Are you a morning lark or night owl?
The normal pattern of sleep that we know is to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. However, our peak and trough sleep patterns can be quite different from one person to another.
Morning larks – have their peak of wakefulness early in the day and their sleepiness trough arrives early at night. Preferring to wake around dawn they can happily function well at this time of day.
Night owls - prefer going to bed late at night and subsequently wake up late in the morning, or even afternoon. They can find it difficult to fall asleep early at night and often only drift off in the early hours of the morning. They then don’t like to wake up early and can find it difficult to function at this time.
We don’t choose our owlness or larkness, it’s strongly determined by our genetics. So how and why did the two types evolve?
As a social species, early humans evolved to co-sleep as families or even whole tribes. The night owls in the group would not go to sleep until 1 or 2 a.m. and not wake until 9 or 10 a.m. The morning larks would go to bed for the night at 9 p.m. and wake around 5.am. Therefore, the whole group would only be vulnerable to predators for four hours rather than eight hours as everybody was not asleep at the same time. Mother nature’s very own security system!
However, whatever our sleep patterns, it’s so important that when we do go to bed, we have a good sleep.
All of us have a metaphorical stress bucket that can easily fill. The more stress and anxiety we experience, the bigger the load we carry, causing a negative impact on our emotional wellbeing and our ability to sleep properly.
When we start to sleep, the brain enters a specific state of Rapid Eye Movement, which is referred to as REM. In very simple terms, this state often allows us to empty our ‘stress buckets’, but, if there is too much in your ‘bucket’, you may find yourself waking up and being unable to go back to sleep!
Solution-focused hypnotherapy works by encouraging more positive thinking so reducing the stress levels someone may be experiencing through problems at work, home or relationship-based issues. It can help to relax and let go of tension and in turn, improve sleep patterns and other aspects of our lives.
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