Sleep matters

In search of a good night’s sleep, Good editor Carolyn Enting tries ear auricular therapy as part of Cordis Auckland’s Heart of Dreams and Sleep Matters programme.

Sometimes you just need a good night’s sleep and for many, that can be elusive.

I can honestly say that I’ve probably only slept 8 hours straight once in my life and that was when I was utterly exhausted after flying to a different time zone and working seven days straight – night and day – and subsequently so exhausted that I remember literally falling onto the bed in my hotel room and not moving. Ah, the bliss I felt when I awoke feeling refreshed, even if I hadn’t managed to crawl under the covers!

According to global surveys, 8 out of 10 people have said they want to improve their sleep, and it’s these stats that have inspired the Langham Group to roll out the Sleep Matters by Chuan programme in their hotels around the world, including Cordis Auckland.

It’s been developed with the World Sleep Society, whose mission is dedicated to advancing sleep health worldwide with sleep medicine and scientific expertise.

If you’re sleep deprived or in need of some pampering, Cordis Auckland’s Heart of Dreams package, which encompasses the Sleep Matters programme, could tick that box.

A close friend of mine who is a solo mum often checks herself into Cordis Auckland for a night or two (and massage at Chuan Spa) when her son is with his dad. She runs her own business and recognises her need to unwind, and sleep!

I admire her dedication to this self-care practice. “I just sleep so well,” she tells me, each time. “I feel so refreshed.”

She’s shared that one of the reasons she sleeps so badly at home is that she’s on her own and because she’s solely responsible for her son she literally sleeps with one eye open! When she takes a hotel mini-break she can totally relax.

Chuan Spa, Cordis Auckland

With the recent opening of Cordis Auckland’s new Pinnacle Tower I took the opportunity to try the Heart of Dreams package for one night, which includes ear auricular therapy for sleep.

Having never heard of this therapy I was intrigued.

It transpires that auricular therapy is one of the most important components of traditional Chinese acupuncture, though there are no needles to concern yourself with here.

Instead, small ear beads are applied to assigned acupoints around the ear for stimulation, which are said to activate the production of neurotransmitters in the brain.

“Through the acupoints, it increases the flow of body circulation and will nurture, heal and restore our body,” the therapist at Chuan Spa, Cordis Auckland explained.

Auriculotherapy, or auricular treatment on human ear, close up. Therapist hand applying acupuncture ear seed sticker with tweezers.

The auricle (outer portion of the ear) has more than 200 points corresponding to different parts of the body. Ear auricular therapy has been thought as a promising treatment for insomnia as it stimulates specific points on the ear.

The earliest record of acu-meridian points in the ear dates back to 500 B.C. in Silk Book Meridians, which states a close relationship between the ear and the body.

The application of the beads didn’t take long. Just a few minutes. In total six beads on six points – shenman, kidney, sleeping point, forehead, subcortex and occiput – affixed to the skin with a minuscule piece of tape.

Did it make a difference? Well, I tend to toss from side to side throughout the night – which is very annoying for my partner – though I did note that I felt more rested and calm when lying on my “acupoint ear” and it was easier to fall asleep.

Maybe it’s my monkey brain but aside from that one time where I literally “fell” asleep onto the bed, I lie awake for 10 to 20 minutes before slumber gets me.

The Heart of Dreams package which incorporates the Sleep Matters programme, includes a stylish room with a signature Cordis dream bed (very comfortable), breakfast in bed (very yum), and a sleep well kit including Linden Leaves bath essentials and oils (very dreamy), ear auricular therapy for sleep (you know all about this already), and access to their wellness app and pool and spa facilities. Though it’s best to avoid wet activities – swimming pool, sauna, steam – after ear auricular therapy to avoid losing any beads.

Executive Room with bath, Pinnacle Tower, Cordis Auckland

I read this after luxuriating in a steamy bubble bath. Whoops!

If you’re seeking advice or just want someone to do the thinking for you, the Sleep Matters turndown kit includes ear plugs and a Sleep Tips card courtesy of the World Sleep Care Society.

There’s a yoga mat provided if you feel like doing some stretching or meditation. I didn’t, preferring to rest instead on the dreamy bed with a book.

There’s also a Spotify Playlist of tracks from around the world to help you relax.

It’s fair to say they take helping you sleep well seriously here.

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