From highly distressed to reward sensitive: The five different sleep personalities revealed – and how you can combat insomnia at home

Wired before bed and struggle with insomnia and an overall low mood? You‘re not alone.

In fact, you may be ‘highly distressed‘ – or displaying characteristics from one of the five different sleep personalities.

Speaking to FEMAIL, sleep expert  explained the five different personality types, as identified in The Lancet.

The Sydney-based specialist also revealed the five best ways to combat insomnia, whatever sleep personality you are.

So what are the five different sleep personalities?

1. ‘Highly distressed‘ 

‘The first is highly distressed – which means you‘re often wired before bedtime and experience high levels of insomnia, plus you‘re prone to depression,‘ Olivia told FEMAIL.

‘Those with high levels of distress will typically sleep the worst, as the brain is unable to switch off,‘ she said.

2. ‘Moderately distressed, reward-sensitive‘

The second type of sleep personality, Olivia said, is the ‘moderately distressed, reward-sensitive‘ type‘ – which is like the ‘highly distressed‘, but with a few key differences.

‘This type is typically wired before bed, but they aren‘t always experiencing negative thoughts.‘

Olivia highlighted this type ‘feel happiness after enjoying positive experiences‘, but have higher than average levels of insomnia due to stress. 

3. ‘Moderately distressed, reward-insensitive‘ 

Where the previous sleep personality reacts well to positive experiences, the ‘moderately distressed, reward-insensitive‘ sleeper is less likely to respond well to things.

‘This sleeper is wired before bed, less sensitive to positive emotions after great experiences and is therefore pessimistic,‘ Olivia said.

‘But while they are often in a negative mood, these personalities aren‘t as likely to have depression as type two.‘ 

4. ‘Slightly distressed, high reactivity‘

‘This sleep type is less anxious overall, and responsive to positive and negative influences in their environment,‘ Olivia said.

‘If they do have insomnia, it‘s more long term than the other personality types.‘ 

Their insomnia is also likely to be because of life events – such as financial or relationship difficulties. 

5. ‘Slightly distressed, low reactivity‘ 

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The final sleep type is the ‘slightly distressed, low reactivity‘ sleeper, who Olivia said is ‘again less anxious and less reactive to influences within their environment‘.

‘Like type four, this personality struggles because of life events, but they don‘t necessarily feel the effects as heavily,‘ Olivia said.

They are more likely to display insomnia later in life.  

What are the five best ways to cure insomnia?

So how can you clean up your insomnia and get on top of your sleep health?

1. Practice anti-stress activities day and night: ‘Excessive activation of the stress centre within the brain, the HPA axis, contributes to an inability to switch off in the evening,‘ Olivia said.

What are Olivia‘s top five tips for beating insomnia? 

1. Practice anti-stress activities day and night.

2. Get your 10,000 steps in daily.

3. Get a weighted blanket for your bed.

4. Protect your eyes from blue light.

5. Use Instagram wisely and only follow people who make you feel good about yourself to avoid triggering anxiety. 

‘The HPA axis is active when you react to stress anytime – so having a set of activities which are your go-tos to manage stress effectively is key.‘

The expert recommends writing these things on a piece of paper on your desk at work, or in the ‘notes‘ section of your phone.

Even if it‘s something as simple as a few deep breaths or a meditation exercise, make sure you find the time to incorporate anti-stress techniques into your working day, as well as your evenings.

2. Get your 10,000 steps: Olivia said that Japanese researchers found that the ‘target of 10,000 steps daily for four weeks improved their participants capacity to fall asleep, stay asleep and overall sleep quality‘.

3. Get a weighted blanket: A third tip to help your shut-eye is a weighted blanket, which studies have shown has a positive effect on both anxiety and insomnia. 

4. Protect against blue light: ‘Blue light heightens the release of the stress hormone cortisol, so any time you can limit it is a good thing,‘ Olivia said. The expert recommends blue-blocking glasses at night and sunglasses from Local Supply during the day, which block the harmful blue rays. 

5. Use Instagram wisely: Finally, the expert recommends you ‘disconnect from any pages which trigger your levels of anxiety and instead connect with people you trust‘.

Olivia‘s page offers sleep tips and insights. For more information, please click .