to their door.
Science says: While a mug of warm milk has been a sleep aid for millennia, the National Sleep Foundation recommends avoiding chocolate before bedtime. It contains caffeine as well as theobromine, a compound that increases heart rate and causes sleeplessness.
Sleep success: Z
The offer: An audio pillow with small speakers pumps out binaural beats: two tones with different frequencies, played simultaneously. Proponents claim the out-of-sync peaks calm brain activity.
Science says:Sleep researchers are skeptical, though sound from the audio pillow did mask the unfamiliar bumps and chatter that can make sleeping in a new space so difficult.
Sleep success: ZZZ
The offer: Guests can spend half an hour hooked up to an oxygen tank, breathing mountain air.
Science says: Thin air promotes the release of nitrogen monoxide into the blood stream, which widens blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure and promoting calm.
Sleep success: ZZ