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Sleeper Types: Light Sleepers

by BetterSleep
May 10 • 4 min read

Do you find yourself waking up easily when there are noises around you or when the sun peaks through your curtains?

If so, you could be a light sleeper. Read on to learn what it means to be a light sleeper and what you can do to sleep better.

What Is a Light Sleeper?

A light sleeper is someone who can get woken up easily when they perceive a change in their environment.

Unlike deep sleepers, someone who’s a light sleeper may wake up easily due to:

  • Light coming through their windows
  • Quiet sounds that weren’t present when they fell asleep
  • Other sensory input, such as smells and touch

Although you may be a light sleeper, you’ll still go through each of the three stages of sleep, including:

  • Light sleep
  • Deep sleep
  • REM sleep

Even light sleepers will be more difficult to awaken while they’re in deep sleep compared to other deep stages. However, they may awaken more easily in this stage compared to deep sleepers.

Why Am I a Light Sleeper?

So why do some people sleep lightly while others can rest peacefully for hours on end?

How lightly or deeply you sleep depends on what doctors call your arousal threshold. Someone with a low arousal threshold doesn’t need much stimulus to wake them up, which makes them light sleepers.

But doctors and researchers still haven’t discovered why some people have a lower arousal threshold than others. While genetics can influence your predisposition for being a light sleeper, you may also struggle with light sleep if you have high levels of stress.

How To Get a Good Night’s Sleep As a Light Sleeper

If you’re a light sleeper, here’s what you can do to improve the quality of your sleep:

  • Use blackout shades: Not all shades block out sunlight adequately for light sleepers. Consider investing in some blackout shades to stop the sunlight from disrupting your sleep during periods of the year when the sun gets up earlier than you do.
  • Put away your electronic devices before bed: The blue light emitted from your screen can interfere with your sleep. Try putting away your screens at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Manage your stress and anxiety: Because both stress and anxiety seem to lower your arousal threshold, it’s important to manage these conditions to sleep well. For example, you can implement a relaxing bathtime ritual to wind down before bed.
  • Create your own soundscape to block out sounds: If sounds disturb your sleep, consider taking control of your sleep soundscape. You can create a custom sound mix on BetterSleep or use one of the existing mixes, such as Camping in the Woods or Rainy Night Drive Home. If you prefer music, you’ll also find dozens of soothing soundtracks you can fall asleep to.
  • Meditate before bed: Still struggling to lower your stress before bed? Try a soothing meditation to calm down and release your stress right before you fall asleep.
  • Choose the right bedtime drinks and snacks: Avoid sugary foods or caffeinated drinks before bed.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect sound mix to block out annoying noises or you want some guided meditations or stories to lull you to sleep, you’ll find what you’re looking for on the BetterSleep App — try it out for free to drift into a deeper sleep tonight!

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