Like many people, I’ve always had a problem getting enough sleep. Whether it’s falling asleep in the first place or waking up and spending the rest of the night with my mind spinning through my to-do lists, it seems like a solid eight or even five hours can be hard to find.
That’s when I read an article on clean sleeping and how it could finally help me win the sleep battle for good, I knew I had to give it a try.
If you haven’t heard of clean sleeping before, basically it simply means following some basic rules that help you sleep better and therefore live and feel better.
It’s a term that gained a huge amount of popularity thanks to Gwenyth Paltrow’s book, Goop: Clean Beauty. Her book sets out five simple steps to follow when it comes to sleeping clean and we’re going to go over them here to help you get the most out of the regimen.
#1 – Limit the caffeine
The first rule of clean sleeping is to ditch the caffeine after 2 p.m. Now, I’ll admit that this was a hard one for me since I’m a huge coffee lover. And, since fall is back along with Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I had to make a special effort to stick to it.
But, the truth is that caffeine can keep you awake long into the night, so limiting your intake in the afternoon and evening, even if that means switching your mug of black tea for chamomile is a good first step.
#2 – Set your bed and wake time
The next rule you need to follow to sleep clean is to set your bedtime and wake time and stick to it, even on the weekend. This means no late Friday and Saturday night movie marathons or sleeping in.
The reason behind this is that your body had its own sleep rhythm and if you go along with it on a daily basis, you’ll find that both falling asleep and waking up in the morning is easier.
#3 – Create your sleep cave
To sleep clean, you also need to keep your bedroom cool and dark. This means eliminating any sources of light that will wake you up like a clock radio, nightlight, or streetlights.
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I like to think of this step as creating a sleep cave. It’s a place where nothing will disturb you and you can get the best sleep of your life.
#4 – Skip the electronics
I bet you knew this one was coming and yes, step four of clean sleeping is to avoid using electronics for two hours before you go to bed. This includes television, computers, smartphones, tablets, and even your e-reader.
As a dedicated Kindle fanatic, I can admit that this step was not easy but embracing an actual paperback again reawakened in me an appreciation for real, physical books again.
If reading before bed isn’t your thing, you can always take a hot bath, do some light yoga, meditate, or take a walk.
#5 – Use copper
The final step in the clean sleeping regimen is to invest in a copper pillow or pillowcase.
Now, admittedly, this step isn’t supposed to have anything to do with sleeping better, but it is supposed to help you reduce the appearance of aging, fine lines, and wrinkles, so I’m all for it. I ordered my copper pillowcase on Amazon and with Prime shipping had it in hand and on my pillow the next day.
And, the good news is that if you go the pillowcase route, you can save money, and get a silky feel that couldn’t hurt when it comes time to lay your head down each night.
I’ve been clean sleeping for 10 days now and I’ve already seen a difference. I fall asleep faster and wake up with less difficulty. Whether it’s the clean sleeping steps or simply the fact that I’m focused on my sleep, I can’t say but it’s the results that matter anyway.
So, if you’re ready to ditch the tossing and turning and grab more shut-eye, it’s time to try clean sleeping.