And, based on your sleep pattern, what improvements can you be making for a better night’s rest?
One of the biggest motivators around making a mattress that is not one-size-fits-all was the idea that we all have different body types, comfort preferences and sleep patterns. While it’s easier for you to make the call on your body type and comfort preference, how to identify what your sleep pattern is trickier.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are 5 “clusters” of sleep patterns, which we’ve identified and explained below. Because we’re all about helping you achieve a better night’s rest, we’ve also gone ahead and identified improvements you can make for better sleep based on your sleep pattern. Learning about who you are when you sleep is fun, isn’t it?!
The Good Sleepers
Healthy, Lively Larks: You are as good as they come in the world of sleepers–in other words, you’ve figured it all out. You’re not affected by sleep issues and you get the sleep you need and almost never feel sluggish or tired due to lack of sleep. You are even a morning person (they exist!). You’re young or middle aged and either married or partnered with a full time job.
Sleep Savvy Seniors: You’re the most mature of the 5 clusters (average age is 60)– about half of this segment at 65 or older. You get the most sleep out of any group, averaging 7.3 hours/night. You often get a good night’s sleep, take about two or more naps throughout the week, and rarely feel tired or fatigued. You are relatively healthy and do not feel you have a sleep problem. People in this group are most likely retired (51%) and, least likely to be employed (30%).
The Not So Good Sleepers
Dragging Duos: More than the other sleep groups, you are most likely partnered and employed, working for than 40 hours a week and often catching up on work-related tasks within an hour before you go to bed. You wake up early and you’re nearly twice as likely as the other groups to get less sleep than you need to be your best. More than one-third of Dragging Duos say they feel tired or fatigued at least three days a week, every week. Many within this group would report that their partner has trouble sleeping–which could affect how you’re sleeping. Sleep issues have caused some issues in your relationship including intimacy, often a result of lack of sleep in general.
Overworked, Overweight and Over Caffeinated: You’re an “evening person” or “night owl.” You work more hours than any of the other groups and your work schedule is not conventional (hello, night shift). You sleep less than the other groups but you nap frequently. You feel like you need less sleep at night to function your best and that you actually do get as much sleep or even more than you need to function. You drink more caffeine than other groups. But unfortunately, you’re subject to insomnia symptoms: 7 in 10 frequently experience a symptom of insomnia. Single sleepers and “obese” folks make up half of this group.
Sleepless and Missin’ the Kissin’: Your group has the largest number of “owls” and people who think they have a sleep problem or some symptoms of insomnia. You are the least likely to say you sleep well often. Nearly half of your group feels they get less sleep than they need and the same amount of you say you usually feel tired or fatigued. You are more likely than the other groups to say your sleep issues have caused problems with your relationship and that lack of sleep as affected intimacy. Many of you have been diagnosed with a medical condition and you likely use sleep aids.
Okay, so now what?
Did these “clusters” make you feel slightly exposed and defeated? Us too. That’s why we want to help out those “Not-So-Good Sleepers” improve your rest (and apparently relationships). Here are some changes you can make to your lifestyle to get a bit closer to being a Healthy, Lively Lark or a Sleep Savvy Senior.
Exercise (we can’t stress this enough): You know this but we’re telling you again. Exercise resolves so many issues, especially related to sleep. The endorphins you release during and after exercise are proven to make you a less stressed, happier person. Exercise is good for the rest of your body, too–your organs, your muscles, your bones, even your skin! You’ll see you rest better (your body needs to recharge after a good workout) and you’ll be more productive during the day. If you find a workout program that works for you, stick with it and you’ll see great improvements.
Drink more water and eat well: To allow your body to focus on restoring itself while you sleep instead of accommodating and processing an unhealthy diet or lack of hydration, eat cleanly and drink more water (you probably are not drinking enough, let’s be honest). Be sure to drink at least 1 glass of water as soon as you wake up. Sleep can be extremely dehydrating–think of all those hours you are going without a sip of water.
Make time for your partner: An unhappy partner can cause all sorts of problems in your life. But it can really affect your sleep, too. Sleeping next to someone who is unhappy can subconsciously keep you from relaxing and getting proper rest.
Establish a bedtime routine: This keeps you from working into the wee hours of the night (you know that screens are counter productive when it comes to sleep). Read some of our recommendations on your bedtime routines here.
Assess your work life balance and make changes: This is the hardest one for most people because it can feel like a very tall order. But think about it, how can you be your best at work if you aren’t able to be your best for yourself? And, how much of “not being your best at work” leads you to working late and going to bed way past your bedtime. A lot of this comes down to setting boundaries within your workplace and also evaluating your time management practices with your work. Keep a log of how you’re spending all of your time each day and what work you end up bringing home with you. You’ll be able to identify different ways to organize your work day to get those lingering tasks that get in the way of an early bedtime during the day. Further, you’ll be able to identify tasks you may be able to delegate and perhaps notice office habits that could be eliminated (too many internal meetings!).
Keep a log: This may seem a bit obsessive but challenge yourself to try it for a week. Just one week. This log is all about how you’re sleeping, what’s causing stress, what you’re eating, the exercise you’re getting and how you feel each day. You can keep it short and high level but believe us, after a week, you’ll be able to look back and connect every significant detail to how you sleep that night. “Fight with my teenager,” “too many cookies,” “crossfit class,” — all of these details will inform you of things you need to do less often, resolve before bedtime or pursue more to sleep better.
Choose the right mattress for you: We all have our comfort levels and that one sleep position that puts us right to sleep. Did you know, side and stomach sleepers should sleep on a soft mattress and back sleepers should sleep on a firm mattress? Subtle changes like this can land you in the Good Sleepers category so take note!
Improvements to your day-to-day and sleep don’t happen on their own. You need to take control and make changes if need be. So, get on it you Not-So-Good Sleepers! And keep us posted on your progress on Facebook.