These Cave-Like London Apartments Help Jet-Lagged Travelers Drift Off to Sleep
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These Cave-Like London Apartments Help Jet-Lagged Travelers Drift Off to Sleep

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Cuckooz teams up with award-winning mattress company Simba to create The Zed Rooms—a series of serviced apartments that help jet-lagged travelers rest better.

In 2016, Charlie Rosier and Fabienne O’Neil founded Cuckooz—a design-focused serviced apartment brand that has properties in some of the most vibrant locations in London. Each Cuckooz project has interiors that are beautifully designed by an independent, up-and-coming industry talent.

In 2018, they collaborated with UK–based ergonomic mattress brand Simba to create three apartments in Spitalfields, a lively area near Liverpool Street Station with plenty of trendy bars, eateries, and shops.

The idea behind each Zed Room was to create a home away from home to help jet-lagged travelers overcome the "first night effect"—wherein international air travel and adjusting to a new environment often results in a poor night’s rest. 

"Designed to encourage REM-rich slumber—the type of sleep which increases brain activity, promotes learning, and creates dreams, the rooms engage with every sensorial touchpoint of the body; constructing a holistic ecosystem that enhances your sleep from the moment you step through the door, helping you to power down, recharge, and fight fatigue," says O’Neil.   

"Designed to encourage REM-rich slumber—the type of sleep which increases brain activity, promotes learning, and creates dreams, the rooms engage with every sensorial touchpoint of the body; constructing a holistic ecosystem that enhances your sleep from the moment you step through the door, helping you to power down, recharge, and fight fatigue," says O’Neil.   

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The Woom Room bed frames, which consist of multiple pieces of plywood slotted together like jigsaw pieces, are individually assembled by a team of EJ Ryder workers to reflect the curvature and coziness of the womb.

The Woom Room bed frames, which consist of multiple pieces of plywood slotted together like jigsaw pieces, are individually assembled by a team of EJ Ryder workers to reflect the curvature and coziness of the womb.

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"As the majority of our guests are either suffering from jet lag or in town on business, it’s imperative that they wake up in our homes feeling well-rested and adjusted to their environment, ready to take on the next day," says Rosier. 

The Cuckooz team even curated a playlist of calming cello music to play throughout the apartments. The range of the instrument is identical to that of the human voice, and cello music has been proven to reduce stress levels. 

The Cuckooz team even curated a playlist of calming cello music to play throughout the apartments. The range of the instrument is identical to that of the human voice, and cello music has been proven to reduce stress levels. 

The apartments are all fitted with opulent blackout blinds, sound absorbing curtains, and soft lighting to create a calming ambience that relaxes the brain and body.

The apartments are all fitted with opulent blackout blinds, sound absorbing curtains, and soft lighting to create a calming ambience that relaxes the brain and body.

The three rooms were designed by Iska Lupton and Gemma Stansfield of London–based Studio Stilton. All rooms include Simba hybrid mattresses (which combine the support of 2,500 pocket springs with the comfort of memory foam), temperature-regulating pillows, and duvets for a healthy night's sleep.

Each of the three serviced apartments features restorative scents and colors that relax muscles, invoke calm, and mimic the moonlight. The spaces also include air-cleansing soporific plants that eliminate toxins, cutting-edge electronics designed to keep guests' body clocks operating naturally, and healing background harmonies to calm the autonomic nervous system.

Each of the three serviced apartments features restorative scents and colors that relax muscles, invoke calm, and mimic the moonlight. The spaces also include air-cleansing soporific plants that eliminate toxins, cutting-edge electronics designed to keep guests' body clocks operating naturally, and healing background harmonies to calm the autonomic nervous system.

London mattress brand Simba’s hybrid mattress combines 2,500 conical pocket springs with responsive memory foam.

London mattress brand Simba’s hybrid mattress combines 2,500 conical pocket springs with responsive memory foam.

The Loom room features a cozy four-poster bed draped with luxurious, ethereal fabrics.

The Loom room features a cozy four-poster bed draped with luxurious, ethereal fabrics.

Studio Stilton curated every design element in the apartments to encourage restfulness and sleep. Two of the apartments have two bedrooms, and the third is a one-bedroom penthouse.

The two-bedroom units contain two different sleeping areas—the Woom and Loom rooms. Designed to echo the snug security of a mother’s womb, the Woom features an intricate cocoon-like bed constructed by the team at EJ Ryder. 

Most of the furniture comes directly from leading London–based lifestyle and furnishing brand Conran. Other items include Gubi chairs, Tala lamps, Google Home systems, and artwork sourced from a variety of established and up-and-coming artists.

Most of the furniture comes directly from leading London–based lifestyle and furnishing brand Conran. Other items include Gubi chairs, Tala lamps, Google Home systems, and artwork sourced from a variety of established and up-and-coming artists.

The living room in the penthouse opens to a sunlit terrace.

The living room in the penthouse opens to a sunlit terrace.

Natural light brightens the living areas when the glazed doors to the terrace are opened.

Natural light brightens the living areas when the glazed doors to the terrace are opened.

The furnishings in the living areas have rounded edges and softened corners, and there are even rocking chairs to lull guests into a state of serenity. 

Warm wood finishes up the snug factor.

Warm wood finishes up the snug factor.

There’s even a bespoke sleep meal menu created in partnership with Detox Kitchen that includes foods rich in serotonin, melatonin, and tryptophan.

There’s even a bespoke sleep meal menu created in partnership with Detox Kitchen that includes foods rich in serotonin, melatonin, and tryptophan.

"The prints on the walls have also been chosen to be inspirational dream fodder, and the penthouse terrace comes complete with yoga mats, meditation sessions via the iPad’s Calm app, and naked light bulbs to create a sense of simplicity," says Lupton.

Luxurious fabrics compliment calming artwork.

Luxurious fabrics compliment calming artwork.

The dark blue walls and earthy fiber carpet were chosen for their ability to encourage unwinding.

The dark blue walls and earthy fiber carpet were chosen for their ability to encourage unwinding.

"The lamps filter out blue light, which is known for keeping us awake. The Lumie alarm clocks in each bedroom mimic the light and color of a real sunrise, so when you open your eyes, you feel awake and refreshed. This helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle and has even been shown to boost mood, energy, and productivity levels for the rest of the day," says Rosier. 

Yoga mats and plants in the living room of the penthouse.

Yoga mats and plants in the living room of the penthouse.

"With The Zed Rooms, we’ve created a kind of urban haven—a place of respite for traveling insomniacs in a city that never sleeps," adds O’Neil. 

The apartments feature the Scent to Sleep fragrance by London-based Neom. The fragrance is a blend of 19 essential oils—including English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine—designed to help guests drift off to sleep.

The apartments feature the Scent to Sleep fragrance by London-based Neom. The fragrance is a blend of 19 essential oils—including English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine—designed to help guests drift off to sleep.