Oscar winning actress, legendary baby namer, and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow has taken her wellness cred to new heights this year. After realizing that everyone she knows suffers from sleep deprivation, she rallied her experts and became a bona fide sleep advocate.
Paltrow, who gets ten hours of sleep on a good night, asserts that sleep should be prioritized above all else, including diet and exercise. That’s because sleep impacts everything from appetite and appearance to energy and productivity.
She coined her own method known as “clean sleep” – which became a cornerstone of her new book “Clean Beauty” – and predicted it would be one of the biggest health trends in 2017. Unsurprisingly, when Paltrow said, “sleep,” her loyalists asked, “how long?”
So, what exactly is clean sleeping anyway? And more importantly, should you be doing it?
How to Sleep Clean
Designed to promote proper sleep cycles and encourage deeper sleep, the practice of clean sleeping involves 12 key habits:
- Limit caffeine to morning hours. (If you need an afternoon kick, try these caffeine alternatives.)
- Eat a clean diet of whole, unprocessed foods.
- Allow 12 hours of fasting between dinner and breakfast.
- Get regular exercise, ideally before noon.
- Spend time outside to align your body’s circadian rhythm with the sun.
- Mist your sheets with essential oils.
- Meditate using yoga nidra principles.
- Get nine to 10 hours of sleep per night.
- Keep the bedroom dark with blackout curtains or blinds.
- Power off electronic devices an hour before bedtime.
- Relax before sleep with a hot bath and foot or head massage.
- Use a copper-infused, antibacterial pillowcase. The Goop team suggests this $60 one.
Paltrow is right in considering sleep a key pillar of health. In fact, many of her tips are long-practiced sleep strategies, and most experts agree with them. Expert Nancy H. Rothstein, Director of CIRCADIAN Corporate Sleep Programs and The Sleep Ambassador®, reveals, “Clean sleeping is really about practicing good ‘sleep hygiene.'”
Introduced in 1939, sleep hygiene includes daily exercise, creating a relaxing sleep environment, and avoiding food, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime. Rothstein emphasizes the importance of natural sun exposure and consistent sleep times to normalize the body’s sleep-wake rhythm. (Sound familiar?) Like Paltrow, Rothstein also suggests incorporating a warm bath or shower into your nighttime routine to promote tranquility.
But, what about the more extreme claims? Before you invest in that metal-infused pillowcase, consider that sleeping on your back may be just as effective, and with a few physical adjustments, any comfortable bedding should suffice.
And while Paltrow suggests that 10 hours is an ideal sleep time, the National Sleep Foundation found that seven to nine hours of sleep should do the trick. Neurologist Dr. Joseph Kraini told the Huffington Post that regularly sleeping more than eight hours could even be dangerous.
Overall, the concept of clean sleep is pretty reasonable, but sleep is more personal than Paltrow and her Goop team suggest. Try some of these habits and find what makes you feel most rested. You may not wake up looking like Hollywood royalty, but you will notice improvements in your waking life.