We’ve all got those little sleep habits that are hard to shake. They form the backbone of our rest routine, and each one of them tells a little story about the kind of person you are.
Are you an early riser or a night owl? Are you a tosser and a turner, or do you drop off like a log? Each of these sleep patterns is a revealing indication of you as a person, and might even be hinting at underlying health issues. Here’s how to decode them:
You’re the envy of everyone: you rise at dawn without having to set an alarm and immediately go about your day. Mornings are your favourite time period because they are all yours to do what you want without anyone else cramping your style. You can work out, get prepared for work, power through your inbox or simply ease into your day with meditation.
If you’re an early riser, it’s usually a sign of ambition, drive and determination. All of the world’s most successful people are morning people, from Oprah to Michelle Obama. Why do they do it? To make the most of their days, but also to capitalise on hours that others are spending idle. If you, like them, pride yourself on your early mornings, then you probably share those characteristics of passion and conscientiousness with them.
Everyone is different. Some of us are early risers who leap out of bed in the mornings and some of us are… not. Night owls often wake up later in the day but find that they are most productive throughout the evenings and right up until they go to bed.
You might be more of a self-starter who prefers working in short solitary bursts. Or, you could be a procrastinator, who puts things off until the last minute and works in flurries of productivity. Either way, you need to be careful not to burn the candle at both ends. If you are combining late nights with long days, you will find that you burn out pretty quickly.
Anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on your sleeping patterns. Just ask any tosser-and-turner, who spends their evenings in light, interrupted sleep as they thrash about in bed. It could be that you’re having anxiety-related dreams, or it might be that you find it hard to enter a deep sleep.
If you sleep in this way then it could be because you have high levels of stress in your life and it’s starting to infiltrate your sleep pattern. Try a meditation app before bed to soothe your mind and help usher you into a more calm, stress-free sleep.
First things first, are you European? The Spanish and Italians love a nap, and swear by a short siesta to boost productivity, increase alertness, and generally keep them healthy and happy throughout the day.
But what if you’re a napping fan who isn’t European? Those who love napping occasionally aren’t getting enough sleep at night, which is why they feel the urge to sleep during the day. Pay attention to that. But if you’re getting your recommended eight hours and still enjoying a nap, it’s more of an indication of your personality and how you prioritise your personal wellbeing over all else. Enjoy that snooze.
Do you and your partner go to bed at the same time and wake up together? First of all, that’s very romantic. And second of all, it’s a sign that your relationship is really strong. Studies have shown that couples who sleep together – literally and figuratively – are more likely to have better relationships.
Clocking off for the day early in the evening is often a sign of introversion. Ask yourself, are you getting into bed because you’re tired, or are you getting into bed because you can’t face your flatmates and the world?
If it’s the latter, then it could be because you’re an introvert who enjoys solitude and silence. But if it’s the former then you need to take a look at what is making you so exhausted. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you overly stressed? Are you eating well and exercising? Going to bed early every now and then is normal, but needing to crawl into bed at 8PM every evening could be a sign that your sleep routine isn’t good enough.
Found this useful? This is how to recover after a poor night’s sleep.
If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.