What Is “Clean Sleeping”, And Should You Be Doing It?
Nothing to do with taking a shower before bed or laundering your sheets on high-heat, the term “Clean Sleeping” was actually coined by health Guru Gwyneth Paltrow in 2017 and was last year’s hottest bedroom trend. But what exactly is it, and should we all be doing it?
Over the last few years, it’s become increasingly well known that sleep can affect our health in multiple ways – from our mood and metabolism to our hormones and heart – but it still hasn’t changed the fact that over a quarter of Americans are regularly not getting enough sleep.
According to sleep experts, the trend of “Clean Sleeping” is like “Clean Eating” for our mind and circadian rhythm (sleep pattern). It’s about the habits and behaviors that can improve the quality and length of our sleep, helping you to feel refreshed, revitalized and on top-form each day.
How To Sleep Clean:
Similarly to clean eating, clean sleeping can vary from person to person, and what works for me, may not work for you! It boils down to the small habits we adopt each day to ensure we achieve optimum sleep quality. From avoiding screens before bed to perfecting our pre-bed rituals, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference!
Here are 7 tips to get you started:
1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP!
Sounds obvious, but most of us don’t tick this box. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per night for adults, and Gwyneth aims for up to 10 for ultimate refreshment.
2. Eat Clean, Sleep Cleaner
Although it's suggested that Clean Sleeping is more important than Clean Eating when it comes to your overall health, don’t ditch the kale smoothies just yet! Clean Sleeping is actually improved by maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water. Gwyneth recommends cutting out sugar, alcohol, evening caffeine and late night snacking for a sounder sleep.
3. Say No To Naps
Sorry nappers – Clean Sleeping isn’t conducive for those afternoon siestas! It recommends sleeping in sync with the sun, and naps are only allowed if you already sleep well – not if you have trouble falling to sleep.
4. Create Your Own Habits
From taking a hot bath, spending 5 minutes meditating, or drinking herbal tea, the idea of Clean Sleeping is to build your own sleep-starting rituals that you repeat each night to prepare your body for rest. Creating this routine will help train your body and brain to sleep in a similar pattern each night, minimizing the opportunity to stay awake.
5. No Screens, No Social Media
It's been said thousands of times before, but the blue light emitted from our phones and computers signals our brain to stay alert and awake - not ideal for when we want to sleep! Paltrow suggests you should even turn your Wi-Fi off at night to avoid temptation. Pop your phone onto airplane mode and opt for a book instead!
6. The Perfect Bedtime
Aim to go to bed around 10:30 pm, allowing yourself a 90-minute window to reach the right phase of sleep before midnight when your body repairs and restores itself the most. Sticking to a similar bedtime on the weekends will also help your body unwind and avoid that groggy Monday morning feeling.
7. Brekkie Is A Must
Try and eat breakfast every day, ideally within 60 minutes of waking up. This stops the body functioning on empty, which is one of the main causes of shallow sleep. It also kick-starts your metabolism and helps your brain to work more efficiently in the mornings.
The Bottom Line…
Though some of these tips may seem obvious, don’t dismiss the power of “Clean Sleeping” just yet! By improving your sleep routine, you will reap so many other health benefits, too.
Create a routine which works for you, and helps you to unwind and relax. A foot massage, or some aromatherapy perhaps? Meditation or mindfulness? Whatever you choose, as long as you stick to it, you will notice an improvement.
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