Previous studies have shown us how sleep and memory are closely linked, but there are far more areas affected by the quality of shut-eye you regularly get or don't get. Mood, weight, immunity, and stress and energy levels are a few on this list. Sleep is a critical factor in determining the state of your overall wellness, which is why Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow is totally on board with "clean sleeping."
Turns out, the "clean" trend isn't solely limited to your diet. It also applies to clean sleeping, which can be achieved through good pre-bedtime habits combined with other lifestyle changes. Adopting them may help you sleep better and, as a result, feel better and look better. While Goop has been known to raise eyebrows with some of its practices and claims, Gwyneth does include some helpful tips in her book, Goop Clean Beauty, on ways to improve sleep. See some of them below.
How to Sleep Clean
- Get nine to 10 hours of sleep each night: According to leading nutritional scientist and hormone adviser Dr. Laura Lefkowitz, your body "repairs and detoxifies overnight," which is why it's critical to get as much shut-eye as you can. While seven to nine is normally the prescribed number for adults (ages 18 to 64), Laura also told the Daily Mail that nine hours is key to aging well, staying slim, and having glowing skin.
- Meditate: Yoga Nidra, which is basically sleeping while awake, is a specific practice recommended by the Goop team, but any form of meditation that brings you to a relaxed state can be beneficial.
- Cut off nighttime snacks at a certain hour: Detox expert Dr. Alejandro Junger added to the Daily Mail article by Gwyneth and Goop editors by recommending a 12-hour fasting window to avoid disrupting the digestive process while you sleep. If you finish dinner at 7 p.m., for example, you shouldn't eat again until 7 in the morning, so you can allow your body to detox properly overnight.
- Shut it off before bed: Scrolling through Instagram before bed could actually keep you from falling asleep. Not only are you more likely to reach over to your phone to check notifications, but blue light from devices can also mess with melatonin.
- Keep the same sleep schedule: Get your body into the habit and go to bed at the same time every night. You'll be able to fall asleep more easily and your biological clock (aka your circadian rhythm) will also be on the same page.
- Limit caffeine to your mornings: Grabbing that second or third cup of coffee in the afternoon can impact your ability to sleep hours later. Cut yourself off from caffeine four to six hours before bedtime.
- Get yourself to relax: Gwyneth suggests trying a trigger point head rub or foot massage before dozing off, but Dr. Sujay Kansagra, director of Duke University's Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, told HuffPost that "anything that helps your body relax is likely to benefit your sleep."