Ericka Nelson, whose husband is a thunderous snorer, knows from personal experience that it can be hard to get a good night's rest.
The general manager of Kimpton's 70 park avenue hotel found an anti-snore pillow in a store. It worked for her hubby, and in March she rolled out a pillowmenu at 70 park avenue, including a PillowPositive model. It props up the neck, she says, and allows users to sleep on their backs or sides with airways open to promote peaceful rest.
"A hotel can have all these great amenities, and everyone (in the industry) keeps trying to find the latest thing. But when it comes down to it, what we're really about is a great night's sleep," Nelson says.
The pillow menu, which has been dreamed up by other hotels as well, is just one way lodgings are helping guests get their zzz's. Counting sheep is so yesterday: In this restless age, sleep aids and enhancement programs are hot amenities at a growing number of hotels, resorts and spas, including W Hotels and Hilton's Conrad Hotels & Resorts.
•Before arrival, 70 park avenue guests can e-mail email@example.com or call a "pillow librarian" to request one of 15 complimentary rest-inducers. Most popular, Nelson says, is a pillow made with buckwheat hulls, which is said to stimulate acupressure points and increase circulation. Also on the menu are aromatherapy pillows containing scented sachets that aid in relaxation. Turn-down chocolates contain sleep-promoting melatonin. The pillow menu will expand to more Kimpton hotels in the future, Nelson says. Information: 877-707-2752; 70parkave.com.
•Another Kimpton, the Hotel Monaco Chicago, has unveiled a "KN Tranquility Suite," an oasis of serenity with waterfall and soft bamboo sheets. It's stocked with neck pillow, sleep masks, sound machine and named for Karen Neuburger, a designer of sleepwear. Rates start at about $360 a night. 866-610-0081; monaco-chicago.com.
•Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts in North America offer a "Sleep Advantage" program, developed by a sleep expert. Guests get a free kit with ear plugs and eye mask, calming lavender mist, a CD that lulls them to dreamland — even a clip to close drapes to shut out light. Also offered: "Quiet zone" floors. If guests don't receive a requested wake-up call, they get a refund for that night's room cost. 877-227-6963; crowneplaza.com.
•A dozen Omni Hotels have in-room "Sensation Bars" that sell sleep CDs and lavender mist (average cost $10 and $5, respectively).
•SpaTerre at La Playa Beach and Golf Resort in Naples, Fla., covers wellness as well as sweet dreams. Its "Summer Sunset Slumber" program aims to encourage healthful sleep while teaching habits to incorporate back home. "We're hoping to have it running by July," spa director David Carter says. Rates begin at $250 for a lifestyle consultation, yoga or other classes and a sunset beach ritual and massage. Carter also suggests that guests trying to de-stress "put your cellphone in your room safe" and check e-mail only once a day on vacation — if you must. 239-598-5117; laplayaresort.com.
•The new Aqua Cancún resort wafts mint, eucalyptus, lavender and calming music throughout the property. Guests choose a pillow, order an aromatherapy turn-down service or take a calming "nap" spa treatment. 800-343-7821; feel-aqua.com.
Some hotels and spas take a more medical approach to sleep problems, which the National Center for Health Statistics estimates affect as many as 70 million people in the USA.
•Canyon Ranch, with branches in Tucson and Lenox, Mass., offers physician assessments for insomnia, snoring and frequent waking at night. In Tucson, an all-night study in the Canyon Ranch sleep lab diagnoses problems, and a sleep-specialist MD recommends treatments. Cost is $2,325 and may be covered by insurance. In Lenox, guests can opt for a sleep study at a local hospital to check for common problems, such as sleep apnea. Cost: $1,200, including physician follow-up. 800-742-9000; canyonranch.com.
•Another leading spa, Miraval Tucson, also is serious about sleep. Its Director of Sleep Programs is Rubin Naiman, author of Healing Night, who opposes routinely prescribing sleeping pills. (They disturb natural sleep patterns, he says.) He takes a mind/body approach. Miraval guests can listen to Naiman lecture free or consult with him (from $190). Miraval just started a "Healthy Sleep and Dreams Package" (from $2,140 a person for four nights, including lodging, meals, customized sleep counseling and spa treatments). 800-825-4000; miravalresort.com.
•The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village near L.A., which adjoins the California Health & Longevity Institute, has launched a "Sleep Well" program. Created by physicians, dietitians and other experts, the program includes sleep-inducing meals (no heartburn, please!), spa treatments, specialty pillows, acupuncture, meditation and clinical sleep studies. Eye masks, ear plugs, foot warmers, humidifiers, sound machines — even teddy bears — are available. Cost varies depending on services used. 800-332-3442; fourseasons.com/westlakevillage.
•The four extended-stay AKA lodgings in Manhattan offer an "AKA Sleep School." It includes a free lecture by directors of the New York University Sleep Disorders Center and New York Sleep Institute that is open to guests and the public. The next one is June 3 at 6 p.m. at the AKA Central Park at 42 W. 58th St. For a fee, experts from those sleep centers will make house calls to AKA guests to assess sleeping patterns and recommend treatments. A sleep study at the centers can be arranged. 866-252-9999; stay-aka.com.