What is Clean Sleeping?
Ever heard of "clean sleeping"?
Right now, society is arguably more health conscious than ever before. Routine workouts have been replaced by dynamic, high-intensity classes and diet supplements have been ousted by organic groceries and simplistic dieting trends, like "clean eating." Clean eating focuses on eating exclusively whole, unprocessed and refined foods that are sold in a form that's as close to natural as possible.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the clean eating trend has made its way into the bedtime. Generally speaking, the parallel to clean eating makes total sense – proper sleep and nourishment may be the two most vital components of living a well-balanced life.
And although Gwenyth Paltrow may have coined the phrase “clean sleeping," you don't have to be a Hollywood star to capitalize on this particular trend. In fact, with a few minor adjustments, you could be on your way to a cleaner night's sleep in no time.
So, how do I sleep clean?
- Back to “beep, beep, beep." This will take some serious will power, but try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – yes, even on the weekends. Doing so will allow your body to train itself and in return, lay the foundation for an optimal sleep routine. Tip: Ditch the smartphone and buy an inexpensive alarm clock to plug in on the opposite side of the bedroom. You'll have to get out of bed to shut it off anyway, so getting up at the same time each day will soon become inevitable.
- Set some ground rules for napping. Everyone loves a good power nap, and there's nothing wrong with squeezing in some shut eye in the middle of the day. But, when does a nap become a snooze? If you find yourself in need of a nap, try to avoid anything lasting longer than 30 minutes. Otherwise, you'll have to battle through that post-nap groggy feeling.
- Optimize your sleep environment. It's imperative that you create a calm, cool and dark sleep environment – and that means no TV, texting or emails within an hour of bedtime. The blue light emitted from TV screens, smartphones and tablets will throw of your circadian rhythm and ultimately keep you awake, ruining any progress you thought you were making by incorporating any of the above.
- Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Like anything else worth your while, clean sleeping requires thorough preparation; you must prepare yourself – and your mind – for bedtime. You might consider some deep breathing exercises, some easy stretches, taking a warm shower or just simply visualizing a peaceful, happy place. Scents of lavender or chamomile also help lead the brain to relaxation. No matter what you do, just be sure to get your mind right before you officially hit the sack. If you don't, you may find yourself counting sheep within minutes.
- Break(your)fast. Ever wonder how the most important meal of the day got its name? Experts recommend a full 12-hour fast over the course of a night. In other words, if you eat dinner at 6 p.m., you shouldn't eat again until at least 6 a.m. — at which point you'll break your fast. In the same vein, you should avoid eating as close to bedtime as possible. The digestive process requires a lot of energy, and you won't feel well rested in the morning if your digestive system has been working all night.
- Take the night out of nightcap. While a glass of wine before bed may help you fall asleep faster, alcohol will wreak havoc on your sleep cycle — the more you drink, the more you'll reduce your REM sleep. Avoid drinking alcohol two to three hours before bedtime to ensure you don't incite the costly occurrence.
- Embrace change. What was comfortable 8 years ago may not necessarily be comfortable today. Just like anything else, our bodies change over time. So be sure to check the tag on your mattress. If it's more nearly eight years old, it's time to replace it! We pay close attention to what we put into our bodies, so why wouldn't we do the same to what we put our bodies on?
Whether it's a workout class or a new diet – it all boils down to taking a more mindful approach toward health and wellness. That's all there is to it. No books, no fancy produce and no classes to attend.
Don't sleep dirty, Mattress Firm wants to help you sleep clean! By following the tips above, you'll be in on the clean sleeping trend and on your way to a better, cleaner sleep before you know it.