“The Retreat Sleep Factor”

Sleep is expendable. Right? We live in a blue-tinted fog of illuminated screens. Be it Insta-scrolling, Netflix binging, or just keeping up with the work Jones’ to ensure you’ve got the latest e-reply of the office. “When you are asleep, it’s the most idiotic of all things: You’re not finding food, not finding a mate. Worse still, you’re vulnerable to predation,” said Matthew Walker, a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

The sleep industry, be it research or consumer products, has been growing at an intense pace. As research findings continue to mount, it’s becoming clear that there is a sleep epidemic, maybe more alarming than the obesity crisis we’re in the midst of.

In 1942, a Gallup poll found that adults slept an average of 7.9 hours per night. In 2013, the average adult had sheared more than an hour off that number.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than a third fail to get the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. In an evolutionary blink of an eye, humans have radically altered a fundamental biological necessity, with repercussions that we are still only beginning to understand.

As business leaders, managers and supervisors, we’re looking to balance max productivity with employee morale. We need to do business when business
is done, but we also need our staff to be engaged, alert and productive. It’s evident that sleep deserves a seat at the table, and if not today, definitely tomorrow.

Now you’re tasked with taking your team away on a retreat. A lot of things go into this process, and here we are suggesting you factor “sleep health” into that
equation. There are some trends on the horizon as well as tried-and-true methods and techniques for adding quality sleep into your agenda.

Plain and simple, plan for your team to sleep. If budgets allow, tack on an extra day, or spread out your meetings a bit to allow for more free time. Start later in the morning. Have an early dinner allowing for an early end to the day for all.

Focus on a destination that promotes sleep. Woodloch Resort takes sleep very seriously, and as exemplified through numerous consumer reviews, their
“beds are like heavenly clouds.” Woodloch invests in their bedding and has partnered with a local bedding manufacturer, Pennsylvania Bedding Co., to develop
a custom bed for the resort.

Encourage your travelers to sleep with pink noise. Focusing on slow-wave sleep, pink noise mimics stage-3 brain waves during your most critical sleep cycle. “It’s one of those things thought to be a fountain of youth,” says Orfeu Buxton, sleep researcher at Penn State University.

You can also plan sleep treatments. The Lodge at Woodloch, a world-renowned destination spa, offers several options in this realm. The Sleep Ritual experience is a 75-minute treatment that encourages sleep during incredibly soothing bodywork combined with botanicals and a “DreamKit” to promote positive sleep every night.

Ultimately if you factor sleep into your retreat, you’re going to have a more productive meeting as your team will be alert and productive, and you will have
significantly boosted morale. What better way to a promote a healthy work environment.