Pól Ó Conghaile: The Irish hotels that want to sell you a good night's sleep

My kingdom for a good night’s sleep!

I’m writing this column from a hotel room. Last night, I returned find a ‘Deep Sleep Pillow Spray’ on my bed, promising to help me “fall asleep faster, naturally and wake up feeling refreshed”. Beside it, another note invited me to schedule a wake-up call. “Don’t lose sleep over sleep,” it said.

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A hotel offering a good night’s kip? It sounds obvious, but the accommodation industry is selling sleep like never before – and for good reason.

This isn’t rocket science. Research shows that sleep is crucial to our physical and mental health. ‘Sleep hygiene’ and bedtime rituals are very much on trend, wellness is big business and relaxation apps like Calm and Pzizz are popping up like mushrooms. We know this. Yet research from the UK’s National Sleep Council suggests that 27pc of us are struggling to drift off on a regular basis.

“Room temperature and noise are the two top factors inhibiting sleep, followed by uncomfortable pillows and mattresses,” says Julie Hastings, marketing director of Northern Ireland’s Hastings Hotels, which recently surveyed 8,500 people on their sleep and bedtime habits.

Bed quality “influences almost three-quarters of hotel bookings”, she adds.

Of course, there’s a sales angle – the group wants us to know about its ‘Cloud beds’, made by King Koil in Kildare, about the jasmine-infused eye masks it offers guests, and its sleep expert Phil McCartan, whose tips range from the obvious (avoiding caffeine and taking an hour away from screens before bedtime) to the less so (ever tried a nightly “brain dump”, where you write down stresses or worries before going to bed?) It can be tricky to sleep in a strange bed, but touches like these serve to make it sound appealing.

Hastings isn’t the only Irish hotel brand selling shut-eye. Dublin’s newly extended Westin offers the group’s ‘Heavenly Beds’ and night-time lavender balm. The Cliff at Lyons in Co Kildare has ‘Deep Sleep Kits’ with fresh lavender bags, camomile tea, eye masks, ear plugs and bath oil, while the Blue Book’s Dunbrody House serves breakfast until noon (civilised, eh?), and its Newforge House has a pillow menu.

West Cork’s Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa has a two-night deal including a ‘Sleep Tight Ritual’ with a lavender foot ritual, massage and repair facial, and Elemis Sleep Pillow Spray and Sleep Temple Balm left for guests on its Irish Respa beds. The bill? €299pp.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for a nap.

Read more: Sunday Best: Six sneaky short breaks to save money on a night away

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