The Ultimate Guide to Clean Sleeping

The Ultimate Guide to Clean Sleeping

What is Clean Sleeping?

We all know it’s important to look after our health.

We know to eat right, exercise regularly and look after our skin, but how much effort do we put into our sleep?

Clean Sleeping is brought to us by Goop creator Gwyneth Paltrow in her latest book, Clean Beauty. It focuses on treating sleep with the same care and attention that we do our diet or skin, making it a priority above all else.

Some of Goop’s practises and claims have been known to raise eyebrows in the past. However, the concept of clean sleeping focuses mainly on achieving a good sleep routine, cutting out caffeine and allowing yourself to switch off.

With the added health and beauty benefits, what have we got to lose from giving it a go?

Top Tips for Clean Sleep

 

  • Get at least eight hours of sleep a night (ideally nine or 10)

    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 ten.1 Gwyneth explained in her article with the Daily Mail. Nine to ten is unrealistic for many of us, aiming towards eight hours of sleep per night would be a start.

 

  • Steer clear of stimulants after 2pm

    Reduce your intake of stimulants throughout the day, especially caffeine and refined sugars. It’s tempting to reach for a cup of coffee during your 3pm slump but don’t use caffeine as a substitute for food.

 

  • Keep the same sleep routine

    Get your body into a good sleep routine and go to bed at the same time every night. Gwyneth recommends at 10pm, but this may seem a little early for you. Focus on finding a time that suits you and stick to it2. You’ll be able to fall asleep easier and your circadian rhythm (your body clock) will also be on the same page.

 

  • Say no to your smart phone 90 minutes before you get into bed

    Poetically put as an ‘Electrical sundown,’ banning your screens from the bedroom can aid a more restful sleep. Your screens emit a blue light that increases stimulation and delays your circadian rhythm3. Power down at least 90 minutes before bed. Ensure your bedroom is tech free and create a sanctuary free from emails, social media notifications and the daily stresses of modern life. Learn more about how to regulate your circadian rhythm here.

 

  • Ban snacks at bedtime and keep a 12-hour fasting window in your day

    Say goodbye to midnight feasts. Goop Detox expert Dr Alejandro Junger recommends keeping a regular 12 hour fasting window between dinner and breakfast. He states that your body doesn’t slip into detox mode until about eight hours after your last meal and that it needs about four more hours of undisturbed sleep to detox properly4.

 

  • Meditate, meditate, meditate!

    In her article, Paltrow recommends ‘Yoga Nidra’ or psychic sleeping. This is a form of meditation that simulates the qualities of sleep while the body is still awake. This meditation focuses on each body part separately, in a circular motion. For example, focusing on your fingers, palm, wrist, forearm etc. all the way around the head, other arm and legs. It is supposed to put your brain into a state of near-sleep. Once mastered, this can be extremely relaxing, but you will need to practise to feel the full effects.

 

  • Relax with a trigger point massage

    This is all about relaxing and preparing yourself for sleep and Paltrow believes trigger point massages are key. Although it may not be attainable to keep this up every night you can always try it on a weekly basis or for when you are stressed. Simply give yourself a gentle head massage, targeting the pressure points on the back of your head. These are located approx. five fingers from the back of your ear at the base of your skull. You will feel a deep and a tender point at the right spot5. Massage this area in a circular motion for maximum release. Alternatively, you could give yourself a relaxing foot massage.

 

  • Copper

    Paltrow recommends investing in a copper pillowcase to combat wrinkles but there are other less costly alternatives. Silver Ions boast the same benefits and are also hypoallergenic and eczema friendly. At SlumberSlumber we have a silver ion infused memory foam pillow. It is anti-bacterial offering you a much fresher and healthier night’s sleep. We also have a variety of natural materials that can aid your sleep and take care of your skin. From silk, organic cotton to bamboo, discover our range of materials here.

We at SlumberSlumber welcome anything that helps give you a more restful sleep. Clean sleeping’s strict rules might not be for everyone but taking away some handy tips can really make a difference. Creating a peaceful sleeping environment, allowing yourself to shut off and steering clear of caffeine can all help us get as much as we can out of our forty winks.

 

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day?

This is caused by your Circadian Rhythm, but just what is it?

What is a Circadian Rhythm?

Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain. It cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.

For many, the biggest dip in energy happens in the middle of the night. Somewhere between 2:00am and 4:00am, when you’re usually fast asleep. And just after lunchtime (around 1:00pm to 3:00pm, when you tend to crave an afternoon siesta). Those times can be different if you’re naturally a night owl or a morning person. You also won’t feel the dips and rises of your circadian rhythm as strongly if you’re all caught up on sleep. It’s when you’re sleep-deprived that you’ll notice bigger swings of sleepiness and alertness 1.

What affects my Circadian Rhythm?

A part of your brain called the hypothalamus controls your circadian rhythm. But other factors like lightness and darkness can also impact it.

When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired. That’s why your circadian rhythm coincides with the cycle of day and night and why it’s so hard for night shift workers to sleep during the day and stay awake at night.

What could help keep my Circadian Rhythm regular?

Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits. When things get in the way, like jet lag, daylight savings time, or a get together that keeps you up into the wee hours of the morning, you can disrupt your circadian rhythm. This is why you can feel out of sorts and can make it harder to pay attention.

If you find it particularly difficult to rise in the morning there are helpful products such as the Lumie Bodyclock that simulate a sunrise to gently wake you from your sleep.

Maybe you are having trouble getting to sleep or want to keep an eye on your nightly sleep pattern, the Beurer SleepExpert Sleep Sensor monitors your sleeping habits  which allows you to identify sleep patterns & take informed measures to tackle them.

Your circadian rhythm will likely change as you get older. And you may not have the same sleep/wake cycle as your partner, child or parents. But the more you pay attention to your body and notice feelings of alertness and drowsiness, and the more time you spend developing good sleeping habits, the better your sleep will be and the more rested you’ll feel.

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

What are our most common dreams & what do they mean?

Every night each person on earth dreams for 90 minutes to two hours or more each night. Dreams are stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid and not always tell a simple story, leaving you feeling happy, sad or scared. Dreams happen anytime during sleep but your most vivid dreams will happen when you are in a deep sleep called REM (rapid eye movement), when the brain is most active1.

What do our common dreams mean?

  1. Being Chased

    This dream is most commonly reported. The anxiety we feel in the dream is so vivid, that it makes it easier for us to remember them. Often, the reason for dreaming you are being chased comes not from the fear of actually being chased but rather what you’re running from. Chase dreams help us to understand that maybe we’re not addressing something in our waking lives that requires our attention.
  2. Falling

    Not all falling dreams are scary. Some dreamers report a type of slow falling that indicates serenity and the act of letting go. When we dream of falling uncontrollably from a great height indicates that something in our life feels very much out of control.
  3. Water

    Water represents our emotions or our unconscious minds. The type of the water (clear, cloudy, calm or turbulent) often shows us how effectively we are managing our emotions.
  4. Flying

    Flying in a dream relates to how much control we feel we have in our lives. Depending on how high or low we fly can represent how much control we feel we have.
  5. Vehicles

    Whether a car, aeroplane, train or ship, the vehicles in our dream can reflect what direction we feel our life is taking, and how much control we think we have over the path ahead of us. Vehicles can give us the power to make a transition and envision ourselves getting to our destination or highlight the obstacles we think we are facing and need to work through.
  6. People

    Dreaming of people often is a reflection of the different aspects you see in yourself. The people in your dreams can relate to characteristics that need to be developed. Specific people directly relate to existing relationships or interpersonal issues we need to work through. Dreaming of your partner, in particular, is frequently symbolic of an aspect of ourselves from which we feel detached.
  7. School

    These dreams are often reported by people who have left school years previously. It’s a very common situation for people in dreams to find themselves in a school or classroom sometimes confronted with a test that they aren’t prepared to take. The “test” or “lesson” we face inside the school or classroom is frequently one we need to learn from our past.
  8. Death

    Although dreaming of death is often perceived as negative, it often refers to dramatic change happening for the dreamer. The end of one thing, in order to make room for something new.
  9. Nudity

    Vulnerability is very often expressed in dreams through nudity. The part of the body that’s exposed can give more insight into the emotion that our dreams are helping us to understand.
  10. Baby

    Dreaming of a baby often represents something new. It might be a new idea, a new development or the potential for growth in an area of our waking life.
  11. Teeth Falling Out

    If you dream of your teeth falling out it may suggest you are insecure about how you are perceived by others and your appearance.
  12. Paralysis

    The body is actually encountering a form of paralysis during dreaming, which prevents it from physically performing the actions occurring in their dreams, therefore dreaming about paralysis frequently represents the overlap between the REM stage and waking stage of sleep. Dreaming about paralysis can also indicate that the dreamer feels he or she lacks control in their waking life.

But why do we dream?

There is still no given answer on why we dream but there are many theories. Some researchers say dreams have no purpose or meaning and are nonsensical activities of the sleeping brain. Whereas others say dreams are necessary for mental, emotional, and physical health. They believe that dreams help us work through the problems in our lives, incorporate our memories and process our emotions2.

Technology’s Impact on your Sleep

Technology’s Impact on your Sleep

Technology’s impact on your sleep can have detrimental affects for your health. Technology is everywhere, it has taken over every aspect of our daily lives and now it’s set its sights on our bedroom. Instead of curling up in bed with a book many people now opt for their smart phone or tablet making it hard to unwind and escape from our digital lives, but how can using technology before you go to bed impact on your sleep?

Blue Light

The blue light that is given off from the screens of our devices mimics daylight and stimulates you. This can cause it longer for you to fall asleep and can make your body find it harder to fall into a deep sleep. You can often find yourself waking up feeling tired, anxious, and depressed.

It is suggested that you should at least dim the brightness on your devices and make sure you are keeping them at least 14 inches from your face. This will reduce the chance that light will disrupt your normal melatonin production1.

You should always make sure to not use your devices at least an hour before bedtime.

Distraction

Our devices distract us at the best of times. Whether it’s checking our emails or playing games it keeps our brain engaged and active and not thinking about winding down for sleep.

Stress

It’s hard to switch off when you’re able to be contacted 24/7. Reading that work email at 9:30pm isn’t good for relaxation. It is recommended that you should not use your digital devices an hour before sleep. This should help you distance yourself from daily stressors and potential anxiety. There’s nothing worse than worrying about the future when you should be relaxing and preparing for sleep.

Being able to switch off and rest is something that’s hard to do in the modern age but it is vital for your health. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary from the stresses of the day.

Six things to consider to create your bedroom sanctuary:

  • Lighting
    Ensure there are no distracting lights affecting your sleep. Use room darkening curtains or blinds, to allow your brain to know it’s time to shift into sleep mode. If you find getting up in the morning a problem you can use products such as a Lumie Bodyclock Light that natural mimic’s daylight to gradually wake you.
  • Colours
    Decorate your room in a relaxed colour shade that will help you drift off. Also keeping your bedroom clean and having a made bed can create a welcoming relaxed atmosphere that will help you nod off.
  • Temperature
    Experiment with your room temperature to find out what’s right for you. Use moisture wicking natural materials to help regulate your body temperature such as bamboo, wool or organic cotton.
  • Mattress, pillows, duvets and sheets
    You know what you find comfortable. Make your decision based on personal preference or on your sleeping habits. Are you a side sleeper or do you tend to sleep on your back? Do you require firm or soft support? Do you suffer from any allergies or have asthma? These are all things to consider when picking a mattress, pillows, duvets and sheets. To find out how to choose the perfect pillow and duvet, why not read our buying guide?
  • Noise
    Noise can interrupt everyone’s sleeping habits.  Control the noise inside your house and keep it to a minimum. Avoid falling asleep to a TV or music as changing tones and volumes can interrupt your sleep.
  • Scents
    Scents such as chamomile and lavender can help aid sleep. The soothing scent of lavender may decrease your blood pressure and heart rate and help you relax before sleep.

Impact of screen use in children and adolescents

Sleep is an essential part of children and adolescents development. It is vital for their learning, memory, wellbeing and health. Yet the total amount of sleep that children and adolescents get is continuing to decrease.

Children and adolescents are engaging with their screens before bed, watching exciting television shows or playing video games that stimulates their brains and makes it harder to switch off. Exposure to the blue light given off by these devices can disrupt the body’s natural daily circadian (or rhythms) by supressing the release of melatonin which is vital for maintaining and regulating our body’s sleep-wake cycle.

The use of smart phones can also affect how active children and adolescents are. Exercise is beneficial for sleep and sleep regulation and with many children and adolescents not getting enough exercise this might impact on their sleep2.

It is vital to make sleep for children and adolescents a priority you can do this by;

  • Limiting screen time before bedtimeIt is recommend that children under the age of 13 should be limited to two hours per day, and children below five to less than one hour.

With a more balanced approach to screen time and the use of electronic devices, the clear benefits can be obtained while still maintaining and prioritising sleep, health and development.

Guidelines for using devices before bed

  • Dim the brightness on your devices and make sure you are keeping them at least 14 inches from your face. This will reduce the chance that the light from your device will disrupt your normal melatonin production.
  • You should always make sure to not use your devices at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Get plenty of natural light during the day.
An Introduction to SAD & Sleep

An Introduction to SAD & Sleep

We often find it a little easier to rise and shine in the summer months.

While many people experience some form of the ‘winter blues,’ others suffer from a more serious condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

What is SAD?

SAD is a form of winter depression, which according to the SAD Association (SADA), affects an estimated 7% of the UK population. Half a million people are believed to suffer from the condition which is most common in December, January and February. It can be an extremely disabling condition that limits the functionality of its sufferers who often require constant medical treatment.

What causes SAD?

SAD is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain as a result of shorter days and the lack of bright light. Our brain is stimulated by light that enters our eyes and this light controls our daily rhythms by hormone production. For people with the condition the low levels of light in winter is not enough to regulate hormone levels. This contributes towards waking and sleeping patterns, as well as energetic or depressed feelings.

Symptoms of SAD

Classic symptoms include feeling down and depressed, over eating, disrupted sleep, fatigue, aching limbs or feelings of heaviness, irritability or feeling tense, restlessness and difficulty concentrating. Other symptoms include stomach problems, sweating, cramps or palpitations.

Treatment

Light therapy has proved to be effective in as many as 85% of diagnosed SAD cases.

Light therapy is exposure to very bright light for up to 4 hours per day. Lumie believe that in order to effectively combat the symptoms of SAD most sufferers need light to their eyes for at least 30 minutes a day. The light must be at least 2,500 lux, which is an estimated five times brighter than a well-lit office. Therefore the light omitted from ordinary light bulbs is not strong enough.

Treatment should begin on a daily basis when symptoms first appear, which for most sufferers is in early autumn. Treatment involves sitting 2 to 3 feet away from a specially designed light box, letting light shine directly into the eyes.

Products which can help with SAD:

Bodyclock Go 75 Wake Up Light

The Lumie Bodyclock is the original wake-up light, also known as a dawn simulator. Its purpose is to wake you gradually by increasing natural light.

The Bodyclock GO 75 is effective for healthy sleep, energy at work, and a useful complement to a light box in treating SAD. This model of Bodyclock comes with a choice of wake-up sounds including Big ben chimes and a dawn chorus.

Life Max SAD Therapy Light

This therapy light has been specially designed to target the effects of SAD sufferers during the short, dark winter months. The lamp uses blue spectrum CCFT (Cold Cathode Florescent Tube) tube to simulate daylight. The SAD Therapy Lamp avoids ‘spotting’ in the eyes that other LED versions can produce. The Life Max SAD Therapy Light is light and portable so can be connected anywhere where there is a mains plug for your convenience.

Shop all Lights and Lightboxes

Personal Cooling Guide

Personal Cooling Guide

If you’re too hot at night or even find your room is too hot to sleep, it can mean a long, restless night of tossing and turning. We have a guide to help you keep cool in bed and sleep better.

Before going to bed make your bedroom cool and comfortable…

Your bedroom should always be the coolest room in the house. In the summer months open a window to allow a draft to flow through, dissipating the heat. If you have air conditioning it is best to put it on for half an hour before going to bed, making sure you close all windows before doing so. It is not recommended to keep it on all night as it can dry out the air resulting in a dry throat and breathing issues.

Personal bed coolers are ideal for limiting the cooling process, as they fit conveniently and quietly at the foot of your bed.

Don’t consume caffeinated drinks or alcohol before bed…

Caffeine and alcohol raise blood pressure and can make your body feel hotter. Big meals before bed should also be avoided as over-active digestion can increase your body temperature. Drink plenty of water during the evening and keep a glass of water by your bed.

While in bed wear light clothing such as silk or a light pure cotton…

For ladies an ideal item for wicking away moisture is the Goodnighties sleepwear. This revolutionary nightdress has been made with patented Ionx fabric, charged with negative ions; it helps blood flow and has excellent moisture wicking properties. Natural fibre bedlinen such as silk and bamboo naturally wick excess moisture away from the body, helping towards a more restful night’s sleep.

Make sure you have a cool pillow…

Natural filled pillows like wool are breathable and allow excess heat to dissipate. Another option is a silk pillowcase; silk facilitates the pervasion of moisture so in warm conditions silk can immediately emit the perspiration and heat from your body to keep you cool. An excellent accompaniment is the Chillow Pillow Topper; they can be put on top a pillow or between the pillowcase and the pillow. They are cooled naturally by adding tap water, leaving you feeling refreshed and cool.

Make sure you have the correct duvet…

Like pillows natural filled duvets, in particular wool filled ones are naturally breathable. They allow your body to stay at a constant comfortable temperature and are ideal for couples who sleep at different temperatures. An alternative to wool are synthetic duvets with cool fibres. The Sleep Harmony climate control duvet features Cirrus Fibres which has the remarkable ability to absorb and disperse excess humidity, balancing your sleeping environment.

Combine a heat regulating duvet with a heat regulating mattress topper…

This allows your body to be comprehensively cooled. A natural fibered topper such as wool will have the same effect as a wool duvet, naturally dissipating excess heat. An alternative for people who often find their bed to be too warm is the SlumberCool Cooling Mattress Protector. It has been specially developed to offer you cool relief in bed, the thermoregulating technology transports heat and moisture away from the body heat.

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