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What Is Your Sleep Language, And How Can It Help You Sleep Better?

In honor of World Sleep Day and Sleep Awareness Week, uncover sleep tips, ideal sleep scenarios, and tools to support a restful night’s sleep.


Photo by Digital Love Studio for The Westin Nashville

March 12-18, 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of Sleep Awareness Week, a call to action created by the National Sleep Foundation for the public to recognize sleep as a crucial part of health and wellbeing. Timed to coincide with the start of Daylight Savings Time, when most of the public faces the disruption of the time change and loses an hour of sleep, the goal of Sleep Awareness Week is to highlight the connection between sleep and health.

“Sleep Awareness Week is a time of year when everyone is reminded about the importance of our sleep and how it affects the way we feel and perform each day,” says Dr. Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the NSF Board of Directors. “If we want to be healthy and at our best, one of the first places to focus is on our sleep. That’s been our consistent message since we first started Sleep Awareness Week.”

In honor of Sleep Awareness Week, Calm, a leading mental health brand, partnered with clinical sleep psychologist Dr. Shelby Harris, Psy. D., DBSM, to develop the Five Sleep Languages. Understanding there is no one size fits all approach to good sleep, Harris and Calm developed the sleep styles to help users uncover the type of sleeper they are and provide tips on how to get a good night’s sleep.

“Being able to identify which (or a combination of) categories you fall into will help you know where to focus your efforts to improve your sleep,” says Harris. “Basic sleep hygiene is always helpful for everyone, but certain techniques might be more important to focus on than others from the outset given your particular sleep style.”

Harris’s five sleep languages include:

  1. Words of Worry Sleeper: The one whose anxious thoughts keep them up at night.
  2. Gifted Sleeper: The one who can sleep anywhere, anytime. 
  3. Routine Perfectionist Sleeper: The one with the regimented routine. 
  4. Too Hot to Handle Sleeper: The one who overheats.
  5. Light as a Feather Sleeper: The restless sleeper who is always tired.

After helping users identify their sleep language, Harris then provides tips for supporting a restful night’s sleep. For example, for the Words of Worry Sleeper, Harris suggests winding down 30 to 60 minutes before bed and building a consistent meditation practice for both day and at night, while for the Light as a Feather Sleeper, she suggests saying no to napping and setting a bedtime and morning routine.

In addition to its partnership with Harris, Calm also partnered with singer Camilla Cabello to create a new ASMR Sleep Story available exclusively on Calm beginning March 14. ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, is a sensory response to certain stimuli, typically a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck, often experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus such as a particular sound. As such, ASMR has been known to encourage relaxation and even sleep in those who experience it. Cabello, who is an advocate for using ASMR as a tool to relax and experience a restful night’s sleep, will lull listeners into a deep slumber using ASMR techniques and a relaxing wellness routine in The Beauty of Winding Down.

“I swear by ASMR,” says Cabello. “It’s a long-time tool I have used to help myself relax and fall asleep. With a mix of immersive sensory storytelling and vibrations of sounds this Sleep Story brings the unique ASMR experience to Calm, inviting users to come into the present moment and drift off to sleep.”

Similarly to Sleep Awareness Week, the World Sleep Society has declared March 17, 2023 World Sleep Day, with this year’s theme being Sleep Is Essential for Health. According to a statement from the World Sleep Society, “Just like eating well and exercising, sleep is a behavior that is foundational to one’s physical, mental, and social wellbeing. However, sleep is not yet commonly considered an essential behavior for good health. World Sleep Day is an opportunity to promote sleep health alongside thousands of other sleep health professionals and advocates.”

In honor of World Sleep Day, the Westin Nashville is launching its “Sleep Well Cloud” pop-up, which will feature a sleep concierge who will guide guests to a fully stocked sleep bar jampacked with pro-sleep freebies, educational tips, zero-proof nightcaps, and more. At the property’s Rhapsody Spa, guests can enjoy the World Sleep Day CBD Spa Package, available March 15-19, which includes a 50-minute CBD massage ($205.00) utilizing a broad-spectrum, TCH-free CBD massage cream supplemented with arnica, comfrey, chamomile, and other beneficial plant actives as well as heated Himalayan salt stones on the back to maximize relaxation and relief.

For ways you can participate in and raise awareness around World Sleep Day, click here.

About The Author

Samantha (Sam) is a digital and content strategist who has been covering the health, wellness, and hospitality industries since 2016. A journalism graduate of Rider University, she has bylines in American Spa, American Salon, Travel Agent Central, Luxury Travel Advisor, International Meetings Review, BroadwayWorld, The Odyssey, and more. When she’s not working, she enjoys listening to podcasts, visiting Instagrammable art exhibits, looking for new restaurants to try, and petting dogs she passes on the street.