This Is How Much Sleep You Really Need, According to Your Birth Order

Just like the varied advice metered out to us according to our star signs, attributing traits to birth order is probably more fun than fact.

While there is a theory that the order in which you and your siblings are born can have an impact on your personality as an adult, it's not really based on irrefutable science. That said, there is something surprising about how spot on the characteristics attributed to those born first, somewhere in the middle or lucky last, can be. Of course, there are probably also loads of people out there who don't relate to their prescribed features at all. (Most likely middle children—indulging in rebellious tendencies is a classic middleborn move.) Like any other type of lighthearted personality framework, it can give us a way to think about who we are and how we came to be that way, if nothing else.

We're throwing sleep into the mix (because, obviously), for a mixture of musings on our characteristics and how they affect us in the bedroom. Ahead, you'll find your very own pros and cons (allegedly) along with some thoughts on how many z's you might need to function optimally. Read, digest, then send to your siblings. (Bonus points if you blind CC your parents.) Let's dive in.

If you are: the firstborn

You might:

  • Have learned to be reliable
  • Consider yourself an achiever
  • Prefer structure and routine
  • Tend towards being cautious
  • Be considered quite bossy
  • Feel responsible for others

Aim for: at least 6 hours

If birth order theory is to be believed, firstborn children tend to be driven by a love of achievement. As a result, they are said to be able to function relatively well on little sleep. Six hours is the minimum needed to wake up refreshed and ready for a new day so make it part of your (beloved) routine.

If you are: a middleborn

You might:

  • Be a bit of a people-pleaser
  • Have rebellious tendencies
  • Function as a natural mediator
  • Have a lot of good friends
  • Consider yourself level-headed
  • Tend to be nonpartisan

Aim for: the full 8 hours

If you're a middle child you likely know what it means to be level-headed. (You've had a lot of practice.) That said, your rebellious tendencies (said to be born from receiving less attention that your siblings) can come into play at bedtime, tempting you to stay up late. Resist and you'll reap the benefits.

If you are: lucky last

You might:

  • Tend to have a fun-loving personality
  • Be quite bold or very outgoing
  • Prefer to be a self-starter
  • Have been called manipulative
  • Tend to be self-centered
  • Consider yourself uncomplicated

Aim for: 8 hours or more

You're known in your circle for your signature outgoing personality but being "on" all the time can take a toll on even the bubbliest of youngest children. Make sure to maximise rest whenever you can to reboot your batteries. (Shouldn't be a problem if you also relate to being self-centered, lol.)

If you are: an only child

You might:

  • Have always been mature for your age
  • Think of yourself as a perfectionist
  • Be conscientious in all that you do
  • Pride yourself on your diligence
  • Be considered a natural leader
  • Not be too fond of sharing

Aim for: the full 8 hours

Having always been more of a mini-adult than a child, you'll see no problem in prescribing yourself the recommended eight hours. Your diligence and perfectionism could play a part here too, allowing you to consistently prioritise what's best for your health (see: sleep, sleep and more sleep).

Enjoyed this? Here are 7 of the biggest misconceptions about sleep.

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