A lot of scientists focus on conducting research about the benefits of healthy sleeping, as well as the effects of having not enough sleep. Sleep is considered as a mysterious part of the human lives since there is no known scientific explanation why people sleep. However, despite this fact, sleep is still considered very important due to its vital role in the human development. It yields lots of benefits like good metabolism and getting physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared for the following day. Aside from these, sleep also improves one’s learning processes, especially those that require performance and body movements.
According to the Stanford Technology Analytics and Genomics in Sleep (STAGES) Study conducted by the Stanford University, sleep is considered as a ‘biological black box’. Furthermore, the study posits that sleep disorders and deprivation of sleep can create a negative medical, physical, psychological, emotional, and societal impact. With this, a lot of people have been interested in finding both simple and innovative ways of letting the human body acquire the adequate amount of sleep.
One of these passionate individuals who are interested in the great benefits of sleep is the American actress, singer, and writer Gwyneth Paltrow. She established Goop which is considered as Paltrow’s wellness bible. Recently, Paltrow published on Goop the latest health trend in 2017, which is called the clean sleeping.
What is Clean Sleeping?
Clean sleeping has been mentioned several times in Paltrow’s latest book, Goop Clean Beauty. It was mentioned in the said book that sleep should be prioritized above anything else. Furthermore, the book reiterates that sleep plays a vital role in all aspects of the human life. This is in accordance with the statement of America’s National Sleep Foundation.
The National Sleep Foundation of America has dedicated plenty of years in conducting sleep-related research and sleep studies. Most of Paltrow’s statements in her book are being supported by the results of the studies conducted by the National Sleep Foundation. These include the activities done during an hour before going to sleep, as well as the foods that are taken before going to sleep.
Ronnie Koenig, one of the resident authors of the health and wellness website Prevention, claims that Paltrow’s suggested ways of doing ‘clean sleeping’ are indeed effective. The mother of twins have tried for herself the tips suggested by Paltrow to achieve the optimal benefit of sleep.
How to do Clean Sleeping?
Even before Gwyneth Paltrow published her book ‘Clean Beauty’, having a healthy sleep has been recommended by lots of medical practitioners to prepare oneself for the following day effectively. Below are the suggested specific tips on what to do to achieve clean sleeping:
Having 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night (maximum of 10)
According to a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need at least 8 hours of sleep with a maximum of 10 hours every night to function well with all the activities both at home and in school. On the other side, adults are not recommended to have more than 8 hours of sleep every night. This is already considered as oversleeping, which increases the mortality rate of the human beings. Actually, the NSF published a sleeping chart, which shows the recommended hours of sleep for different age groups.
Keeping a regular and a consistent sleeping schedule
It is also suggested having a consistent sleeping schedule. In doing this, one should find a suitable hour for him to go to bed. This is most likely dependent on the activities of the individual. Some may prefer to go to bed at 8 pm while others choose to be in bed at 10 pm. Studies show that a consistent sleeping schedule is guaranteed to yield a consistent wake-up hour for the following day. This also helps in the treatment of some sleep disorders like insomnia.
Abstinence of technology an hour before going to bed
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a study on the use of gadgets before going to sleep, and it was found out that 95% of people use these electronic devices an hour before going to sleep. This is considered unhealthy. Why? Lights from electronic devices and even light bulbs have the tendency to disrupt sleep. This delays the release of melatonin which is responsible for giving a person the feeling of being sleepy. Therefore, electronics may prolong one’s wake hours and reduce the sleeping hours.
Avoiding caffeine in the afternoon
Caffeine has been known as a stimulant and an anti-oxidant. It can yield both positive and negative effects. One of its negative effects is that it prevents someone from falling asleep. According to Thomas M. Heffron of Sleep Education, caffeine yields a disruptive effect on sleeping. Caffeine can delay the timing of the human body clock, and it can also reduce the total sleeping time with one hour if it is taken 6 hours before bedtime. Therefore, it is highly recommended to avoid taking caffeine in the afternoon.
Abstinence from midnight snacks and keeping a 12-hour fasting before eating breakfast
Fasting is not necessarily required, however, eating a few hours before bedtime can actually delay one’s sleep. This also helps an individual in preventing other medical conditions like heartburn and acid reflux. Warren Willey of Idaho State Journal even said that not eating food a few hours before bedtime appears to offer lots of health benefits.
Meditation and massage before bedtime to relax the body
It has been proven that meditation and massage before going to bed can actually help the body to relax and have a good night sleep. Ending one’s day with a bath can also improve sleep. One may even use lavender-scented essential oils in their bath since lavender is proven to relax the body during sleep.
Great Benefits of ‘Clean Sleeping’
Even though the underlying mysteries why people sleep are still unraveled, it is still undeniable that this mysterious part of the human life can yield so many benefits.
Sleeping is known to rejuvenate and recharge the human body. When the body is asleep, the damaged cells that are caused by stress from the daily activities are actually repaired.
Furthermore, the body’s development also happens during sleep. This includes muscle repair, growth, and brain development. This is one of the reasons why sleeping makes the human face look fresh, bright, and glowing the following day. This also makes the brain and body feel conditioned, energized, and alert. In addition, memory recall and learning processes also improve when one has achieved the complete and uninterrupted 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Aside from body repair and development, sleep also contributes to the regularity of one’s metabolism. Studies have shown that during asleep, the human body improves the glucose metabolism (endocrine and molecular mechanism) and other hormones that are used for good metabolism.
Furthermore, the human body regulates the level of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are responsible for determining one’s appetite. Therefore, sleep deprivation may cause someone to always feel hungry and the need to eat more due to the irregularities in the level of the said hormones. This can actually lead to the increase of body weight and eventually to obesity.