How much would you pay for a good night’s sleep? Opening July 15, the new Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards, which promises to “own sleep like no hotel before,” is betting you’ll fork over some $700 a night.
“The rooms are designed as a sleep chamber,” says CEO Chris Norton. Among the sleep-promoting amenities you never dreamed you needed are a special room-service menu and body wash with calming chamomile, pepper and tangerine. But sleep doesn’t have to be a luxury, says expert Dr. Allen Towfigh, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine.
Here, he walks us through the hotel’s over-the-top offerings — and how you can achieve similar results for much cheaper at home.
Lutron temperature and lighting system, $15,000
At the Equinox Hotel, you can control the shades, temperature and lights from one remote. The rooms also boast total blackout curtains and special A/C units designed to be silent. Towfigh agrees that it’s important to eliminate ambient light, but says that “if you can’t afford blackout blinds, get a sleep mask.”
Coco-Mat mattress, $1,100-$2,400
There are no springs or metal parts in this handmade bed from Greek mattress manufacturer Coco-Mat. The all-natural fibers, says Norton, help prevent night sweats. Plus, they’re layered to “regulate temperature and avoid accumulating pockets of humidity,” he adds.
It’s important to stay cool at night, says Towfigh. “There’s a good reason we like the cool side of the pillow . . . When you fall asleep, your body temperature tends to decline. So a cooler room, and mattress, will allow you to do that more easily.” But you don’t need a Grecian bed to catch zzz’s. “Find the firmness that you enjoy, and replace [the mattress] once a decade.”
Matouk sheets, $700
Norton chose 500-thread-count Egyptian-cotton percale sheets for their softness and “relaxed look.” While you can score similarly high-thread-count sheets for less at a discount retailer, Towfigh recommends that his sleep-deprived patients spring for silk pillowcases, since “they don’t stick to your face.”
Goose-down comforter, about $400
When it comes to bed-making, the hotel employs the “Scandinavian technique” — two comforters, folded lengthwise, on each bed. The light duvets are “tropical weight” and can be layered if the 66-degree room proves too chilly. Towfigh says as long as you stay cool at night, it doesn’t matter what blanket you ultimately choose. And yes, 66 degrees is a great sleeping temp, according to National Institutes of Health researchers.
Custom headboard by Rockwell Group, prices vary
Headboards wrap around to an adjacent sitting area, where Norton hopes guests will chill out sans screens before sleep. “It’s cocooned, and it allows you to wind down before you go to bed.” Towfigh agrees that pre-bedtime rituals such as reading should be done away from the mattress. “Beds are for sleeping and sex,” he says.
Sound-proofed, wall-mounted TV, prices vary
The hotel’s flat-screen televisions have no distracting exterior lights and are mounted on sound-proof wall panels to prevent noise from seeping into the room next door.
Those are nice amenities that make sense for a hotel, Towfigh says, but at home, “you need to get rid of the TV in your bedroom. The less stimulation there is, the easier it is to fall asleep.”
Equinox Hotel will offer a room-service menu featuring items meant to lull guests — and sleep specialist Dr. Allen Towfigh says they’re likely a better option than hitting the minibar.
“Alcohol is a sedative, but when you metabolize it, you’ll have a rebound effect and be wide awake,” he says.
Towfigh also recommends avoiding eating two hours before bedtime for the best shut-eye. “It’s best not to try and digest food or have a full stomach when you’re trying to lie flat,” he says.
Here, he critiques some of the menu’s wellness offerings.
Melatonin smoothie: This blend mixes almond milk, bananas and dates with tart cherries, which naturally contain the sleepy supplement. But to get enough melatonin to help you sleep, Towfigh says you’d need a higher dose, around 9 to 12 milligrams, so a supplement might be better.
Ginger tablets: Anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting ginger is delivered via Juice Press’ Ginger Fireball Blast supplements. While the digestion aid may help with falling asleep, Towfigh warns that its blood-thinning properties could have dangerous interactions with certain medications.
Warm milk with turmeric and ashwagandha: The age-old sleep elixir, milk, gets a woo-woo spin. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that is believed to reduce inflammation and relax the central nervous system, although it has a skeptic in Towfigh. There’s no harm in trying it, he says, “but take it with a grain of salt.”
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