Clean eating is so 2016. The newest health trend for 2017 is "clean sleeping." But what exactly does that mean? Clean eating is fairly easy to understand: Don't eat a lot of junk or processed foods. But clean sleeping isn't about washing your sheets more often (although, sure, do that too!). Rather, it's about sleeping in as natural an environment as possible. The leader of the trend? None other than wellness aficionado Gwyneth Paltrow.
"You might think it's just a midlife thing, but if you find yourself feeling irritable, anxious, or depressed, if you get easily frustrated, forgetful, or struggle to cope with stress like you used to, it could be because you're not getting enough good-quality sleep," Paltrow writes in an online essay. "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."
Because of sleep's documented effect on hormones, women should be prioritizing sleep above any other health goal, including diet and exercise, she explains, adding that poor sleep can mess up the metabolism and hormones, which can lead to weight gain, bad moods, impaired memory, and brain fog, as well as serious health concerns such as inflammation and reduced immunity (which can increase your risk of chronic disease). Not to mention the toll bad sleep takes on beauty.
Now, Paltrow is not a doctor, of course. But making sleep your number-one health priority isn't just the opinion of Hollywood elite. "It's easy to say that getting a good night of sleep doesn't matter, or put it off for an extra hour of TV or to catch up on work. But sleep is like exercise or eating well: You need to prioritize it and build it into your day," Scott Kutscher, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sleep and Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told us in 13 Expert-Approved Sleep Tips. "Sleep is vital, and one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health."
The good news is that getting a good night's rest is totally doable, no matter how busy you are. Ironically, it starts first thing in the morning. Here's the perfect day for the perfect night's sleep. And make sure you're not falling for these 12 common myths about sleep.
"Call it vanity, call it health, but I know there's a huge correlation between how I feel and what I look like when I roll out of bed in the morning," Paltrow concludes. Same, Gwyneth, same.