Six Senses uses tech to give guests a better night’s sleep

WEST WARWICK, RI—When thinking about technology in hotel guestrooms, the first things that usually come to mind have to do with guest-facing options and solutions that stimulate the mind—i.e., TV, music, games. But sometimes, what guests truly want is just a good night’s sleep. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is embracing that idea and giving guests just that: a restful sleep that supports their bodies’ natural circadian rhythm, or “internal clock,” which functions as its rest/wake cycle.

Keeping with the brand’s wellness and sustainability philosophies, Six Senses has partnered with Lighting Science—a biological LED lighting solutions company—to equip guestrooms with lights that gently encourage a better night’s sleep. Timeshifter, a mobile app designed to help guests power through jet lag, is also part of its initiative, Sleep with Six Senses.

Sleep with Six Senses is a property-wide program that offers specialty bedding and mattresses, as well as Lighting Science GoodNight LED light bulbs, to support healthy sleep and encourage a more mindful stay and travel experience.

These bulbs work by blocking the energizing “daylight” blue light spectrums that cause people to feel awake.

“When using a source that omits the blue light, you immediately feel more relaxed and sleepy. If we compare that with sunlight, which contains more blue light than we are able to produce in a bulb, it’s very difficult to feel sleepy in bright sunlight, and much easier when it’s dark,” said Anna Bjurstam, VP, Six Senses Spas. “The GoodNight bulb produces the same effect and feeling, and once it’s dark, our body starts producing melatonin, our sleep hormone, and we feel tired.”

Cellphones, TVs and standard incandescent bulbs all give off blue light. By creating a light bulb without this blue spectrum, Lighting Science is able to enhance restfulness by allowing the body to create melatonin faster, and,  in turn, fall asleep faster and sleep longer, explained Khim Lee, president of Lighting Science.

“Lighting Science’s engineered spectrum was originally developed through research conducted in collaboration with NASA, where we aimed to assist astronauts who were training and living on the International Space Station. The astronauts experience 16 sunrises and sunsets per 24-hour period, which wreaks havoc on the human circadian rhythm,” Lee said.

These lights are installed with a dimmer switch as well so guests can alter the brightness according to their activities, such as reading, watching TV or taking a midday nap.

Six Senses Zil Pasyon in Seychelles, Six Senses Kaplankaya in Turkey and Six Senses Fiji are the first resorts to install GoodNight light bulbs into the bedside lamps. Lighting Science products will soon be available in Six Senses Krabey Island in Cambodia, Six Senses New York City and Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand.

Six Senses and Lighting Science have also collaborated to offer these bulbs in select hotel boutiques, prolonging the guest experience. “Once guests have experienced this in the hotel, we want them to be able to apply these new healthy routines at home,” Lee said. “A person’s health and wellness shouldn’t end when the vacation does. Six Senses and Lighting Science are about promoting healthy lifestyles and educating our clients on how they can achieve a healthier balance at home or abroad.”

But along with the strain of everyday travel also comes the dreaded—yet sometimes unavoidable—jet lag. Six Senses is giving guests a complimentary jet lag plan via the app Timeshifter, which alleviates the effects of jet lag even before guests embark on the trip. The idea is that guests will become more aware of their bodies’ natural cycles, and trips for both business and leisure will come with a more comfortable transition.

“The partnership between Six Senses and Timeshifter is showing what the future of luxury travel can be. By combining the Six Senses integrated wellness experience with the Timeshifter jet lag app, based on the latest in sleep and circadian neuroscience, guests can enjoy their vacations even more and perform at their very best on business trips,” said Mickey Beyer-Clausen, CEO of Timeshifter.

The app uses personalized plans based on the traveler’s sleep pattern, chronotype and flight plan, and gives sleep advice through a notification system, such as tips regarding melatonin use.

“When arriving at a Six Senses resort, you will have instructions in the Timeshifter app as to what type of light or activity you should be exposed to in order to help you continue to adjust to your new location,” Beyer-Clausen said. He added that light is, in fact, the most important time cue for resetting your circadian clock to a new time zone and that the right light exposure at the right time can significantly accelerate your adaptation.

“Six Senses vacations are about resting the mind, rejuvenating the body and boosting the immune system—and all of these start with a good night’s sleep,” said Bjurstam. “Although a third of your life is dedicated to it, we might not be getting the best length nor quality, and so the goal is for our guests to feel recharged and relaxed after they leave.” HB