Despite gulping down your first coffee, you find yourself frazzled and lethargic when you show up to work at 9 a.m. Meanwhile, your colleague is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed — and that’s before they’ve even had their first hit of caffeine. The level of energy baffles you, but you chalk it up to one simple fact: Your colleague’s a morning person and you’re just not. But really, it all comes down to sleep chronotype.
Your sleep preferences and level of productivity throughout the day depend on your sleep chronotype, or more simply, the type of animal you are.
Chronotypes are reflective of your internal clock, which varies from person to person. Determining your sleep chronotype can provide insight into your behaviors and moods, such as when you’re most productive, most careless, most irritable, and most creative.
Michael Breus, the author of The Power of When, classified the four sleep chronotypes as bear, dolphin, wolf, and lion. Each represents a chronotype that tells you when your body’s programmed to function at its most optimal level. Based on your chronotype, there’s a perfect time of day to do everything from drinking your coffee or exercising to working on major projects.
To learn which animal is symbolic of your habits, let’s take a look at the different sleep chronotypes and their characteristics to pinpoint your ideal schedule.
The bear chronotype accounts for nearly 50-55% of the population. A bear’s sleep-wake cycle is determined by the sun, which means they’re most productive during the day and hit a slump by evening. They may hit the snooze button one too many times, but they still find it relatively easy to wake up early and can fall asleep fast.
The only downside to this sleep chronotype is that bears don’t get as much sleep as they would like during the week, but they make up for it on the weekends. Bear chronotypes are open-minded, outgoing, and prefer a stable routine.
The perfect daily routine for bears:
Dolphins are light sleepers with irregular sleep schedules. They’re prone to sleepless nights and when they do fall asleep, they may wake up throughout the night.
As a result, dolphins can feel groggy in the mornings, but they still experience productivity bursts throughout the day. Dolphin sleep chronotypes tend to be anxious, introverted, and intelligent.
The perfect daily routine for dolphins:
If you snooze your alarm more times than you can count and hate mornings more than Garfield hates Mondays, your sleep chronotype is the wolf.
The wolf chronotype accounts for 15-20% of the population. They’re known for being late to work, especially if it’s an early reporting time, and they tend to go hard on caffeine. Wolves thrive at nighttime and are more likely to go to bed later and wake up later. People who fall under this sleep chronotype are creative, insightful, and artistic and their creativity peaks in the evening.
The perfect daily routine for wolves:
The lion chronotypes don't even need an alarm; they're ready to go before most people are up. Those who fall under this sleep chronotype are most productive in the mornings. Because of their early start, lions are understandably exhausted by afternoon and prefer to fall asleep almost immediately after they get home. Lions are go-getters, born leaders, and excel at strategic thinking.
The perfect daily routine for lions:
While knowing your chronotype can help you understand your sleep habits better, there are also other considerations for locking in a good night’s rest, such as investing in a luxury mattress that supports your body and provides superior levels of comfort. Regardless of your chronotype, you’ll find that you’re able to lock in a good night’s rest when the right essentials are in place.
Which sleep chronotype do you identify with? Let us know in the comments.
Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.