As a breakfast show presenter, I spend my life turning down invitations. My alarm goes off at 2.40am every morning and an ‘early to bed, early to rise regime’ doesn’t permit anything like a normal social life. So an invitation from London’s Corinthia hotel to test their new sleep programme was obviously just my thing.
I am obsessed with sleep. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat – not just on trains and in cars, but even once during root-canal surgery. But was I getting the right type of sleep? The Corinthia’s programme focuses not so much on the amount you get, but the quality. They look at how you can maximise that through what you eat, and how you unwind before bedtime. With the news recently about how women in particular could be putting their health at risk by not getting enough sleep, I wondered if it was time to assess the shut-eye I was getting.
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Switching off: Charlotte relaxes in her bedroom with a drink from the hotel’s Sleep Menu
Before my sleep experience at the hotel, I decided to make a day of it by tiring myself out and visiting a few of my favourite London places, starting at the Natural History Museum.
My next port of call was Buckingham Palace, where I checked out the Royal Childhood exhibition, then the National Gallery which has more than 2,000 works of art. This trek around the sights meant I was definitely ready for my Sumptuous Sleep Retreat.
It has to be said that the Corinthia is no ordinary hotel. Its prices are certainly pretty extraordinary, but I had little time to absorb the luxuriously appointed reception as I was ushered off to the spa for an afternoon packed with treatments to ease away any aches and pains and make sure I was fully relaxed before my head hit the pillow. This began with a visit to resident osteopath Bhart Shemar. Under his expert treatment, I soon began to feel all my long-held knots of tension disappear.
Early risers: Charlotte with Good Morning Britain presenters Sean Fletcher, Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard
Time to relax: Charlotte stayed at the Corinthia Hotel, which has launched a new sleep programme for guests
Before my next treatment, there was just time to unwind in one of the Sleep Pods.
The spa takes up an impressive four floors, and has not only a pool, sauna and steam room but heated marble loungers and an ice fountain. The sleep pods are nestled in the middle of the spa in a darkened room, with a flickering fire spilling out a gentle and mesmeric warm light. I already felt more relaxed than I had in a long time – but I was only halfway there.
It wasn’t long before my next treatments – the ESPA Sleep Ritual designed to balance the body’s energies, a Balinese massage to calm the mind and hot stones to ease tension. This was followed by Shirodhara – an Ayurvedic treatment that involves a therapist gently dropping warm oil on your forehead, to soothe the mind. It’s a therapy known to induce sleep, which it certainly did with me. I drifted off on the massage bed.
Back in my room, I decided it would be too much effort even to change out of my dressing gown for dinner, so I made the most of room service. The Sleep Menu has been specially designed by nutritionist Jeannette Hyde to make sure you have all the ingredients you need for a good night’s sleep.
Fresh-faced: Charlotte in her day job presenting Good Morning Britain and, right, stepping out on the red carpet
Drifting off: Charlotte tries out Shirodhara – an Ayurvedic treatment that involves a therapist gently dropping warm oil on your forehead, to soothe the mind
Just to make certain you’re not peckish during the night, the hotel even supplies a bedtime snack of banana, sunflower seed and pumpkin cookies with hot milk or valerian tea.
I started to feel guilty about the biscuits and chocolates I often resort to in the TV studio for that early morning energy boost.
My body was now set up for sleep, so it was time to turn to the mind. Sleep expert Dr Guy Meadows advises a routine: half an hour of wind-down time when you switch off all devices, dim the lights and – most importantly – avoid the temptation of using your phone or computer, as the light they emit makes your body think it is daylight.
I began to realise you can’t cheat sleep. In a busy day, all too often it’s the one thing we skimp on to make sure we cram everything in. The few hours spent during my sleep programme really made me think about just how vital my precious night-time hours are if I am to function at my best.
I slept like a log that night, and felt more refreshed than I had done in a long time.
The Sumptuous Sleep Retreat at the Corinthia Hotel costs from £758 based on single occupancy. This includes one night’s full-board accommodation and a range of sleep treatments at the ESPA Life spa. Visitcorinthia.com/hotels/london/the-power-of-sleep or call 020 7321 3000.
Source: Mail Online