Coloring can be a great practice to help you work your creative muscle and stay imaginative and inspired. However, coloring is also an amazing practice that can help you relieve stress and anxiety and boost a sense of calm and relaxation. Many people like to establish a coloring routine in the evenings. It can not only help you unwind and decompress after a hectic day but also help you achieve better sleep through the night.
You may have heard of concepts like clean eating that encourages you to eat as many whole foods as possible or clean living that promotes the use of natural or green products. Still, you may not have heard of clean sleeping. Don’t worry, we’re going to share everything you need to know and, most importantly, how your coloring practice can help you tackle this year’s biggest health and wellness trend.
What is Clean Sleeping?
Clean sleeping is a term that was developed by one of the health and wellness industry’s top influencers, actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow. Although the term “clean sleeping” is new, the concept is not. It’s one that medical, health and wellness professionals have been promoting for years. The idea in its most basic form is simply getting good quality sleep on a consistent basis.
Paltrow recommends a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep each night or ideally up to ten hours. The National Sleep Foundation suggests seven to nine hours of sleep each night for adults 18 to 64. However, clean sleeping isn’t just about getting a certain number of hours of sleep every night – it’s about establishing a regular sleep routine that will allow you to get high quality rest.
The goals for clean sleeping might seem a little lofty and unrealistic for the average person, but the intention behind them is certainly backed by science. Paltrow’s philosophy behind clean sleeping is that sleep is the most crucial to your overall well being, even more so than your diet or exercise routine. She’s right. According to assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center Jennifer Haythe, M.D., “sleep is absolutely essential to our health… [it] allows our bodies and minds to recharge and repair.” In short, clean sleeping is making sleep a priority by establishing a sleeping routine you can commit to on a regular basis.
The Benefits of Clean Sleeping
For years the medical community has demonstrated the impact of getting poor sleep on a repeated basis. The lasting effect of bad sleep habits is both physical and mental. It can cause cognitive impairment, slowed motor coordination, decreased working memory, or a weakened immune system. Poor quality sleep can also impact the metabolism, which can result in weight gain or even more serious conditions like type 2 diabetes over time.
In today’s fast-paced world that encourages us to constantly go and go and do and do, it can be easy to burn the candle at both ends and sacrifice sleep as a means to get more done. However, science and medicine shows us that we’re actually doing our minds and bodies a disservice by forgoing a proper night’s sleep.
In addition to the physical and mental benefits of clean sleeping, there are also emotional benefits. Getting high quality and consistent sleep can help to boost your mood, your level of optimism and enthusiasm, and your overall happiness and satisfaction with your life.
Beginning a Clean Sleeping Practice
The key to clean sleeping is not just getting a certain number of hours of sleep each night. It’s about getting meaningful, high quality, restful sleep by creating consistent sleep habits. Ultimately, clean sleep is more about a lifestyle change so that you can be the healthiest and happiest version of yourself.
To begin creating your clean sleeping practice, there are a couple easy ways to start. First, maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same times each day – yes, even on the weekends. Next, be conscious of what you’re putting in your body and when. Try to limit or eliminate your caffeine intake in the afternoon and evening. Don’t eat dinner too close to your bedtime, and definitely avoid any bedtime snacks.
There are a couple other lifestyle changes that can help you achieve a clean sleeping routine. During the day, be sure to spend some time outdoors to get more in sync with the natural schedule of the sun. Particularly during the winter months, it can be easy to leave the house early in the morning before the sun rises and leave the office late after the sun sets. Even during the colder months, try to get outside midday for your lunch or coffee break. You should also make your bedroom a soothing and relaxing place for sleep. Be sure it’s completely dark at bedtime.
Incorporating Coloring into Your Clean Sleeping Routine
Now it’s time to explore how incorporating coloring into your clean sleeping routine can be beneficial. If you’ve established a coloring practice in the evenings, you’ve already taken the first step toward enhancing your clean sleeping routine. Two of the other pillars of clean sleeping are unplugging from technology and meditating before bedtime to help you relax, unwind, and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Coloring can help you achieve each of these.
Your coloring book and favorite set of colored pencils, markers, or gel pens are the perfect replacement for technology. Next time you find yourself reaching for your laptop or smartphone before bed, turn to your coloring book instead. Coloring can even be a great alternative to television if you want to eliminate all forms of screens and technology.
Coloring can also be used as a form of movement meditation. The repetitive and rhythmic nature of coloring can help to lull you into a meditative state. For the best results, pick up a coloring book of mandalas or geometric patterns – these are the best to use to help induce a more meditative coloring experience.
Start a New Habit Today
Although the term “clean sleeping” is buzzing around the health and wellness community this year, the concept is old and time-tested by both the health and wellness and medical communities. In the end, it’s all about creating a more consistent sleep routine that will ultimately help you get higher quality rest.
You can feel free to take or leave some of the pillars of the clean sleeping trend, but one of the easiest ways to help your mind and body decompress and prepare for meaningful sleep is to establish a coloring routine in the evenings before bed. We’d love to hear your thoughts on clean sleeping and using your coloring practice to tackle this health and wellness trend. Leave us a message in the comments below. We can’t wait to learn about your experience!