We find out if ‘Clean Sleep’ is the biggest health trend of 2017
Last year, new media baroness Arianna Huffington’s bestselling book The Sleep Revolution made headlines. Now, it’s Hollywood golden girl Gwyneth Paltrow’s turn. Since her book Goop Clean Beauty is trending online, we decide to dig deeper into Gwyneth’s claim of the biggest health trend in 2017 being ‘clean sleep’, by speaking to an expert on the subject.
Dr N Ramakrishnan, director of Nithra Institute of Sleep Sciences, Chennai, explains that ‘clean sleep’ refers to good quality sleep at the right time. But how can today’s legion of Netflix binge-watchers achieve this? “By adopting simple hygiene measures like fixed sleep and wake up time, sunlight exposure in the morning, eating meals on time and light dinner no later than two hours before bedtime,” advises Dr Ramakrishnan. He adds, “Besides avoiding exposure to bright lights before dozing off, steering clear of caffeine also helps. And smokers shouldn’t ‘light one up’ at least four hours before napping.”
The World Health Organisation is increasingly focusing on sleep disorders as they are a common link for non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, and strokes. Yet, most folks are hesitant to seek help from a trained sleep medicine specialist and ignore the issue since ‘it’s only a sleep problem’.
But the alarming truth is that sleep deprivation may also lead to infertility and obesity. “Lack of regular sleep causes hormonal changes which may lead to menstrual irregularity in women and reduced libido and low sperm count in men.A lack of Zs may cause obesity too, because it increases the chance of consumption of snacks/meals at odd times. Fatigue related to inadequate sleep may reduce the chance of burning the calories through regular exercise and also disturbs key hormones (leptin & ghrelin) that control appetite,” explains the senior consultant in sleep medicine at Apollo Hospitals.
While Gwyneth’s route to ‘clean sleep’ is paved by foot massages, yoga nidra techniques and sleeping with a copper pillow, one should never forget that adequate quality of sleep is equally, if not more, important than just getting an appropriate amount of sleep.