• Bivouac under the stars

    Good Night! – What’s the Key to a Great Night’s Sleep?

    Nothing is as rejuvenating as a restful night, but what if you struggle to get to sleep? Find out what advice a sleep therapist has on sleep hygiene, think dreams amidst trees and sleeping in a bird house as we take a look at some of the most original places for a good night’s sleep, and allow us to introduce you to the work of a sleep sommelier.

    Good Sleep – the Most Natural Thing in the World or High Art?
    Sleep is a human need that regulates itself – you would think. Medical specialists differentiate between no less than 100 different types of sleep disorder – organic and non-organic. What has thrown us humans so off track that such a large number of us need medical help to sleep?

    Sleeping could be the most natural thing in the world if you follow some basic rules as Dr. Michael Saletu, a sleep doctor from Vienna/Graz explains: "If you don’t think about sleep, live in harmony with your internal clock, go to bed when it’s dark, rise with the sun, and get enough exercise, then sleep won’t be an issue."

    The neurology specialist sees our non-stop 24-hour society as the biggest problem when it comes to sleep, which leaves little time to relax and get away from the stress of everyday life, too much artificial light, not enough sun, and our constant availability. These are issues we all know well and which can lead to insomnia and destablisation of the internal clock in the long term.


    "The forest is a source of strength. An evening walk outdoors or a virtual lap of a calming forest promotes good sleep."

    Priv.Doz.Dr. Michael Saletu, Neurologe und Schlaftherapeut, Wien
    Prof. Dr. Michael Saletu

    Hotels That Offer a Truly Special Night’s Sleep

    Sleep is the new lifestyle. An Austrian study confirms that 98% of 3,000 guests attach particular importance to a good hotel bed. From pillow menus to soft duvets – many hosts have long been catering for a good night’s sleep. 

    •                 Balkon

      Tips From the Sleep Sommelier Tips From the Sleep Sommelier

      From a "sleep first aid kit" to tips for the perfect slumber: an uninterrupted night’s sleep is the order of the day at the Gradonna in Kals am Großglockner. 

      Gradonna Mountain Resort
    •                 Sans Souci Vienna Superior Suite

      Honey Milk, Music, and a Choice of Pillows Honey Milk, Music, and a Choice of Pillows

      Experience an imperial and hip mixture of Vienna: the Sans Souci offers its guests a range of duvets, pillows, and mattresses to choose from, as well of plenty of other Sans Souci extras to relax and encourage sleep.

      Boutique-Hotel Sans Souci
    •                 teddy bear

      Box-Spring Beds in Styria Box-Spring Beds in Styria

      A hotel called "Schlafgut" (sleep tight) promises a lot when it comes to sleeping comfort, favourite sleeping position, and well-being.

      Hotel Schlafgut (German only)
    •                 Dream Alive Lodge at Grosses Walsertal

      DreamAlive Lodge DreamAlive Lodge

      Not many of us can say they have had a relaxing night’s sleep under the stars, but in the Großes Walsertal in Vorarlberg this dream can be turned into reality.

      Sleeping under the stars
    •                 Die Freundschaft feiern, Bezau

      Hotel Post Bezau in Vorarlberg Hotel Post Bezau in Vorarlberg

      Sleep becomes a work of art here at one of the Sleeping Power Hotels between wood, leather, felt, and handwoven Bregenzerwald linen.

      Hotel by Susanne Kaufmann
    •                 Ferienhaus

      Deep Sleep in the Vineyard Deep Sleep in the Vineyard

      Special air core mattresses await you in these design holiday homes in southern Styria, which will have you feeling like you’re on cloud nine.

      Pures Leben holiday homes (German only)
    •                 Mädelstag deluxe im Hotel Post, Bezau

      Pure Sleeping Pleasure Pure Sleeping Pleasure

      The Power Sleeping Hotels promise everything for a regenerative night’s sleep: from the room furnishings and sleep system to materials and bioenergetics.

      Power Sleeping Hotels (German only)

    Sleeping in a State of Alert

    Perhaps there has never been such a thing as undisturbed sleep? According to Saletu, even in prehistoric times, people slept in a state of alert, as danger was always lurking. So are we actually able to shake off this primeval instinct of always being at the ready? It’s not that easy, and women appear to be particularly tied to this alarm-state type of sleep. So what are the most important sleep hygiene measures? Is there such a thing as the ideal sleep scenario? Saletu repeatedly emphasises how important it is to go to bed once you have relaxed and wound down – and when you feel sleepy.

    This distance to everyday life is said to be crucial when it comes to finding rest. "Good sleep needs to have control of negative thoughts. If you overthink sleep, you will struggle with it." As if it were that easy, but when explained by the sleep doctor, it sounds like a plausible theory.

    Priv.Doz.Dr. Michael Saletu, Neurologe und Schlaftherapeut, Wien

    "The most natural measures for a good night’s sleep: go to bed feeling sleepy, wound down, and relaxed."

    Priv.Doz.Dr. Michael Saletu, Neurologe und Schlaftherapeut, Wien
    Prof. Dr. Michael Saletu
    • "Many people put pressure on themselves by thinking they must create the perfect scenario in order to get a good night’s sleep. That is counterproductive. Why do teenagers sleep so well, no matter where and under which circumstances? Because they simply don’t think about it", says Saletu.

      Which Sleep Personality Am I?
      So there doesn’t seem to be a single recipe for a good night’s sleep. "Everyone has to find their own feel-good scenario. Some prefer a cool room and need complete silence, others like sounds of the city or nature. And some insist on a constant flow of fresh air, whilst others sleep best in a warm room."

      The only formula the doctor allows: anything that promotes a sense of well-being, security, and relaxation.

    • Clear any non-sleep-related items out of the room – from laptops to work assignments, TVs, food, and alcohol.

      Grinding Teeth and Counting Sheep
      What can keep us awake? According to Saletu, insomnia (sleeplessness) is the most common non-organic sleep disorder. This includes problems falling or staying asleep or not feeling rested after sleep – on at least 3 days a week for at least 3 months. Insomnia is one of six main groups that make it difficult to sleep, which also include breathing disorders, hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness), circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, sleepwalking, and nocturnal movement disorders.

    • Creative Dreaming
      It’s unbelievable really that our brain never switches off – not even at night. The conversation with the sleep expert answers a question about dreaming: are dreams a type of psychological washing machine that rinses everything weighing us down, or rather a coincidental connection of the synapses? Michael Saletu: "Dreams serve in processing emotions – without the control and censorship of consciousness. That’s why we can be so creative whilst asleep, such as fly or defeat a monster." So sleep tight and try not to think about it too much. The next dream is sure to come and whisk you away!

    Podcast "The Forest Works Wonders" / Episode #2 "The Good Sleep" (German only)

    Night Night! 6 Original Overnight Stays in Austria

    •                     Steirereck at the Pogusch in Turnau in Styria

      Steirereck Luxury Lodgings

      At the Pogusch in Styria, you can spend the night in a bird house at 1,100 metres above sea level. But don’t worry; the amenities offer plenty to tweet about.
      Sleeping in the bird house
    •                     The Ramenai - the Bohemian Forest village in Ulrichsberg in Upper Austria

      Ramenai Tree Bed in the Bohemian Forest

      "Where did you sleep?" – "At the top of a tree." No joke. Because high up in the treetops there is a free-floating bed and lounge.
      Sleeping in the tree bed (German only)
    •                     Baumhotel Kopfing

      Baumhotel Kopfing

      Spending the night in a treehouse – a childhood dream. Why not make it come true, in the Upper Austrian Baumhotel (tree hotel).
      Catch some z’s in the trees (German only)

    "You can overthink sleep. Why do teenagers sleep so well, no matter where and under which circumstances? Because they simply don’t think about it."

    Priv.Doz.Dr. Michael Saletu, Neurologe und Schlaftherapeut, Wien
    Prof. Dr. Michael Saletu
    •                     OCHYS forest huts with glass roof in Kreuzstetten in Lower Austria

      Forest Camp Huts With Glass Roof

      The glass roof of the unpretentious forest huts in Lower Austria allows you to observe the star-studded sky by night and the treetops by day.
      Under the stars (German only)
    •                     bivouac

      Time for Two: BIWAK at Lake Millstatt

      In touch with stars, the lake, and mountains; up close to Carinthia’s nature. Very romantic!
      Bivouac under the stars
    •                     BubbleTent Hotel near to the lake Atter in Upper Austria

      Bubbletent at Lake Attersee

      The futuristic sphere-shaped tents are located in Weyregg, on the sunny side of Lake Attersee in the Salzkammergut.
      Sleeping in a bubble

    What Does a Sleep Sommelier Do?

    When you think of East Tirol, you see the mountains before you – majestic three thousand metre peaks lined up in a row. For some time now, East Tirol has also been making a name for itself for a different reason: in the wooden chalets and suites of the Gradonna Mountain Resort, guests are not just left to their own devices when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is of particular importance here and that is why there are certified sleep sommeliers.

    Those who wish to can plan their night’s rest with guidance and a conversation analysis. From the choice in duvet, pillow, and mattress with various fillings to fragrances that are said to promote sleep, nothing is left to chance here. Tips such as good old honey milk, the "right" bedtime literature, music advice, and relaxation exercises complete the package for a great night’s sleep. Alternatively, just enjoy so much time outdoors amidst nature that you fall into bed at night, tired and happy.

    AlpenParks Hotels & Residences

    What Does a Good (Hotel) Bed Need?

    Sleep Hygiene Checklist: 6 Tips to Get to Sleep

    "Exercise in the morning, ideally in sunlight, and avoid the blue light of your computer and mobile in the evening – this synchronises your internal clock ideally." 

    Priv.Doz.Dr. Michael Saletu, Neurologe und Schlaftherapeut, Wien
    Prof. Dr. Michael Saletu

    5 Dark Places for Heavenly Sleep

    Our sleep-wake rhythm is mainly regulated by light. As soon as it’s dark, the body produces melatonin – a hormone that makes you tired. That is why darkness is so important for a good night’s sleep. Here are 5 places where it is particularly dark at night:

    •                 Starry sky in Gesäuse National Park in Styria

      Darkness in the National Park Darkness in the National Park

      The Gesäuse in Styria
    •                 Summer in the Lungau region / Salzburger Lungau

      Darkness in SalzburgerLand Darkness in SalzburgerLand

    •                 Sternenpark Attersee-Traunsee, view of Weissenbach

      Darkness in the Upper Austrian Star Park Darkness in the Upper Austrian Star Park

      Attersee-Traunsee Nature Park
    •                 Moorlacke at the Rossbrand Filzmoos

      Darkness at Places of Energy Darkness at Places of Energy

    •                 Sportgastein summer

    Even More Inspiration for Winding Down

    •                     in the forest

      Why Forest Bathing Can Make You Healthier and Happier, According to Science

      Spending time in the forest has a soothing, refreshing effect on our bodies and minds. But how does it work, exactly?
      Find out
    •                     Monastery Pernegg in springtime in lower austria

      The Strength of Silence: Holidays at Pernegg Abbey

      Silence allows us to reflect, to lose ourselves completely, and return to what really matters. Pernegg Abbey is a place where you can slow down.
      To the silence of the abbey
    •                     thermal spa Aqua Dome in Längenfeld

      Why Spas and Thermal Baths Are So Good for Us

      They strengthen our immune system or relax us through and through. Find out why spas can be a veritable fountain of youth.
      Dive in
    •                     Krimml Waterfalls / Krimml Waterfalls

      The Krimml Waterfalls’ Health Secret

      Austria’s highest waterfalls can boost your respiratory health: Learn more about the Krimml Waterfalls' special aerosols.
      How to breathe freely
    •                     Mönchsberg Salzburg

      A Peaceful Walk on Salzburg’s City Mountain

      The path from the banks of the Salzach that leads through the city centre and up the Mönchsberg is as unspectacular as it is wonderful. Above the rooftops of the Old Town, you find yourself surrounded by silence.
      To the Mönchsberg circuit