Sleep well. Two words that, in my experience, do not belong together. At all. Saying that I’m a bad sleeper would be an understatement. I am awful – bordering on the lines of insomnia. It takes me hours to get to sleep, and if there’s any noise or even a crack of light, I can forget about it. This means I am constantly tired and lacking in energy, I can’t concentrate, and I have to carry earplugs and an eye-mask with me wherever I go. Not ideal. From herbal remedies, sleep sprays, and meditative music to natural sleeping pills and supplements, I’ve tried everything.
Needless to say, I was tired of being tired. So when I was invited to try the new ‘Yogic Sleep Program’ at luxury resort Six Senses Zighy Bay in Musandam, Oman, I (quite literally) jumped out of bed at the chance. A program promising to tackle energy imbalances and promote sleep? It sounded too good to be true…
First, a little bit about Six Senses Zighy Bay itself. Nestled between dramatic mountains and set on 1.6km of white, sandy beach, the resort is located on the Northern Musandam Peninsula in Oman, about a two-hour drive from Dubai International Airport along winding roads and up through the mountains. The drive is an experience in itself, but just when you think you can’t experience anything more beautiful, you arrive at the resort, which has been designed to resemble an old Omani fishing village. Every guest gets to stay in one of the spacious 82 villas, which feature bathtubs big enough to fit a family, indoor and outdoor showers, huge beds, a living area, and a private pool and outdoor chill-out area.
In a nutshell, you’ll never want to leave, especially once you’ve seen the stunning, pristine beach with its bright-blue water, you’ve taken a dip in either the salt-water pool or the fresh-water pool, or you’ve sampled the delicious fresh food whipped up in one of the four restaurants on site. There’s even an organic garden where your grub comes from and a gorgeous spa offering an array of natural and holistic treatments. It doesn’t get much better than this. (Click here for Savoir Flair’s full review.)
Luxuries and heavenly setting aside, I was here to get down to business. The business of being able to sleep. The ‘Yogic Sleep Program’ is the latest to be added to the resort’s list of wellness retreats and is all about encouraging a deep state of relaxation over several days (programs range from three to 14 days) through yoga, massage, meditation, and food. Every detail has been considered to make sure you can drift off at night, including the removal of items in your room that could prevent you from having a successful slumber (sorry, that means no mini bar, naughty snacks, or things that will keep you up at night). There’s even a pillow menu to choose from that offers every type of firmness and material you could wish for – water pillow and buckwheat pillow included.
My days flew by in a flurry of massages, private yoga and meditation sessions, consultations with a yogic sleep guru, lots of relaxation time by the pool and on the sand (hey, someone has to do it), and plates filled with fresh, light, wholesome food that was specifically created to help me relax. The menu was bursting with flavors and included dishes like scallop-and-quinoa salad with cherry tomatoes, freshly caught fish with guacamole and mango salsa, and grilled chicken with seasoned asparagus. Each night before bed, I was also treated to a ‘sleep smoothie’, which was delivered to my villa and crammed with fruits and vegetables to help send me to the land of nod.
The program isn’t only designed to help relax you during your stay, but also to teach you techniques that you can apply before bed every night for the rest of your life. These include trataka meditation, which involves gazing into the flame of a candle to help collect your thoughts and physically tire your eyes and mind, and yoga nidra, which is a deep-breathing meditation technique that sends you into a state of such deep relaxation that you will fall asleep. When wellness manager and my incredible yogi Anil warned me I might drift off, I couldn’t help but laugh. “Me, fall asleep here, within half an hour, lying on the floor? Never going to happen!” I confidently declared. Let’s just say I ate my words and woke myself up snoring 15 minutes later…
The person that left Zighy Bay was definitely not the same as the person who arrived. I didn’t look like a puffy-eyed maniac anymore for a start. I felt invigorated and alive, yet peaceful and content, and from my head to my toes I felt the effects of my retreat. Most importantly, however, I could sleep; I could finally kiss goodbye to the endless sheep I’d been counting. The practices and principles I had learned were so easy to incorporate into my daily life, and I even managed to fall asleep on a plane last week, which in my world is an absolute miracle. Six Senses Zighy Bay is, in all senses of the word, a dream destination.
Six Senses Zighy Bay ‘Yogic Sleep Program’ starts at AED 1,763/SAR 1,800 for three days.
For more information or to make a booking, click here.