I love slipping into a comfy bed at the end of a long day. Soft sheets, cozy blankets, a quiet house. All is right with the world. Then it hits me. My mind starts racing like a car at the Indy 500.
Did I take the chicken out of the freezer for dinner tomorrow?
Do the kids have gym? Are their gym clothes clean?
Did I hear back from my client about the media interview?
Blah, blah, blah. My race goes on and on. After I finally reach the finish line, it’s WAY past my bedtime. My precious seven to eight hours of sleep is now a measly six.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. At least I’m not alone, right? Well, if you’re short on sleep, your time just got even slimmer. With daylight savings yesterday, we lost another hour of sleep! Ugh. I dread springing forward. The thought of losing an hour of rest is like hearing nails on a chalkboard. It almost makes my skin crawl.
The good news is I started practicing a new trend to help combat the challenge of falling asleep and make sleep a priority. You’ve heard of clean eating, but what about clean sleeping? Yes, it’s such a thing, and it’s a new 2017 health trend. Clean sleeping is about taking sleep seriously and committing to getting the rest your body craves.
Gwyneth Paltrow initiated the concept of clean sleep to stress the importance of a good night’s rest – as much as nine hours! – and it’s getting global attention. Self, Shape and Yahoo are among several media outlets sharing the new trend. Paltrow says she credits clean sleeping as the key to ageing gracefully, lowering stress and anxiety, staying slim and even having great hair. Yes, please!
I started to clean sleep and it’s actually working! I feel more rested and definitely have more energy. Here are some of the steps I am taking to fall asleep faster and get a full eight hours of sleep.
• Practice yoga nidra as a bedtime ritual. This type of yoga relaxes the muscles, and brings the body and mind into a restful state to sleep deeply throughout the night.
• Leave your cell phone out of arms reach. You’ll be less likely to get sucked into scanning social media and checking/sending emails.
• Clear your mind of tasks. Take 10 minutes before bed to wrap-up your day and plan for tomorrow. I love to-do lists to stay organized, so jotting down a few action items is key to clearing your mind before bed.
• Stay away from alcohol and opt for caffeine-free herbal tea. I do love wine at night like I love coffee in the morning, but I gave up drinking wine during the week for Lent so this works for me.
• Set a bedtime. Having an ongoing set time for bed will really help put your mind at ease and get your body ready to sleep.
You can find additional resources online to help you sleep better. One is the Better Sleep Council (www.BetterSleep.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing you with information on sleep. Here you’ll find a short quiz on finding the best mattress to help you sleep, too.
What about you? How do you get more sleep?
(Full disclosure: I assisted the Better Sleep Council with media relations activities prior to writing this post. The opinions expressed here represent my own. I was not reimbursed for this post.)