Spa doctor: Finding bliss in the twilight zone of the Staffordshire countryside
Most nights I manage only three or four hours sleep – five if I am lucky. I have tried everything from acupuncture to mindfulness to herbal sleeping pills but nothing seems to stop me waking in the early hours to my noisy, rushed thoughts.
Serenity Spa Evenings at Moddershall Oaks in the Stafforshire countryside start at £95
Forty-eight hours of pin-drop quiet at a ‘twilight spa’, hidden in the rolling hills of the Staffordshire countryside. Moddershall Oaks specialises in treatments that promote winding down, preparing the body and mind for a good sleep.
As well as the serenity of the surroundings – picturesque lake, cycle trails and woodland for ‘forest bathing’ – the award-winning on-site restaurant and luxurious boutique hotel rooms offer the perfect set-up for a weekend intended for nothing but relaxation.
After checking in at 3pm, I am directed to the spa, hydrotherapy pool, reflexology baths and outdoor hot tubs that sit opposite a lounge, complete with roaring fire and sofa.
The ‘twilight’ experience begins at 7pm (after a very delicious, early fish supper) with a paddle in the mega-sized hot tub. It is blissfully peaceful and as I stare at the twinkling stars my mind is noticeably calmer. Then comes my first ‘tranquillity’ treatment – a massage using NEOM products that boast 19 sleep-inducing oils.
I instruct my therapist as to my preferred level of interaction via a questionnaire (no small talk for me, please) and soon sink into the spongy bed while every muscle is nursed to sleep. The massage style is a combination of reflexology and shiatsu, focusing on the pressure points.
Next is a reflexology massage specifically for my feet. Putting my feet to sleep, it would seem, flicks a switch in my head and I am out like a light. The therapist kindly leaves me in my zen-like state for 20 minutes before gently waking me.
Having indulged in a 8pm snooze, I expected to struggle with nodding off at bedtime. But after ten minutes in the steam room – where the air is infused with decongesting eucalyptus milk – my eyelids remain heavy and I retire to my suite where I drift off at 10.30pm to a night of peaceful slumber.
- Serenity Spa Evenings at Moddershall Oaks start at £95, including NEOM calming sleep massage. Overnight Serenity Spa breaks start at £345, based on two people sharing a studio suite. All spa breaks include one 25-minute evening treatment, evening meal and breakfast.