As with most everything else in life, very rarely does one size fit all, and that’s certainly true when it comes to how people sleep, or better, when it comes to people’s sleep styles, or personalities.
Relax if you don’t fit exactly into one of these sleep-style categories, but you may well see yourself fully in one or the other of them, or perhaps just in parts of each.
Let’s start with the most obvious personalities, those of the young and healthy and those of the old and health (perhaps) challenged. These are called Healthy, Lively Larks and Sleep-Savvy Seniors, making it obvious which group fits where.
The Larks have nothing to worry about, no health problems, youth, vitality and the ability to sleep soundly. Savvy Seniors, on the other hand, have been around long enough to have battled all kinds of nighttime demons and, now probably retired, can leave the demons behind and sleep in as long as they want, as well as take afternoon naps. Both of these groups do well in the waking hours, but Larks should not take things for granted lest they fall into this next category:
Overworked, Overweight and Over-Caffeinated. Welcome to the workday world of trying to get ahead. Soon you’re working too much, and to compensate, eating too much. Result” putting on the pounds and finding restful nights harder to come by. Further result: Turning to caffeine to stay awake and perform optimally in the day hours, with the further consequence of probably ever-worse sleep at night.
Dragging Duos is said to be the largest category of poor sleepers. These are people who work long hours, then bring more work home with them and stay up too late trying to get ahead — or catch up. The category is called Duos because, frequently, two people living together will fall prey to this bring-work-home syndrome. But even if you live alone, watch out for signs of this sleep-killing life-style.
Missing Sleep and Your Partner: This sleep style definitely requires a relationship. Because of poor sleep, you drag during the daytime and lack the drive and energy for intimacy at night. Often, you and your partner will end up sleeping apart, and that’s why you’re “Missing Sleep and Your Partner.”
Now a lot of these sleep personalities and problems derive from how we approach our work and careers, which means we probably need to step back and smell the roses a bit more.
There could still be underlying problems that need evaluation and treatment, however. Insomnia is widespread and can affect all except maybe Lively Larks and Savvy Seniors. Other physical problems such as sleep apnea and nasal problems can also ruin your sleep and thus your days and even your relationships.
Don’t accept a poor night’s sleep as normal. It’s not. You should strive to get a solid 7 to 8 hours a night of restful, rejuvenating sleep. If you can’t even do so when you adopt all the best sleep-hygiene techniques available, then it’s no doubt time to seek out professional help.