It is really interesting to know how our sleep, health and personality are interconnected with each other.
Interdependence of Sleep and our persona
Our dreams always have some connection with our subconscious mind. This was discovered by Freud who explained that dreams definitely have a connect to our future. They help us determine secret truths about our deepest thoughts and feelings and of course our lives.
It has been observed that animals also follow a specific sleep pattern. The lark is one such bird who is an early riser and people who are early risers have this lark pattern. When you observe people who go to sleep early and rise early. There are people who get up even before the alarm clock rings and if this is the case, you are a lark. The nine to five pattern is observed in larks.
Larks are not the outgoing and social types. They will surely ensure that the work is done. The book ‘The Body Clock Guide To Better Health’ is co-authored by Michael Smolensky who is the M.D and a professor at the Texas University. People with the lark tendency are definitely good at their work and are at their productive best during mornings. The late risers may not be comfortable in their company.
The fairer sex are generally early risers as compared to men. This is noticed in Western cultures. Also, as age progresses, elderly people tend to rise early as compared to the younger folk. It has also been observed that people who exhibit a lark personality fall into depression easily as compared to those who rise late.
The later risers
Those of you who can be creative and prolific and work enthusiastically during the night are not larks but owls. Keeping an alarm clock under the pillow is of no use to such personalities. Smolensky talks about a fellow student who would check out for wakeup call services, set blasting music as clock alarms, but in vain. The fellow-mate would never be able to get up to rise early, irrespective of all these methods.
If at all he managed to get up and tried remaining awake and alert for the classes, he would find it extremely difficult to go to bed early. His case became so extreme that he had to take a break from graduate school, thanks to his tendencies and personality. However, not many individuals exhibiting this personality may have to go through this tension.
Till late risers have their first cup of coffee, it is best to leave them all by themselves. As compared to larks, the owl personality people are prone to low moods when they awake. They are at their creative peak during afternoon and later in the evening. Smolensky explains that these personality people are very social and extroverts too. They do not mind taking risks in their life and are of the adventurous type.
Teenagers exhibit the owl personality. During the teens, there are physiological changes in the body and individuals who used to be early risers will surely drift into the owl pattern till they are in their mid twenties.
Late risers do not have a problem getting adjusted to the regular nine to five office routine. However, people who exhibit extreme patterns may have a problem adjusting to this environment and work pattern. Such people should preferably go in for a night shift job as they can perform well and be more creative. This also gets adjusted to their schedule.
People who sleep for long hours
The duration of sleep also decides your personality. The Streisand song clearly voices that people who sleep for longer hours actually need to interact with people more and should try and remain in the company of people.
Norah Vincent has completed his doctorate and is an associate professor at the Manitoba University in Canada. The doctor also is a clinical psychologist at the same university. As per research and statistics, it has been established that an individual’s personality and sleep are interlinked or interconnected. This study was conducted on about six thousand Americans.
Individuals who felt good about themselves when others appreciated them or spoke good about them, slept longer. This is definitely not bad or abnormal, as it only goes to show how personality types vary or differ.
People, who sleep for longer hours, also tend to get into depression. They fall a prey to loneliness and sadness, thanks to their sleep patterns. It is important that they get into social groups, mingle and interact with people. It is important that such people remain with their family and friends, as it is good for their overall health. Also, long sleepers should ensure they have their family around them.
Requirement Based Sleeper
Individuals who cannot remain in bed for more than eight hours or who sleep less are individuals who will have the tendency to be self critical and that habit will make it difficult for them to remain in bed for longer hours. They are the more active types. They are very hard on themselves and may not be able to wake up or go to bed without being critical about themselves.
Such people get anxious and excited about small things. Reduced sleep patterns is a result of constant tension and anxiety.
It is important to note that both under sleeping as well as over sleeping may cause severe health problems and it may also be as fatal as death. Hence, it is important to maintain and balance your sleep. Reduced sleep may result in increase in blood pressure which has a direct impact on your heart. This could also result in cardiac arrest.
Vincent says that it is important to clearly identify bed time and worry time. Self-critical people get short and less sleep, thanks to their self-criticism and anxiety.
Many clinical psychologists or doctors suggest that patients clearly draw a line between worry time and bedtime and when they follow this, it is easier for them to sleep well and remain healthy. It has been suggested that patients who are self-critical and have worrying thoughts should actually sit down and think about these at least several hours prior to retiring to bed. When you actually concentrate on such depressing thoughts, you will automatically shift focus and this is as simple and easy as that. When actually doing this exercise, patients actually feel that they do not have the time to focus on negative feelings and thoughts and postpone it for the next day.
Serene and Calm Sleepers
Those sleepers who are able to sleep peacefully without any disturbance are extremely grateful people are express gratitude. Such people are grateful for what they have in life and never focus on what they lack in and have a good night’s sleep. Such people are able to work well during the day and also do not get tired too soon.
Many of you may wonder if sleep and gratitude can be interconnected or interdependent. Yes, it surely is. The thought of a person who is in deep sleep definitely has something to do with the entire persona or personality. Being grateful for all the things you have in life will surely help you get deeper and faster sleep. Such people are less prone to anxiety and are calmer and definitely at peace from within, as per Vincent. This type of mental state will help you do things methodically without any problems. The mental state at the time of going to bed is very important.
The Agitated Sleeper
Those of you who are not able to sleep peacefully and who spend their nights watching television, working during nights or continuously thinking about something should work on their fixation with too much control or perfection. A perfectionist is a one who wants to ensure that things are done perfectly. This perfection disease may start affecting his sleep and they may find it extremely difficult to sleep.
Though a perfectionist may achieve victory in every situation, he or she may not be successful when it comes to relaxing and sleeping. Many people experience severe sleep problems, as per Vincent. Perfectionists will expect too much from themselves, which in itself is the main problem.
People who want things to turn out perfectly every time are self critical and they end up getting depressed and low, which in turn affects their sleeping patterns. There is increased anxiety and they find it hard to relax and sleep.
It is important to note that it is not possible to control every aspect of your sleep patterns. Vincent says that a different behavioral needs to be adopted so that this problem can be dealt in the right manner. It may not be possible for us to control our sleep patterns, but we can definitely take right and healthy steps to ensure that we are able to sleep peacefully. Some simple steps include reducing coffee intake. Also, the amount of light entering your bedroom can be reduced by draping it with the right curtains and so on.
People experiencing sleep related problems need to identify their weaknesses and limits and then accept them as part of their life. Identify the positives of your life when retiring to bed and you can rest assured that sleep will come easily and quickly.
If you struggle with insomnia, begin with recognizing your limits and accepting them as a normal part of life. Focus on the positives of your day as you prepare for bed, and you may find that sleep comes easier.
Those of you who are able to recollect your dreams every morning can be categorised under the dreaming sleeper category. This form of style is an indicator of your creativity in your normal life. The Director of the Sleepworks Laboratory of Colarado Springs, Colo , James Pagel opines that these dreamers will also be able to recollect their dreams. Such people will identify things in gray. It may neither be purely black or white. They cannot be categorized as being from a Republican party or a Democratic party. This form of sleep pattern is also seen in the way, they lead their lives.
Though, they may be considered as normal people, such dreamers have a greater risk of becoming schizophrenics.
The Dreamless Sleeper
It was researched and established some years back that those with brain injuries never dream. Some people have absolutely no dreams and even if they have, they are not able to recollect having seen anything. However, the latest studies say that there is no basic connection between dreams and sleeping. Hence, there is no cause for worry.
Pagel says that close to nine percent of individuals do not dream. Many people will say that they have not dreamt at all.
When Pagel did a comparison of dreamers and non-dreamers and woke them up at different sleep stages. Close to ten percent of people who did not dream frequently had only one dream and the others did not dream at all.
Pagel quoted that one of them was a Maths professor and many of the people who were researched had jobs of their own. They had good memories and were absolutely normal people.
Hence, if you are not able to get any dreams, there is no cause for worry. Similarly, if you are not able to remember your dreams also do not have to get perturbed. It does not mean you are abnormal or