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How to Create the Perfect Daily Routine Based on Your Sleep Chronotype

Blog Sleep & Wellness
How to Create the Perfect Daily Routine Based on Your Sleep Chronotype

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.

What is a Chronotype?

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

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 sleep routine.

The perfect daily routine for bears:

  • Wake up by 6 or 7 a.m.
  • Do some light exercise.
  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast, such as an omelet or Greek yogurt with fruits.
  • Plan and organize your day.
  • Tackle the most challenging tasks between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which is when you’re most productive.
  • Energy dips after 2 p.m., so organize meetings or brainstorming sessions during this time.
  • Enjoy a light dinner, socialize with friends and family, and unwind after work.
  • Head to bed by 11 p.m.

The Dolphin Chronotype

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:

  • Wake up around 7:30 or 8 a.m.
  • Have a morning routine, exercise first to recharge.
  • Eat a breakfast that’s rich in carbohydrates and proteins, such as whole-grain bread with scrambled eggs and sausage.
  • Have a small coffee and get your most important tasks out of the way between 10 a.m. and noon when you’re most creative.
  • When you hit a slump in the afternoon, take a walk outside to clear your mind.
  • Unwind with a warm bath and have a hearty dinner.
  • Go to bed by midnight. If you have trouble falling asleep, try meditating before you sleep.

The Wolf Chronotype

Wolf Chronotype

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:

  • Set your alarm at least an hour before you think you’ll need to wake up. If you have to be at work by 9 a.m., set your alarm for 7 a.m., so you have at least 30 minutes of snooze time.
  • Go for a walk or run outside to feel refreshed, especially if you’ve had a late night.
  • You may not feel like eating breakfast if you’re tired and groggy, so have an early lunch instead.
  • Attend to minor tasks that don’t require much brainpower in the morning and get started on major work after 2 p.m.
  • Energy spikes after 5 p.m., so roll up your sleeves and get creative.
  • Exercise after work. When you’re running on high levels of energy, your athletic performance will be better.
  • Commit to going to bed by midnight.

The Lion Chronotype

Perfect Daily Routine Based on Your Sleep Chronotype

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:

  • Wake up by 5 or 6 a.m.
  • Meditate or exercise first thing in the morning and have a high-protein breakfast.
  • You’ll be at your peak in the morning, so organize meetings or brainstorming sessions.
  • Focus on easier tasks after 3 p.m., when you’re most likely to feel tired.
  • Leave the office as early as you can and have a balanced dinner to regain energy.
  • Enjoy your downtime and go to bed by 10 p.m.


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.

Check out the Use Your Chronotype To Sleep Better & Get More Done [Infographics]

Chronotypes & What They Mean

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Use Your Chronotype To Sleep Better & Get More Done Infographic by puffy.com

Your Turn...

Which sleep chronotype do you identify with? Let us know in the comments. 

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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.

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