From binger to grazer, six different sleep diets and how you can improve your kip – The Sun

Posted: October 9, 2019 at 9:43 am

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IT used to be something most of us did every night without too much thought.

But now it seems we have become a nation obsessed with sleep from how much we are getting and when we get it, to the quality of it. More has been revealed about the importance of shut-eye on our long-term health.


Data recorded by FitBit shows the average amount of sleep we currently get in the UK is seven hours and 49 minutes a night, with an average bedtime of 11.27pm.

But busy lifestyles mean many struggle to nod off and stay rested.

Much like our diet, the type of person we are is often reflected in our sleeping habits.

Here, sleep psychologist and FitBit expert Hope Bastine tells JENNY FRANCIS what your kip says about you and how to get a good 40 winks.


What it is: Like those who binge-eat food, you are all or nothing when it comes to sleep. You often go through stints with much less than six hours a night, getting into bed late because you have binge-watched that box set or stayed out with friends until the early hours. But then it all catches up with you and you binge on sleep, bagging yourself way over ten hours.

Why you sleep like this: You are a free spirit and tend to go where the mood takes you, whether in life, or in bed. It is easy for you to get absorbed in what you are doing. Your mind works by telling you that balance in life is about doing something extremely unhealthy and balancing it by then doing something super-healthy which in reality, does not work. You are in need of routine.

How to sleep better:

1. Try to make your bedtime between the same two hours so you slowly start a new sleep routine.

2. Do not set yourself crazy sleep targets such as: I must get ten hours tonight. You cannot catch up on sleep.


What it is: Like an intermittent faster, every night you are awake or asleep, times are clustered together. While you might be in bed for seven hours, you will usually sleep for a solid five or so hours without the slightest interruption, but suddenly find yourself awake for a solid two hours at a random point in the night, unable to get back off.

Why do you sleep like this? You are able to switch off but not for long enough and this translates in your sleep patterns. You worry about things, which means while you can rest, your mind wakes you up after around five hours as you feel like there is something you need to remember.

How to sleep better:

1. An hour before you get ready for bed, write down all the big things on your mind from shopping lists to anything you are worried about. This will help clear your mind.

2. If you wake up in the night, get out of bed and do a relaxing activity with the lights low. Reading, writing, sewing, or light stretches. This will help calm you.


What it is: Like the person who eats little snacks throughout the day, you grab sleep when you can. It is not unusual for you to have a couple of naps a day, then sleep for a couple of hours in blocks at night. You sleep when you feel tired and are up and about when you are awake.

Why you sleep like this: You are a busy person, have your own sense of rhythm and are comfortable doing what feels right for you. But you could be missing out on vital amounts of shut-eye.

How to sleep better:

1. Start by making your sleep/nap chunks longer, for example two-hour naps at a time. This will be hard at first but once you manage to achieve this, keep upping it until you learn to sleep for longer.

2. Organise your schedule to be more in tune with your circadian (natural) rhythm. Make an effort to be active during the day to keep your body from thinking it needs sleep, and turn down the lights two hours before bedtime to make your body want to sleep when everyone else does.


What it is: Much like one of the biggest diet crazes of eating in an eight-hour window, you sleep near exactly to a 16:8 ratio. Awake and alert during the day, and in bed for around eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Why you sleep like this: You like routine and are well conditioned to the environment around you. You try not to over-think things and see sleep as something to enjoy rather than dread.

How to sleep better:

1. Continue to make the best of your energy levels throughout the day by getting regular exercise. This will keep your inner clock awake during the day and tired at night.

2. Stick to a wind-down routine before sleep every night, this can help you fall off even quicker.


What it is: Like the One Meal A Day diet, where you wait for the big eating event of the day, you wait for your chunk of sleep. You take ages to nod off, only to finally fall asleep only a few hours before you have to get up. Or you go off without any problems only to wake up at 3am, unable to go back to sleep until the alarm clock goes off.

Why you sleep like this: You are quite an anxious person, and probably suffer from tired-but-wired syndrome. It takes you a while to decompress. You cant switch off as you overthink the Ive got to go to sleep or Ill be tired scenario.

How to sleep better:

1. You need a pre-bed mental activity. Find what works for you, whether it is cooking, puzzles or reading to shut off your brain.

2. Pull back from self-medicating with caffeine and alcohol. Try to cut back on both as much as possible to help your mind reset.


What it is: Some nights you might enjoy a wonderful eight hours straight, some nights you will wake up throughout the night. Your sleep is completely unpredictable.

Why you sleep like this: You are a responsive soul and react to the content of your day and the environment you are in. You do not respond that well to change. When you have had a stressful day it leads to a restless night.

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How to sleep better:

1. Tune in to your body and acknowledge when you are stressed, emotional, excited or relaxed. You can work on trying to stop any anxiety or over-excitement in its tracks before you reach bedtime.

2. Start a nightly journal to write down what you have done that day, how you are feeling. And notice routines in your patterns.

From binger to grazer, six different sleep diets and how you can improve your kip - The Sun

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October 9th, 2019 at 9:43 am

Posted in Diet and Exercise