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Clean sleeping is a concept created by Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow as part of her health guru company, GOOP. But what exactly is the idea behind clean sleeping, and what more can it offer our health and wellbeing than simply getting our 6-8 hours of good quality sleep a night?

Well according to Gwyneth Paltrow, clean eating is, in essence, the idea of prioritising our sleep before anything else in our lives. To do this we should aim for 10 hours of sleep every night, be in bed by 10pm, limit our caffeine intake, participate in morning exercise to reset our circadian rhythm and keep our bedrooms a sanctuary free from things like work.

Indeed, many of these ideas just sound like common sense for a good night’s sleep. The problem is, items on the checklist are extremely strict and, for a lot of us, will be extremely hard to commit to. Especially sleeping 10 hours a night, which will seem impossible if you have kids, a busy social life and/or a busy work schedule. So, before you sign up for clean eating, is there really any science behind the rules?

Does Clean Sleeping Work?Sleeping 10 Hours a Night

We shouldn’t really be obsessing about the amount of sleep we sleep a night, rather we should be concerned with the quality of that sleep. Plus, everyone will have different sleep needs. It could be that you feel well-rested on 6 hours, while others need 8 hours. In fact, suggesting that we all need 10 hours sleep a night can actually be dangerous for our sleep health as these kinds of claims can lead to people stressing and worrying over getting more sleep, when their body really doesn’t require it. By trying to force extra sleep your body will start to fall into a routine of fragmented sleep, where you wake up numerous times in the night. This can even lead to insomnia.

Be in Bed by 10pm

Much like 10 hours of sleep a night, when we need to go to bed at night is different for everyone. It will depend on a number of factors such as your work schedule, and even just how your body works. After-all, some of us are night owls, and getting to bed before 10pm will feel impossible – and pointless as you’ll by lying awake in bed.

Rather, what is important is the idea of creating your own sleep schedule, where you go to bed and rise at roughly the same time every day – even weekends. Establishing a proper sleep routine is one of the simplest ways to ensure you get to sleep easily at night.

Exercise to Reset Your Body’s Circadian Rhythm

When it comes to exercise, it is widely known that an active lifestyle is highly beneficial for a good night’s sleep. However, the main question here is that do you need to exercise in the morning, like the clean eating strategy suggests? Well, in a nutshell, no. This again falls into the category that “everybody is different” and will be dependent entirely on how you sleep. For instance, a night owl would benefit from a morning exercise as it will help them feel more tired in the evening, while an early bird should look to exercise in the afternoon.

There are also other ways to reset your circadian rhythm, other than exercise. Mainly by exposing yourself to bright light to make you feel more alert and awake.

Keep Work Out the Bedroom

Of everything on the clean eating checklist, keeping your work life outside your bedroom is the one you should try to achieve the most. Our brains form associations very easily, so if you want your brain to clear itself ready for sleep, you need to have your brain associate the bedroom with sleep. If you regularly look at your work phone or laptop in the bedroom, your brain will start to associate that room as being like an office, so sleep goes down the priority list. The same goes for watching television in bed, then your bedroom becomes more like a living room. Instead, try to keep your bedroom as a sleep-only zone if you can.

Overall, Paltrow’s clean eating concept is pretty extreme, by no means do you need to follow every rule in order for you to get a good night’s sleep. Instead, focus on working out what your body needs and build you sleep routine from there. 

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