From sleep chronotype to age to how much you work out, there are countless things impacting your sleep and circadian rhythm every single day—which is why it’s so important to listen to what your body needs over any general sleep advice.
And based on the forecast growth in the sleep aids market, it would appear people are catching on to this. Seemingly every day, there are new advances in personalized sleep technology. Pillows designed for side sleepers? No problem. Alarm clocks to simulate a natural sunrise? You’ve got it. A wearable device to accurately track your sleep patterns over time? That’s a thing too!
This increase in sleep tech doesn’t really come as a real surprise, though, given the surge in sleep problems1 seen globally since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the fact that work and social schedules can often misalign with someone’s natural circadian rhythm.
All the more reason to personalize your sleep regimen with products and lifestyle adjustments that work for you. After all, even the common advice of getting eight hours of sleep per night has been myth-busted to not work for everyone.
As neuroscientist Tara Swart, M.D., Ph.D. tells mindbodygreen, some people simply need more sleep than others, and some are night owls while others are early birds. “Sleep patterns can also vary with age, with notable patterns such as teenagers needing to sleep late in the morning, and older people generally requiring less sleep than younger people,” she explains.
And speaking of night owls, according to board-certified sleep specialist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., knowing which “chronotype” you are is key. While some folks, like bears and lions, are happy to rise with the sun, dolphins and wolves would prefer to sleep in and stay up late, he explains. Understanding these preferences allows you to make lifestyle decisions that factor in your circadian rhythm, so you’re not constantly working against it.
“Sleep turns out to be a very personal topic, and it can change over time based on your hormones, your stress level, even your weight or medical conditions, not to mention possible medications you may be taking,” Breus tells mindbodygreen, adding that knowing your chronotype is one of the easiest ways to find a sleep routine that works for you.