Think a sleep retreat is all lavender oil and no science? Think again.
When Amanda Hooton from The Sydney Morning Herald arrived at our first Sleep Retreat back in March, she had her reservations. “Let's be honest. Thrilled as I am to be here, my first thought about The Goodnight Co's Sleep Retreat in Bowral, in the Southern Highlands of NSW, is to wonder what use it can possibly be.”
“Yes, it's in a beautiful location [...] but will I really sleep better with a stand of silver birches and an espaliered fruit tree outside my bedroom window?”
In short, yes. Throughout the retreat, Amanda learnt a good night’s sleep starts first thing in the morning, and in the early evening when “we should light candles, drink herbal tea and take the time to write down our thoughts, before retiring to bed when we are tired, calm and ready to sleep.”
“Yeah, right, I find myself thinking. Who has time to light candles and drink tea amid the average commute-dinner chaos of early evening? [...] But of course, according to the research, this is exactly what I need to do.”
“All the things recommended by Morrison and Knight are examples of the kind of behavioural change that is proven to help sleep.”
“Want to know what happened to me when I did all this (well, mostly) for three nights in a row?"
"I had the best night's sleep I can remember: nine peaceful hours. The next morning, I felt alert, and calm, and as if my brain was working faster and more clearly than usual.”
“At 11am I remembered a word I'd been trying to think of for weeks (long story) – ‘occulta’. The next day, instead of having some spectacular meltdown when my daughter forgot her school lunch and covered our outside table in paint in the course of just six hours, I was able to stay calm and sympathetic, and even talk rationally about how we might avoid these sorts of incidents in future.”
“I was a maternal goddess, in other words. I could hardly believe it.”
“Imagine not only waking refreshed, and repaired, and with less chance of illness than when you went to bed – but also with fewer problems than you had the night before. That sounds like a dream to me.”