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The ‘clean sleeping’ trend first became popular in 2016 and has grown to become a health and wellbeing phenomenon. In a nutshell, the concept is to make sleep a number one priority above everything else – even diet and fitness. This is because sleep is believed to determine your appetite and energy levels. Here, we’ll discuss the clean sleeping trend and how you can incorporate it into your life for better sleep today.

What is sleep hygiene?

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) defines sleep hygiene as the necessary habits to induce a good night’s sleep. They recommend that the most important aspect is to spend an appropriate amount of time asleep when in bed. If you’re wondering what the appropriate number of hours are, NSF recommends that adults (aged 18-64) sleep for seven to nine hours a day, and older adults (aged 65+) sleep for seven to eight hours a day.

Here are some tips to practise clean sleeping:

  • Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes maximum as to not upset your circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. While alcohol is known to help you fall asleep faster, too much before going to bed can disrupt sleep.
  • Do some light aerobic exercise such as ten minutes of walking or cycling before going to bed. However, try to avoid very strenuous workouts close to bedtime as this can prevent you from unwinding.
  • Steer clear of heavy, fatty, fried, spicy and citrus foods close to bedtime. Carbonated drinks should also be avoided as they can trigger indigestion.
  • Get 15 minutes of exposure to natural light during the day as this helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm).
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. This could include taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, or doing some light stretches. Watching TV is a stimulant so try listening to some calming music instead.
  • Make sure that your bedroom or sleeping area is pleasant. Your mattress and pillows should be comfortable, and the room should be cool in temperature – around 18°C.
  • Bright lights from lamps, mobile phones and TV screens emit light of a blue wavelength called ‘blue light’ which can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime and make it difficult to fall asleep. Turn them off before bed or dim the light where possible. You can try using a pair of blue light blocking glasses although there is a lack of evidence as to their positive effects on sleep.
  • Consider using blackout curtains, an eye mask and earplugs to keep you from being distracted when in bed.

Applying sleep hygiene to your bedroom interior, diet and lifestyle choices will help ensure your sleep is of great quality and improve your overall wellbeing.

Watch Dr. Pixie Mckenna to find out more about your choice of pillows for a great night’s sleep.