As part of the festivities for last Friday’s World Sleep Day (it’s March 17th – perhaps mark it in your calendar for 2018 and maybe grab a belated extra hour snooze tonight?!) I had the superb opportunity to hop on board a plane with a friend and voyage to the peaceful climes of Westin La Quinta, Marbella. I’ve written extensively about the importance of sleep – it’s a critical component of the wellbeing formula, rather than some sort of hedonistic luxury. To quote sleep legend, Professor Adrian Williams, we’re taling about ‘survival of the most rested‘. In line with this, I was thrilled to trial Westin’s brand new Bedtime Routine and to have had the chance to gift two lucky people their very own wellbeing break to the beautiful Westin La Quinta, Marbella! I spent a few nights in one of their deliciously compelling ‘Heavenly’ beds, so-called for good reason, and left feeling better than when I arrived, which is a sort of wellbeing nirvana, to my mind! Click MORE below to see the full behind-the-scenes of the routine and a little glimpse into the trip…
During the week of March 13–17, for every hashtag #SleepStrong listing their top sleep tips Westin would contribute to the World Sleep Society’s efforts to advance sleep health worldwide. Plus this gave you the chance to win the trip!! For those who don’t know of their existence, The World Sleep Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance sleep health worldwide, and who shares the Westin brand’s commitment to raise awareness about the benefits of a better night’s sleep.
Here follow some practical tips which you might consider borrowing from if relevant. This, in essence, is the core of Westin’s wonderful bedtime routine which aims to demonstrate just how to make your sleep even better, alongside some hotel gems and things to do in Marbella!
REST + RISE
It’s all about the right kind of sensory stimulation – scents, textures and a gentle mental wander. In the room is a big fluffy bathrobe, lavender mist, a mindful coloring in book, and some herbal teas. The combination of these products and services work wonders for a solid night of rest!
CALL IT A NIGHT!
First thing – The in-room call service allows you to plan ahead by setting a time and a new Bedtime Call – like a Wake-up, you receive a gentle reminder to let you know it’s time – it helps ensure you head to bed and get the right amount of sleep. What I found particularly helpful is the ability to cast off the metal shackles of having to set – and perhaps even anticipate – an alarm, but rather to trust that someone else has you covered. It’s a neat, caring touch that helps sets the mind at ease, and therefore raise the restful quality of sleep that little bit more. Every little counts!
Drink a calming cup of chamomile tea from the vast tea collection.
EAT LIGHT —> SLEEP TIGHT
The Sleep menu, co-developed with SuperFoodRx™, is packed with nutritious, satisfying but light meals – naturally rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals that promote rest and recovery. This is an important consideration and many make the mistake of gorging on heavy fare at night, which instantly sets the digestive system on overload whilst you’re sleeping. That can mean an uncomfortable, interrupted nights sleep as your body works to break down and absorb the inputs. Instead, consider opting for your lightest meal of the day at dinner, as it’ll provide less of a barrier to a solid nights sleep.
Lowering the ambient light engages the caveman components of the brain, helping to increase melatonin production, a hormone which helps you unwind and tells your body it’s night time, upon which it helps render you less wakeful! It’s an old trick but a good one!
CLOSE IT DOWN!
Switch off your TV, laptop, mobile phone and other tablets. The screens emit a high concentration of blue light than natural light, which has been shown to affect levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin more than any other wavelength of light. It’s not that technology will stop you sleeping, but it may, at the margin, impair an otherwise sound night. Instead, trying this mini tech-tox is a good one to help you optimize your sleep patterns.
A BALMY NIGHT?
This was my favorite component of the ritual. I’ve experienced a few places where a little spray is left on the pillow, but Westin have gone one step further, providing a deliciously scented sleep balm infused with lavender and chamomile to reduce tensions and soothe the senses. You roll it onto your wrists and temples and there’s a gentles waft of tranquility all night long.
This is individual for everyone. Perhaps for some it will be meditation for 5 minutes, for others it will simply be focusing on one’s breath. As an arty soul, I especially love that Westin provides a mindfulness coloring in book for guests. That’s something which has taken off in the UK, with WHSmiths recognizing the adult coloring-in category as the fastest growing in the country. It’s superbly relaxing and allows the mind wander freely – part creative outlet, part meditative process in many ways.
SEIZE THE NIGHT!
The best bit… the classic Westin ‘heavenly bed’! Indulgent Egyptian cotton sateen bedding, beautifully pressed and meticulously made-up, resting on a seriously lavish mattress. There is no other single item in which you can invest that will bring you more joy, both directly when you sink into it and indirectly when you reap the benefits of a long, sound and restorative night’s sleep the next day. A great bed can be totally life changing!
THE TOWN & PROPERTY?
For anyone like myself who hadn’t previously been to Marbella, it’s a warm and friendly little town which is perfect to seek out those 20,000 steps a day in by wandering around either Puerto Banus or indeed the old town (my favourite). The Westin La Quinta is nestled up in the mountains a short 10-minute drive from the centre. From up there, one feels secluded away from the bustle, yet close enough to sample it when the whim takes you!
The hotel is very popular with golfers and has a fantastic golf course.
The spa has a wonderful list of restorative and relaxing treatments….
A vast pool which overlooks the mountains and sea in the distance…
A great restaurant with a special health menu should you wish…