Featured image credits to @GwynethPaltrow / Instagram
Gwyneth Paltrow’s newest book, Goop Clean Beauty, mentions the importance of ‘clean sleeping’ for a beautiful complexion and slimmer physique. The links between sleep, helping our body and mind recover, while ensuring our skin is healthy is well-known. But Gwyneth brings to light her measures in order to do so, and now many are calling her ‘clean sleeping’ rituals to be one of the biggest health trends in 2017.
Gwyneth explains, “The lifestyle I lead is based not just on clean eating, but also on clean sleeping: at least seven or eight hours of good, quality sleep – and ideally even 10.”
The benefits of sleeping are no secret, ample sleep each night reduces stress, improves memory and focus and helps your body repair itself. It keeps your immune system strong, and lets you think more clearly. Gwyneth continues,
“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.”
So How Do We Get Into A Ritual Of Clean Sleep?
There are a few measures Gwyneth suggest to ensure we get the best quality sleep. As we’re all susceptible to the odd sleepless night, whether it be to stress, a late night feast or that final social media check before we set our alarm, Gwyneth brings to light her do’s and don’ts to get a good night sleep.
Late Night Eating
Firstly, to ban bedtime snacks. Gwyneth explains you should fast for 12 hours, this means finishing dinner at 8pm and having breakfast at 8am.
Studies have shown a 12-hour fast can leads to weight loss, whereas late night snacking leads to the opposite.
Eating too late also depresses melatonin, the sleep hormone which is necessary for getting us ready to sleep.
This suggests that eating depresses melatonin, the sleep hormone necessary for getting us ready to sleep. Couple that potential mechanism with the epidemiology of nocturnal eating being associated with negative effects on sleep quality, and you get a sneaking suspicion that eating late at night might be affecting some people’s ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Magnesium is a well-known remedy for insomnia. The mineral decreases cortisol, (stress can keep you awake) and it also helps muscles relax, providing a state of calmness and sleepiness before bed.
MyProtein Zinc & Magnesium £9.99 (90 capsules)
Yoga Nidra (Psychic Sleep)
Yoga Nidra is a form of meditation that is believed to take the mind and body to a point close to sleep, while still awake. Helping you gain the benefits of sleep without actually sleeping.
The process is simple, close your eyes and focus on each individual body part, going through each part in a circular motion. Many claim it to be the ultimate stress management technique and it’s popularity means there’s a large source of tutorials to guide you through a session.
The meditation is deeply relaxing and calming and an effective way of busting stress before you sleep.
Trigger Point Massage
Gwyneth emphasises the importance of being in a relaxed state before bed. One of her recommendations to achieve this is a trigger point head massage. A common pressure point is the Anmian, which literally translates into ‘peaceful sleep’ . It’s located just before the ear, along the soft neck muscles before your jawline.
Simply massaging this point on both sides of your head before you go to sleep relaxes and calms you.
Another suppressor of melatonin. The blue light emitted from tech affects melatonin and shifting the circadian clock more than any other wavelength of light. This leads to a higher alertness and a longer time to get to sleep.
It keeps your brain alert and mind engaged. Whether you’re scrolling through social media, or watching a tutorial on how to hula, you’re keeping your brain engaged, and it’s harder to reach a relaxed state to sleep once the brain is alert. Perhaps social media is triggering a stress response, reminding you of future obligations, which as well know, stress is the bane of sleep
A Good Night’s Rest
These our some of the best methods to help you get a good night’s sleep, which as Gwyneth says, should be your first priority even before diet.
Rest is important and ensuring we get consistent and quality sleep is one of the best things we can do for our wellbeing.