sleep

How knowing your ‘sleep type’ can get you a better night’s sleep

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IF you want raw, real and unfiltered Olivia, my blog is where you'll find it.

Here, I'll share the highlights of my sleep expert life, as well as the highlights - and lowlights - of my personal life too.

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In an exclusive extract from her new book, sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo explains how to use our natural inclinations to reduce stress, increase productivity and get some restorative shut-eye.

As a sleep coach, I know for many of us our experience with sleep is… well… not so enlivening. Marred with bedtime anxiety, night-time waking and feeling less refreshed than when we went to sleep, for many of us, sleep is just not what it used to be.

To live better, we must learn how to sleep better. This applies across the board, whether you’re a lion (early morning warrior), bear (steady but sleepy post-lunch) or wolf (late-night whiz).

Lions

  • Of all chronotypes, you would benefit the most from blackout blinds or heavy curtains. As your melatonin levels are typically quite low at around 4am or 5am, if any light seeps into your bedroom around this time you may find yourself waking too early.
  • Will benefit from a weighted blanket (particularly if anxious).
  • Should remove all devices from the bedroom.

You’re typically fresh, fired-up and ready to go in the morning. Because of this, you may want to leap out of bed and get straight to work, but a word of advice: don’t. Rather, start the day taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing with meditation, journalling and a workout.

Mornings are the best time for having challenging meetings, so schedule these accordingly. And lunch should be your biggest meal of the day. It’s also a great time to get outside in nature and take a nice walk – this will help to keep your workaholic, perfectionist streak at bay.

You may be feeling fatigued by the evening, but it’s important you don’t rev yourself up to play with Bear and Wolf friends – if you do, you risk throwing your circadian rhythm out of alignment and will find it harder to fall and stay asleep. Instead, practise self-care by curling up on the couch with a book, watching your favourite TV show or doing gentle yoga.

Bears

  • Needs a cool room (set that air-conditioning temperature to 18C ̊).
  • Although you are known to put others’ needs ahead of yourself (“The kids neednew mattresses before me – I can wait!”), this is one time you want to put yourself first and invest in your rest.
  • Should remove all devices from the bedroom.

You are likely to be familiar with the trials and tribulations of sleep – or should I say sleeplessness? – including morning fatigue, 3pm slump and bedtime anxiety. To get through your days, you may have been riding the energy roller-coaster: up with caffeine and sugar, down with alcohol, crashing into Netflix in the evening. If this has been happening for a while, you may be nearing burnout. But don’t panic. There is a better way.

Your productivity peaks between 10am and 2pm so, if you can, organise your workday accordingly. After all, we know that 3pm slump is coming… so why fight it? Instead, take it as an opportunity to pause and have 10 minutes of “me time”. Get out in the sunshine, do some deep breathing or eat a healthy snack – it will give you a second wind, sans caffeine.

Evenings are a mixed bag for you. On the one hand, you are so tired all you want to do is tune out in front of the television, but when you go to bed your mind races. Do some journaling and a 20-minute meditation, turn off the light, pop on your eye mask and drift off to sleep. If you can, turn on white noise like a fan – it can help you fall asleep faster.

Wolves

  • Needs blackout blinds or curtains.
  • As you know by now, devices are no-one’s friend when it comes to a good sleep.
  • A weighted blanket is great for those suffering from anxiety (which is common for Wolves).

Wolves, I know you’re likely to suffer the most from poor sleep, lack of energy and reduced motivation. You may have gotten into the habit of staying up late and then, when you do go to bed, struggle to sleep – and this may have been going on for years. But don’t worry, help is at hand.

Ease into the day by doing easy tasks first and, if possible, shift your working hours back. Fight morning fatigue with sunshine, snacks and strategically timed meetings, such as one over brunch. You’ll notice you come into your own at around 1pm or 2pm, so try to leverage this.

With energy levels riding high around 6pm, it’s a great time for a workout. And while you may be tempted to work late into the evening, please don’t. It can stimulate you and make it harder to fall asleep.

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smart, savvy and more than just a sleep expert.

Hi, I'm Olivia.

If you want raw, real and unfiltered Olivia, my blog is where you'll find it.
As an author and avid writer, I find immense pleasure in sharing the ins and outs - without holding back - of my journey through life.
Professionally, I'm a sleep expert - but i'm guessing you already know that.
Personally, I'm a free-flowing, idealistic introvert who loves to travel, dance and enjoy an Aperol Spritz.

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