When I was researching sleep programs for a feature recently I discovered the Swissotel Berlin offered a service to sleep-deprived guests so as I was visiting the city for a few days I thought I’d check it out.
If you’re staying at the hotel you can request the ‘Deepsleep package’ which was devised in conjunction with local somonologist (as they call their sleep specialist) Dr Michael Feld. It includes a ‘sonic’ pillow (above) which simulates the sound of your heartbeat, a calming spray mist, herbal infusions to help send you to sleep and wake up the next morning and a light box (below) for those who find it extra hard to get up and running.
I guess I imagined a large room full of slumbering guests but in fact it only proved to be a couple of “Inemuri Loungers” (above) which are full length chairs with a hammock-like dip in the middle and raised base roughly the same height as your heart on which to rest your lower legs. It was so comfortable I thought I was onto a winner – a quick post-prandial pick-me-up after pounding the streets of Berlin all morning and I’d be raring to go again.
Of course it didn’t work out like that. One reason being the curious smell of freshly peeled orange that I discourteously assumed came from the director of PR who was showing me round – she must have had an orange for lunch I thought – but turned out to be another mist dispenser which instead of making me nod off actually made me feel more awake. (Orange is supposed to be calming but obviously not in my case.)
Even the music on the mini ipod they gave me it which sounded like the playlist at a Brazilian nightclub didn’t do the trick. Infuriatingly the man next to me – oblivious to both the orange and the bossanova – slept soundly throughout. I was probably just too busy clocking up the whole experience and sneaking photos to relax.
According to Christiane the hotel is generally approached by wives who are concerned about their high-achieving, stressed-out husbands not sleeping well but maybe it’s over-stimulated journalists like me who need the help …
The full Deepsleep package costs an extra 60 euros on your room rate but you can use the PowerNap lounge on request if you’re just visiting the hotel.