There’s a $40 bil­lion global mar­ket ded­i­cated to help­ing you get more – and bet­ter – shut-eye. We break down two new in­no­va­tions at the fore­front of the rest revo­lu­tion

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

Hit a “nap bar” and train your brain to lu­cid dream.

Have you heard the one about how sleep will change your life? Of course you have. We all know lack of sleep comes with a laun­dry list of side ef­fects, from de­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity to a dis­si­pated sex drive, de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety. We know, and yet all this think­ing about los­ing sleep is mak­ing us anx­ious, which means we’re less likely to sleep. It’s a vi­cious, ex­haust­ing cy­cle.

But ex­perts are no longer con­cerned sim­ply with how much we sleep, they now want to know how ef­fec­tively we sleep, as well. Stud­ies show that dream­ing helps us to cope with stress, re­tain mem­o­ries and re­gen­er­ate neu­ro­chem­i­cals like mood­boost­ing sero­tonin.

The new fore­front of the rest revo­lu­tion is lu­cid dream­ing, the state where you’re aware you’re asleep and can con­trol your dreams to heal emo­tional trauma, find cre­ative stim­u­la­tion and as­cend to spir­i­tual heights. But what if your dreams aren’t mem­o­rable? What if the se­cond you wake up, you can’t re­call any of the wacky, won­der­ful worlds you vis­ited last night? Dream guide Tree Carr says this can be over­come as any­one can have lu­cid dreams – she has one every 10 days. She ad­vises keep­ing a jour­nal to kick­start your dream re­call and from there it’s a ques­tion of mind­ful­ness and in­tent. Six times a day, she says, you should fo­cus on an ob­ject, tak­ing in every de­tail of it. Re­peat to your­self that you will see the ob­ject in your dreams. When you do, you know you’re con­scious. Try to pick it up. Con­grat­u­la­tions! You just went lu­cid.

“I al­ways tell dream­ers to be pa­tient,” says Carr. She also rec­om­mends drink­ing tea made with dried mug­wort (yes, it looks as sus­pi­cious as it sounds) to stim­u­late dream mem­ory. Also on the to-do list: ban­ish­ing all tech­nol­ogy and night­caps from the bed­room, for a clean sleep in the man­ner of Gwyneth Pal­trow. “Your bed is a sanc­tu­ary for your dream jour­ney,” says Carr. “So any­thing that isn’t to do with dream­ing or sex is out of the room.”

For those in need of a lie-in more than a lu­cid dream, there’s Pop & Rest (pop­n­, Lon­don’s first ded­i­cated nap bar. For $14 you get half an hour’s peace and quiet in a blacked-out pod while a speaker wafts rain­for­est muzak.

Sim­i­larly, you can book a booth to nap in mat­tress start-up Casper’s space, The Dream­ery, in NYC (dream­ery­by­casper. com). It looks and feels like a just-opened ho­tel, and while you can’t stay for good, you can snooze in chic PJS from luxe sleep­wear brand Sleepy Jones – there are even Sun­day Ri­ley toi­letries on hand to freshen up af­ter­wards.

Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, a short burst of rest for 20 to 30 min­utes dur­ing the day can help you be­come more pro­duc­tive. And while train­ing your­self to sleep well can take time, Carr says it’s not that com­pli­cated: “It’s not rocket sci­ence,” she laughs. “We have been dream­ing for thou­sands of years. We just need to re­con­nect with our­selves.”

“Con­trol your dreams to heal emo­tional trauma and find cre­ative stim­u­la­tion”

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