Sleeping Clean... The detox program your sleep actually needs

What exactly is 'sleeping clean'? Gwyneth Paltrow has kick-started a trend with the La La Land elite talking about Sleeping Clean. But she isn't exactly reinventing the wheel here...

Sleep Hygiene

Sleeping clean is aimed to give you the absolute best possible sleep by following some fairly simple routines. This enables you to have a clean sleep, unaffected by stimulants and uninterrupted by the world around you.

We don't often know just how much the outside world can creep in and change the quality of our nightly sleep.  Outside noises, changes in temperature and even down to food you have consumed hours before bedtime can have significant affects on the quality of our sleep.  Your body needs to go into a deep sleep cycle every night, but for a lot of us that cycle is far too short.

Over the past month I have been using the RestOn sleep tracker from A.H. Beard which has been giving some very interesting data and insights around my sleep.  On nights i thought I had a pretty good sleep the tracker showed it was below average.

Sleep trackers start from as low as $49 and are a great way to get insights around your sleep.

Prioritise sleep in your life to reap the benefits

It's important to prioritise sleep. We tend to try and cram too much into the day, or feel guilty about turning in at a reasonable hour. Ultimately the better the sleep we get, the better we are able to actually get through the things we need to do the next day.

5 ways to start sleeping clean

1. Keep the room as dark as possible

Our bodies need complete darkness for production of the important sleep hormone, melatonin. If your bedroom isn't completely dark when you go to sleep, it interferes with this key process and disrupts your circadian rhythm. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your pineal gland's production of sleep hormones, disturbing your sleep rhythms.

2. Keep the room cool

Lowering ambient temperature sends a feedback signal to the brain's sleep center that it's nighttime, and that it needs to release more sleep hormones. A sleeping temperature of 15 to 18 degrees is best for most people, even in the winter. In hot weather, use a floor or ceiling fan to create a breeze, or an air-conditioner set at about 21 degrees.

3. Block out noise

If noise from the street, an upstairs neighbour, pets or a snoring bed partner is a problem, try using earplugs, an electronic device that creates "white noise" or a fan that hums to drown out the surrounding noise.

4. Try some melatonin at night

For some people, melatonin can be extremely helpful. The dosage usually is anywhere between half a mg to three mg right before bedtime (sublingual tablets are better than oral). Melatonin is good for initiating sleep, not maintaining it.

5. Create a regular routine

Going to bed around the same time, even on weekends, is the most important thing you can do to establish good sleep habits. We stay up late on weekends, expecting to make up sleep later or use the weekend to make up for lost sleep during the week. Both practices disrupt bodily rhythms and late night weekends, in particular, can cause insomnia during the workweek.

Sleep Debt

We often think we can make-up for lost sleep by going to bed extra early another night, but the body clock’s ability to regulate healthy sleep patterns depends on consistency. A regular sleep rhythm reminds the brain when to release sleep and wake hormones, which in turn effects all the other hormones, ultimately effecting our overall health.

It's this essential nightly reboot or reset for the body and mind that keeps the machine running properly. If we dont do that it's just like a normal computer or machine. It won't run properly, slows down, requires more maintenance and eventually just breaks down.

The benefits of getting the right sort of sleep are amazing. From a better health and wellbeing aspect, to improved physical and mental performance there has been research conducted that estimate sleeping better can add up to 7 years to your lifespan.

Try sleeping clean, or sleep hygeine for a few weeks and discover how amazing sleep can be.