Some call it the next frontier in wellness. Some regard it as the only good idea that Gwyneth Paltrow ever coined. Some consider it the biggest health trend of 2017. And despite so many hands patting its back, Clean Sleeping seldom makes a sound impression the first time.
Gwyneth Paltrow introduced Clean Sleeping in an article she wrote for the Daily Mail earlier this year. She called sleep necessary & a priority that deserves to be put before everything else, even diet. She also advocated dedicating time to ensure a good night’s sleep.
However, we won’t blame you for going ‘WTF’ on clean Sleeping. There is a lot of fuss around a concept that basically translates into a decent sleep of 7-8 hours.
Clean Sleeping Unravelled
The number of hours you sleep affects your mental and physical health. Regular sleep for six hours or less can damage your energy levels, metabolism, appetite, weight gain, etc. It can negatively impact your mood, working memory, and cognition. It can leave you exhausted, stressed, and dull.
Clean sleep focusses on a set of practices that help you rest optimally every night. These may include messages, sleep-inducing products like moisturising creams, and habits like fixing and sticking to a bedtime, etc. Gwyneth goes as far as crediting clean sleep for graceful ageing, great hair, and a slim body.
While the idea of sleeping anywhere between seven to ten hours a day is beneficial from many angles, Gwyneth’s way is also a bit high maintenance. Not everyone can afford a copper pillow, moisturisers for $580 per tube, or psychic sleep classes. Also, Clean Sleep demands a decent amount of time and effort to pull it off.
Is Clean Sleeping Feasible for Non-A Listers?
If you take some time out to read Gwyneth’s piece in Daily Mail, you’ll notice how it makes it painfully clear that Clean Sleep requires a lot of maintenance. What can you do if you don’t have a handsome bank account statement, time, and some expertise on your hands?
Clean Sleep is achievable. And affordable. However, you will need some tweaks to achieve the same results as a £50 pillow without spending the bucks. We offer you Gwyneth’s advice with experts’ filter to make Clean Sleep a cost-effective practice.
Gwyneth suggests eight to ten hours of shut-eye per night. Neurologist Dr Krainin from South Carolina clarifies that most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Longer sleeping-hours may end up negatively affecting mortality.
When you fix a time for going to bed, it helps regulate your circadian rhythm. Dr Sujay Kansagra who runs the Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program at Duke University suggests a bedtime citing the circadian rhythm. He adds that a fixed hour makes it easier for you to fall asleep going forward.
At the same time, Dr Kansagra makes it abundantly clear that a bedtime has to be an hour of your choice and comfort. Trying to follow an unrealistic goal like 9 PM when you can’t even get a few winks before 11 PM will do more bad than good.
Sleep requires you to be relaxed. Looking at emails or news, pondering over responses and statements, involving yourself in a conversation, or anticipating replies aren’t very relaxing.
Terry Cralle, a certified sleep educator, talks about the ill effects of blue light from the screens of iPads and phones. It suppresses melatonin, a natural hormone which makes sleep more inviting.
Experts also suggest avoiding caffeinated drinks after 4 PM. Caffeine promotes alertness and is quick in its job. It takes your body about three to five hours before it can flush out half of the caffeine you drank. Consuming caffeine anytime around your bedtime will make it very tough for you to relax.
Gwyneth’s article involves a part where she suggests a twelve-hour long fasting window. While fasting may seem a bit extreme, Dr Kansagra suggests not snacking around your sleeping hour.
While you sleep, your body does inventory and repair. A snack around bedtime forces your body to focus on digesting that food and not on replenishing the energy you’ll need for the next day. The result is poor sleep, bad eating habits, and a messed up circadian rhythm.
A few of Gwyneth's most controversial pieces of advice include $80 copper pillow cases and ‘yoga Nidra’ to promote healthy sleeping habits. Dr Kansagra refuses any evidence that the items and practises mentioned above lead to an excellent sleep pattern. Meditation may relax some people, but to sleep well, you have to fall asleep.
The trick is to relax your body. A head or foot rub that you can give yourself, counting sheep & clouds, or focussing on your breathing rhythm are all ways to relax with zero expense.
Gwyneth also supports magnesium supplements to induce relaxation. Dr Kansagra notes that magnesium as a sleep inducer requires a good deal of research at present to ensure how good or not it could prove for humans. Magnesium dosage can cause healthy people to fall sick with diarrhoea.
Gwyneth Paltrow' Clean Sleep Concept Is Precious as Long as You Skip the Extravagant Part
Sleep is vital- no doubt there! You must prioritise sleep because the benefits expand to various aspects of your well being. However, there is no need to follow every word as it is.
Keep in mind that human behaviour, not human biology, is responsible for most of the health crisis scenarios. Sleep deprivation and a resultant exhausted mess of a human are the results of overloading yourself with work obligations and ignoring your body’s warnings.
While Gwyneth’s homespun newsletter Goop is famous for its bizarre health improvement trends (We are looking right at you vaginal steaming), Clean Sleep is not only a decent concept but also very beneficial. But of course, we suggest you don’t spend your next month’s rent on a pillowcase and foot massage.
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