Sleep Health at Vacation Spas May be more Important than Massages, Facials, Manicures/Pedicures, Diet, or even Exercise!
by Susie Ellis
The importance of sleep is something that has been on our SpaFinder top 10 spa trends list for the past two years. In 2007 the focus was on adding sleep health to diet and exercise as an equally (if not more) important pillar of health in spas. In 2008, because of the growing research which shows sleep deprivation is linked to obesity, emphasizing sleep health in weight-loss programs at spas was the focus.
Tonight’s piece on CBS’s 60 Minutes
made these points clearer through video than I ever could in writing. I hope everyone who didn’t see it would watch it. Here is the link
. A new thing I learned is that it appears we can add diabetes to the long list of consequences of sleep deprivation.
Sometimes I think that sleep health is my mantra. And for this upcoming week – it is no exception. Here is why….
I was thinking this morning about the volatile financial market situation we witnessed last Friday and how this might affect the spa industry. And what advice I might give.
I remember the October 1997 stock market plunge (which was later called Black Monday) and ever since have been aware that bad news at the end of a week might result in even worse news on Mondays. It just makes sense to me that after a weekend when people kind of regroup, they begin thinking about their personal financial situation and start taking steps toward self preservation. Too many people making financial moves all at once on a Monday can spell disaster.
Of course, I hope that I am wrong. My advice, however, for both spa consumers as well as the spa industry would be the same – be extra careful to get enough sleep. Dealing with challenges wisely necessitates clear thinking and emotional balance. Eating well is a good idea, exercising helps, however getting healthy and adequate amounts of sleep is possibly even more important. If you aren’t convinced, please do me (and yourself) a favor, and watch The Science of Sleep Part 1 and Part 2 from last night’s 60 Minutes.
Well…am off to bed.
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Our time at Canyon Ranch is coming to an end. Here is my bottom line assessment of how things went for me this visit. I had four treatments – a Cleopatra bath and massage, a Thai massage, an Ayurvedic Bindi and Shirodhara, and a Sisley Facial. All of them were absolutely excellent. In fact every therapist I had seemed to be a specialist in each of the treatments. That’s impressive for any spa – but especially for a destination spa where they don’t even work for tips.
On the negative side for me was the fact that I probably gained weight – totally my own fault. (Peter lost about 4 pounds). The food is so fabulous that you end up eating three full meals a day (which I don’t do at home). And with a cereal bar at breakfast and a salad bar at lunch and dinner as well as menus from which you can order as much as you want of so many healthful options…it just is too much temptation for me. Lunch and dinner menus have great desserts too, and when it comes to chocolate chip cookies and ice cream with hot fudge, I am simply spineless. I know the ice cream is low fat and the hot fudge isn’t really fudge but cocoa and pineapple and pear juice – but it still tastes absolutely yummy and I am unable to say no.
We leave tomorrow and are feeling better about having exercised more than usual, gotten lots of fresh air, eaten healthy food, slept well and learned a few things. Among them…that the best kind of exercise for your immune system is something I love to do – dancing. And finally, I was reminded once again that Canyon Ranch has it’s act together.
Last Saturday as Peter and I flew to California for a week’s “vacation”, I promised him that I would deal with my email issues. My email issues are such that if there was an email recovery group (and maybe there is) I would have to stand up and say, “Hi, my name is Susie and I am an emailaholic.”
I actually really like email and enjoy staying in touch whether I am in the office or on the road. However, now I have had my husband, my best friend, numerous people at work and even my twin sister – who would be the last person to get upset with me – tell me that they have had enough. My girlfriend feels it is a pride issue, my sister thinks I am being inconsiderate of family, and my husband thinks I am just not able to find a good balance between work and non-work. They are probably all correct. I figure that I better start dealing with it before they all get together and plan an intervention.
Well, here is my progress report: I went almost 3 days without looking at my emails, then on the 4th and 5th I checked quickly and responded to just a few. So far so good. Today was the 6th day and I only handled one major issue but it necessitated a fair amount of emails. I am feeling the pull again so am planning to go cold turkey for the last 2 days of my vacation.
Key observation so far – skipping my emails is not the end of the world. I’m really not that important – and I am sleeping better.
I just received a follow-up email from Dr. Swati, the Indian born doctor in Ayurveda, Natural Medicine, and Yoga Therapy who I met at Parrot Cay. Dr. Swati just joined the staff at Como Shambhala and I must say she is a very impressive addition. She gave a presentation to our group, which was the most thorough explanation of Ayurveda I have ever heard. She has worked many years in Indian hospital and healing settings, and it was obvious to our entire group that she is a gifted healer (in addition to being very smart with a good sense of humor.) A private consultation with her is $150 which, after meeting her, is really a true bargain; I wish that I would have had more time to take advantage of that opportunity. But if anyone is reading this who is thinking about going to Parrot Cay….take my word for it and schedule a consultation with Dr. Swati before word gets out and she is totally booked!