Gwyneth Paltrow predicted that clean sleeping would be the biggest health trend of 2017, so you know we're going to be talking about it. Sleep expert Alanna McGinn
is giving us everything we need to know about the latest craze that is supposed to help have our best sleep ever
What is Clean Sleep?
Practicing proper sleep hygiene, which are lifestyle and behavioral changes to improve our sleep need to be incorporated. Steps like keeping a consistent bedtime, making sure you are getting on average 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and keeping tech out of the bedroom are important, but adding other healthy sleep tools to your sleep cleanse, ones that maybe you never considered, could also help you sleep better.
Its a lifestyle based not just on clean eating, but also on clean sleeping: at least seven or eight hours of good, quality sleep—and ideally even 10.
Sleep plays such a powerful role in determining your appetite and energy levels that I believe it should be your first priority—even before you think about your diet.
How Nature Can Help Us Sleep Better
When we are trying to sleep better we can look to nature and our natural environment to help us fall asleep easier at night and get a better quality of sleep.
Using natural light
Often when we think of sleeping better we focus on bedtime and ways to improve it but did you know that how we wake up in the morning can also help us fall asleep a lot easier.
When we wake up right we are setting the path for our natural 24-hour body clock for the rest of the day. When we keep a consistent wakeup time and allow our body to naturally wake it helps our body build enough drive to sleep throughout the day making falling asleep at night much easier. The biggest way we can help achieve this is by immersing ourselves in natural light. Opening up the blinds upon waking or getting outside in the fresh air and natural light works well but you can also include a sunrise simulator like this Philips Wake-Up Light. It naturally wakes you up by mimicking the sunrise and over the course of 30 minutes it glows from red, to orange, to yellow, to a bright light. What this does is it gradually turns the sleep switch off in our brain and allows us to wake up the way our body is naturally intended to.
Clinically proven to leave them feeling refreshed, energized and ready for the day ahead. Inspired by nature’s sunrise, the Philips Wake-up Light helps people wake up more naturally, thanks to a unique combination of LED technology light and sound.
Do you notice that when you are at the beach or at the cottage or camping you tend to sleep better? A big part of that is because we are outside more. Our bodies are meant to come into contact with the earth. Because as a society we are overexposed to positive electrons, from things like Wi-Fi and mobile phone waves having direct contact to the ground gives us a negative grounding charge and allows our electrical energy to balance out.
Now, we live in houses, wear rubber shoes, are exposed to EMFs daily and don’t often come into direct contact with the ground. The theory of Earthing is allowing your body to connect to the Earth’s surface by walking, sitting, or sleeping outside or using a device that can create the same response but while you are inside.
Earthing can be beneficial in:
Reducing chronic pain
Lowering stress and promoting calmness
This is a Japanese practice that is known to reduce stress. Forest Bathing is simply taking a walk in the forest. Being surrounded by the sights, smells, and sounds of the forest nature. This can lower ones cortisol levels (our stress hormone), and also lower blood pressure and anxiety. True Forest Bathing is physically being in the forest but you can incorporate indoor trees, sounds and smells that can mimic this environment. Here we have the Saje Aromaom diffuser and their relaxation diffuser blend collection. This diffuser infuses your air with its essential oils to create a soothing atmosphere, which can help you fall asleep easier. It also has an auto shut off so you feel comfortable using it at night and what I love is that Saje’s diffusers can also be used as a humidifier to help add moisture to the air if need be.
Revamp Your Bedtime with Relaxation and Mindful Techniques
You always want to start off bedtime with the right mattress and here we have the IKEA HOLMSBU
Spring mattress that offers “pocket on pocket” technology with a gel infused memory foam pillow top for weightless and cool comfort all night long. This mattress is extra high and filled with multiple layers of comfort.
Once we know we’re sleeping in comfort we can focus on our actual bedtime routine. Incorporating yoga and relaxing poses into your bedtime routine is going to help prepare your body to sleep and reduce stress levels making falling asleep easier. Meditation is also a practice that one can incorporate at bedtime and when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep. It can be tough though to get out to a Yoga class and learning how to meditate can be overwhelming for some so I’m going to show you how you can easily incorporate both into your life:
How a Bedtime Snack can Help you Sleep Better
On average you should eat your last large meal 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Because your metabolism slows down at night you don’t want to eat a huge meal right before bedtime because then your body won’t have a chance to recover and rebuild because it will be too busy working on digestion.
But we do have some good night approved bedtime snacks:
When combining carbohydrate-rich foods and dairy foods it can increase the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood. So a few perfect late night snacks could be:
Banana Bread Tea:
A bowl of sugar free cereal and milk
Yogurt and crackers
You would boil a banana, with the skin on, for 10 minutes and then strain the water and add a couple of drops of walnut oil. The skin of the banana provides even more nutrients than the flesh. There is a higher increase of B6, potassium, and magnesium, which aids in muscle relaxation and it has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and help individuals sleep better. Walnuts contain both sleep inducing tryptophan and melatonin.
We also featured a selection of products that can aid in your sleep.
Saje aromaOm Ultrasonic Diffuser
Saje Relaxation Diffuser Blend Collection
Ikea HOLMSBU Mattress
Philips Wake Up Light
Earthing Sheets and Bedding
, $175 and up