Find Your Chronotype to Improve Your Sleep and Lifestyle

Find Your Chronotype

Have you ever heard the terms ‘Early Bird’ or ‘Night Owl’ used to describe a person’s sleeping habits or routine?

Well, it turns out there may be some truth behind these sayings after all.

In fact there are actually 4 different types of sleep patterns, called your chronotype.

What is a Chronotype?

Everyone has an internal clock ticking away inside their body.

This clock can determine your sleeping pattern, characteristics and behaviours in day-to-day life.

Do you ever find yourself wondering how your friends can conquer the world in the morning whilst you’re struggling to get out of bed?

Don’t panic, you just have a different chronotype... AKA your internal clock.

A chronotype can vary from person to person and is usually identified based on your activity levels throughout the day.

There are 4 different chronotypes; the Lion, the Bear, the Dolphin and the Wolf. If I haven't caught your attention yet, I bet I have now! Science Is always more fun when animals are involved.

Knowing which chronotype category you fall under is a major life hack, once you understand how your internal body clock words you can synchronise it with your daily activities and increase your productivity.

Let's get to it!


The Bear Chronotype

The Bear Chronotype

Much like 55% of the population, bears have no trouble rising with the sun and dose off peacefully a couple of hours after sunset.

A typical night's sleep for a bear is between 11pm – 8am, making it the most common chronotype of them all.

The bear chronotype tends to be most productive in the morning and dedicates this time to get their most important tasks completed.

An afternoon slump makes an appearance from 2 - 4pm and the bear could do with a well-deserved nap. Powering through, they spend this time focused on light & easy tasks before winding down for the rest of the evening.

Unfortunately for us humans, we don’t get the luxury of hibernating for the winter nor do we get a delicious bowl of porridge delivered to our door.

It's important for this chronotype to get enough sleep to replenish their energy levels for the next day, so make sure you’re tucking yourself into bed by 11pm!

Recommended Daily Activity

  • 7am to 8am: Wake up!
  • 8am to 10am: Get ready for the day (don’t forget to eat a good breakfast!)
  • 10am to 2pm: Focus on demanding tasks
  • 2pm to 4pm: Work on lighter tasks
  • 4pm to 10pm: Relax, unwind & do things that make you happy!
  • 10pm to 11pm: Get ready for bed
  • 11pm to 7am: Sleep!

The Wolf Chronotype

The Wolf Chronotype

Similar to the ‘night owl’ except a little scarier, the wolf chronotype comes alive in the evening.

This chronotype applies to 10-15% of the population, absolutely hates getting up early and is a serial snooze hitter, so get used to hearing that dreaded phone alarm in the morning.

Wolves usually have two peak periods of productivity, one at noon and another around 6pm.

They struggle to meet the demands of societies schedule due to their strong preference of evening hours. Dragging themselves to work in the mornings is almost torturous and afterwork fun ends way too soon!

Research shows that Wolves have a greater risk of developing a chronic illness compared to the other chronotypes due to their continuous late nights and neglected sleeping patterns. Not only does their lack of sleep have consequences to their physical & mental health but it also increases the chances of diabetes, depression or cardiovascular illnesses.

You can read all about the importance of sleep here!

Recommended Daily Activity

  • 7:30am to 9am: Wake up!
  • 9am to 10am: Get ready for the day (don’t forget to eat a good breakfast!)
  • 10am to 12pm: Work on light & easy tasks, you’re probably feeling tired!
  • 12pm to 2pm: Get your creative juices flowing & focus on more demanding tasks
  • 2pm to 5pm: Afternoon slump, back to those lighter & less intense tasks
  • 5pm to 9pm: Productivity spike, engage in tasks/activities you truly enjoy
  • 9pm to 10pm: Time to unwind, read a book or meditate
  • 10pm to 12pm: Prepare for bed
  • 12pm to 7:30am: Sleep!

The Lion Chronotype

The Lion Chronotype

The Lion chronotype always gets the worm.

These early risers complete most of their tasks before the rest of us even open our eyes, with peak productivity occurring in the morning and early afternoon.

This chronotype is super motivated, disciplined and goal oriented. In other words, they get stuff done!

Only 15-20% of people fall in the lion chronotype, but one thing they all have in common is their love for routines and daily habits. If their day doesn’t go to plan, you’ll definitely know about it!

When it comes to bed time, lions rarely struggle to fall asleep. And yes, you guessed it, at the same time every night!

Once their night time routine is completed, they tuck themselves into bed for an early night, ready to conquer the day again tomorrow.

Recommended Daily Activity

  • 6am to 7am: Rise & Shine!
  • 7am to 8am: Get ready for the day (don’t forget to eat a good breakfast!)
  • 8am to 12pm: Peak productivity, work on your most demanding tasks
  • 12pm to 4pm: Now you’ve got in the important stuff out the away, focus on lighter tasks
  • 4pm to 9pm: Time to unwind, do some socialising, read a book or go for a walk!
  • 9pm to 10pm: Get ready for bed
  • 10pm to 6am: Sleep!

The Dolphin Chronotype

Dolphin Chronotype

Did you know that Dolphins only sleep with one half of their brain at a time?

Good, because neither did we! This fun fishy fact relates to the dolphin chronotype because the 10% of us who fall into this category also have trouble sleeping.

In fact, most of the time they fall asleep because their body needs to, not because they want to, resulting in restless nights filled with racing minds and a lot of scrolling through their phones.

Dolphins struggle to wake up in the morning, begging for another 5 minutes of sweet sleep. Although once they’re up and get going, they usually hit peak productivity around mid-morning.

This wired and tired chronotype spend all day chronically tired, but their nights are fuelled with nervous energy. When it comes to personalities, dolphins are usually highly intelligent, often anxious, cautious and detail-oriented perfectionists.

Uninterested in social interactions, dolphins tend to seem distant during day-to-day life.

Recommended Daily Activity

  • 6:30am to 7:30am: Time to get up
  • 7:30am to 8am: Get ready for the day (don’t forget to eat a good breakfast!)
  • 10am to 12pm: Peak productivity, get your most demanding tasks completed
  • 12pm to 4pm: Now you’ve got in the important stuff out the away, focus on lighter tasks
  • 4pm to 10pm: Time to unwind, do some exercise, read a book or watch your favourite show
  • 10pm to 11:30pm: Get ready for bed, try meditating to reduce any anxiety or stress.
  • 12pm to 6:30am: Sleep!

 


Can You Change Your Chronotype?

Since your chronotype is determined by the chemicals in your brain, it's pretty hard to switch your chronotype.

Besides, why would you?

This is how you’re supposed to be!

Your brain is literally a biological phenomenon, embrace the way you’re made and accept your differences to other people.

But if you really have to, there are ways you can make small changes to your chronotype.

Get yourself into a kickass routine, set & stick to a solid bed time, avoid caffeine and eat at appropriate times of the day.

These little differences will avoid unwanted sleepiness, provide stability to metabolic functions, aid the digestive system and get you the 8 hours sleep you well and truly deserve.

Chronotype Infographic


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