Move over avo-toast and paleo everything, there’s a new healthy trend on the rise: Called ‘Clean Sleeping’, it made headlines after Gwyneth Paltrow coined the phrase during an exclusive article for Daily Mail Online.

In a nutshell, clean sleeping has nothing to do with your fresh laundered sheets, and everything to do with 8 to 10 quality hours of sleep every night.  Impacting everything from our daily mood to our body weight to our ability to fight disease, the importance of sleep cannot be stressed enough.

Thankfully, we’ve been cleaning sleeping for years.  And we wouldn’t have it any other way.  On most nights, we’re down for the count by 9:30 pm, rising before 6 am. We love our mornings, savouring the quiet before getting the kids off, or enjoying a workout class.

Why you should care about sleep:

Along with impacting our energy, immunity, mental clarity and functioning, sleep is directly related to the release of human growth hormone, which is essential for our development and repair. It also impacts the hormone ghrelin, which is our brain’s receptor for hunger and food cravings. Lack of sleep plus added stress, puts this hormone into over-drive.

Know that hungry stomach feeling you experience the morning after a late meal with little sleep? That’s a hormonal imbalance. Other signs you’re not getting enough sleep include irritability, brain fog, energy crashes, frequent colds and weight gain.

And yes, beauty sleep really does exist too.

According to Dr. Oexman, an industry expert on sleep, and director at the Sleep to Live Institute:

Beauty sleep is very much a real thing. Not only does it change your collagen levels but if you look at a before and after picture of someone who’s had little sleep, you can see massive changes in their physical appearance.”

In Gwyneth’s case, she credits clean sleeping for keeping her skin youthful looking, staying slim and even having great hair.

Here are 5 ways to clean-up your sleeping:

  1. Consistency. That is, going to sleep and waking around the same time as often as possible. For us, it means lights off by about 9:30 pm.  This  ensures we get 7-8 hours of quality sleep.
  2. Eat clean throughout the day, avoiding caffeine past 2pm. Snacking before bed ignites digestion, which interrupts sleep. And caffeine? Well, we’ve all been there, eyes wide open, thinking back to that afternoon cappuccino we shouldn’t have had.
  3. Keep a dark, chilled room. And no cell phone on the bed side table either. A colder room temperature is ideal too, as our body naturally cools later in the day. By helping it reach this temperature faster, one can enjoy a deeper sleep.
  4. Exercise regularly, ideally in the morning or mid-day. While some people can exercise after work, others may have a hard time relaxing by bed time. Do what’s best for you. But regular exercise – even a daily walk, can make a healthy difference for better quality sleep.
  5. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. It’s not a room for snacking, work or watching TV. But rather a place for rest, and maybe some light reading before calling it a night.

Other tips we swear by:

* Go for a quick walk outside after dinner to aid digestion

* Drink a warm, calming tea about an hour before bed

* Take 500mg of Magnesium Byglicinate and 3mg of melatonin

* Turn off all electrical devices, including cell phone by 9pm

If you’re still not convinced or need more inspiration, Arianna Huffington’s Sleep Revolution has oodles of tips, medical advice, plus a personal quiz.

Until next time, wishing you the sweetest of dreams!