Clean sleeping has nothing to do with showering before bed or slipping into freshly laundered sheets (and it goes without saying that “dirty sleeping” isn't what you think it is, either). Instead, it's about the habits and behaviours that can improve your quality of sleep and help you feel better rested.
There are very few things that, when brought up in conversation, will cause a whole room to say 'ME TOO'.
One is adult acne, two is terrible online dating experiences and three is a complicated relationship with sleep.
Given the pandemic that's in it, insomnia has skyrocketed somewhat exponentially, meaning that any tip to help us boost our sleep – magnesium, meditation, warm milk – is being considered. But have you ever come across the Goop-approved concept of 'clean sleeping'?
While the name implies it might mean taking a shower and hopping into a bed of fresh sheets, clean sleeping is actually the practice of prioritising sleep above everything else, which makes sense.
"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," Paltrow and Goop editors explained in the Daily Mail, adding that poor sleep can lead to a number of health problems, including inflammation and poor immunity. It can also potentially mess with your memory.
So, how do we prioritise sleep over everything and lock in the best shut-eye of our lives?
Clean Sleeping 101
Paltrow's new book, Goop Clean Beauty, touts the magic of clean sleeping. In it, she shares the lengthy regimen she swears by. However, the whole routine doe not have to be followed to a tee – you can, of course, take what makes sense to you and leave the rest.
Here are her steps to clean sleeping your way to a better life.
1. Get 9-10 hours of sleep every night
While that may seem excessive, most experts agree that the optimal amount of sleep an adult should be getting is 9-10 hours.
2. Go to bed at the same time every night
According to the Huffington Post, Paltrow recommends going to bed at the same time every night, preferably by 10 p.m. However, if this isn't possible – don't fret. Dr Sujay Kansagra, director of Duke University’s Paediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, told the Huffington Post that going to bed at the same time every night makes sense, but that you should choose a time that works for you versus stressing over lights out by 10.
3. Turn off your devices before bed
Preferably an hour before, to let your mind relax.
Some of you may already know that light emitted from your phone, laptop, and tablet promote wakefulness, so in order to peacefully drift off – a screen curfew might be something to consider.
4. Be aware of your caffeine intake
While many of us rely on coffee, tea and fizzy drinks to keep us alert throughout the day, it has been discovered that have caffeine after 2 p.m. can mess with your sleep.
If you must have a hot drink, try a decaf post lunchtime.
Paltrow recommends practising Yoga Nidra, a kind of yogic meditation designed to help you develop a sense of wholeness, according to Yoga International.
If you find the idea of meditation difficult, consider getting some help from Dublin-based yoga studio The Space Between, who have a range of online facilities available for anyone to learn.
6. Try to relax...
...whichever way works for you. Be it a bath, a quick tidy-up or a trigger-point head massage. Partaking in self-care pampering sessions also helps (i.e. painting your nails, a face mask or a series of stretched) while reading tends to be a favoured activity for those keen to power down at the end of the say.
While Paltrow has gotten flak before for flogging hugely expensive items to the masses (lest we forget the candle that 'smells like her orgasm') there is most certainly method to the madness here. In general, this clean sleeping ritual is pretty much all common sense and nothing that doctors and sleep experts haven't been saying for decades.
So, if it's taken Gwyneth stamping her name on a routine for people to listen and get better sleep, then kudos to her, but for those simply keen for an unbroken sleep, try the above or speak to your GP.
Main image by @fakerstrom