You’ve heard of clean eating. Now try “clean sleeping,” a new philosophy that’s picking up momentum in the health and wellness world (Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it). But is clean sleeping as beneficial as it sounds? We checked in with sleep specialist Dr. Michael Gelb and health coach Shannon Leavitt, M.S., R.D., to find out.
What is it? Clean sleeping prioritizes quality rest every single night—at least eight hours, and often up to ten. Instead of staying up late to finish extra work, clean sleeping means putting your need for good rest first and letting everything else wait until morning.
Does it really work? Although getting eight hours of sleep a night is ideal, Dr. Gelb maintains it’s less about the amount of sleep we’re getting and more about the quality. “We all need deep, restorative sleep and enough oxygen in every breath we take while we sleep so that we are truly resting and restoring our bodies,” he says. To improve your sleep quality, Gelb recommends opening your airway with a Mute nasal stent and getting fitted for an oral sleep device. Then, just like you committed yourself to Whole30 or going meatless for a month, it’s really about committing to eight hours of sleep every night.
How do I get more z’s at home? Let’s face it—for most of us, even getting eight hours is a pipe dream. If you’ve already cut back on distractions (no Netflix before bed), yoga and meditation might be beneficial to help get you in the right mind set for sleep, Leavitt suggests. But most of all, if you stop overdoing it during the day, you’re more likely to get restful sleep at night. “Make a daily intention to live in more balance,” she says. “Practice moderation in working, eating, exercising and sleeping.”
So stop answering that work email. It can wait until morning, we promise.