You've likely heard the phrase “clean eating,” skipping the processed foods and look for more natural alternatives. But now that we’ve turned the calendar to 2017, get ready for the phrase “clean sleep.”
The term was made popular by Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow and basically means making sleep a priority in your life. Paltrow even thinks it’s more important than diet.
If you’re struggling to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night, Five On Your Side got a few tips from Dr. Joesph Ojile with the Clayton Sleep Institute.
"You can't cheat sleep,” Dr. Ojile said.
According to Dr. Ojile, the key to quality sleep is getting into a good routine and focusing on what he calls “bedtime transition activities.”
"Very few people can go right to bed. The vast majority need wind down time of one to two hours," Dr. Ojile said.
To relax the brain, Dr.Ojile recommends turning the phone off well before you head to bed. If you have to use it, he said to put it on a night time setting that eliminates blue light.
"Blue light suppresses melatonin, which is the hormone you need to go to sleep," Dr. Ojile explained.
The Today Show thinks night time smoothies will be a trend this year. If you walk into any health store, you will likely see several natural products loaded with sleep enhancers. Dr. Ojile said he wouldn’t spend a lot of money on the products because of limited research showing they work.
“But if a person is using them to calm and get them in a better place, it could be an effective tool to get their brain relaxed,” Dr. Ojile said.
Another tool that can help you fall asleep is a pen. Start journaling before you go to bed.
“There's an old adage: a burden shared is a burden given. By writing down what's on the mind, they're basically taking their thoughts, the things they have to do the next day...they don't have to worry about them now. When they wake up in the morning, their little list of things they need to do will be waiting for them."