Guide to Understanding Chronotypes

Your sleep wake cycle is unique to your physical makeup and lifestyle. Whether you are most productive in the small hours of night or prefer to get up with the birds, you have the potential to unlock your chronotype and unleash beast mode. Let’s learn how.    

Bears love to sleep and eat but are hard workers and family oriented

What is a Chronotype?   

Your internal clock is regulated by the melatonin hormone. As dusk settles into evening you begin to feel sleepy. When the sun starts creeping through your curtains in the morning, your system is alerted to wakefulness. However, many find their most productive at 2am when everyone else is sleeping and the house is quiet. Depending on your lifestyle, work, study, or home schedule, you can unlock your chronotype to become the most successful you. There are four chorotypes; Bear, Wolf, Lion, and Dolphin. Let’s discover which one fits you.   

The Bear Chronotype

Bears love to sleep and eat but are hard workers and family oriented. The bear chronotype is most productive in the morning so would be considered a morning person. Bear’s easily fall asleep at night and jump out of bed in the morning with lots of energy and zest for life. Typical sleep hours for bears is between 11pm and 7am with a dip in energy occurring between 2pm and 4pm. Enjoy a healthy snack of nuts and fruit to replenish energy. Bears make up over 50% of the population, typically fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night.    

The Wolf Chronotype

If you’re a member of the wolf pack, you’ll find you're most productive in the evening. You’re adaptable, social, and creative. The wolf chronotype may enjoy that extra hour of sleep in the morning, typically getting out of bed before 9am. Wolves get their creative juices flowing in the early evening around 6pm and will go to bed at midnight or 1am. Night owls (or night wolves) should unwind from their day at around 10pm, may be suited to shift work, and make up around 15% of the population.     

The Lion Chronotype

The lion chronotype enjoys an early morning wake time of around 6am. Lions book the power of energy between 8am and midday. Lions get most tasks done before noon and may need a power nap after lunch. The lion chronotype category should go to bed at around 10pm to get the most out of their days. They’re early risers, social, and make up around 15% of the population.  

The Dolphin Chronotype

The dolphin chronotype is highly intelligent but finds it hard to wake up early in the morning. It takes some time for dolphins to wake up and will generally be fully energetic just before midday. The dolphin chronotype category may not have the most reliable sleep patterns, finding it difficult to stick to a designated sleep schedule. Creativity may surge at different times every day due to their odd sleep and wake times. The dolphin chronotype makes up around 15% of the population and has a tendency to beat themselves up over things (especially when trying to fall asleep). They may seem aloof but are highly sensitive.      

The biological clock of your chronotype can be harnessed to get the best out of your energy surges

How do I use my Chronotype? 

The biological clock of your chronotype can be harnessed to get the best out of your energy surges and find restorative rest to fuel your activity. Finding your peak energy times can help you schedule your most challenging tasks. Finding your energy lulls can help you stick to a regular eating routine that picks you up when you’re about to dip. 

Chronotype 

Bedtime & Waketime 

Most Productive TIme

Unwind

Tip

Bear

11pm | 7am

10am-2:30pm

10pm

Focus on strenuous tasks before noon 

Wolf

Midnight | 7:30am

6pm-10pm

10:30pm

Focus on strenuous tasks in early evening  

Lion

10pm | 6am

8am-12:30pm

6pm

Focus on strenuous tasks in the early morning  

Dolphin 

11:30pm | 6:30am

10am-12:30pm

7pm

Focus on strenuous tasks in the mid morning


How can I Switch Chronotypes? 

Your circadian rhythm or chronotype is largely regulated by your hormones. While it’s possible to chemically alter your sleep and wake times, it’s advisable to work with your natural rhythms. Listening to the needs of your body helps you stay healthy, keeps your sleep patterns regular, and utilizes your own natural rhythms and abilities. There are times when your circadian rhythm is skewed, when you fly across time zones, are engaged in shift work, or dealing with a new baby or sick family member. 

To switch chronotypes: 

  • Ensure you have a comfortable sleep space
  • Put black out blinds or curtains in your bedroom
  • Create a sleep schedule and stick to it, even on days off   
  • Don't neglect wind-down time
  • Eat as healthy as you can 
  • Drink plenty of water and get fresh air every day 
  • Be kind to yourself as you transition, it may take some time to get used to a new sleep schedule    

Circadian Rhythm or Chronotype: What’s the difference?

Your circadian rhythm is your internal clock, it makes you one of the morning types, night owls, or inbetweeners thanks to your per3 gene. When the sun goes down your body is alerted that it’s time to unwind and prepare for bed soon. When you see the sunshine in the morning, your body is alerted to wake up and energy perks up for the day. Most adults feel full of beans from 9am and start to get sleepy around 7/8pm. 

Your chronotype is a guide on how to harness your most productive hours so you can schedule your heavy tasks at a certain time of day depending on your chronotype. Your chronotype animal traits are closely linked to nature, just as your circadian rhythm is natural to you. When you know your most productive hours of the day you can use this knowledge to get more work done faster and become an even better version of yourself. 

Understanding your chronotype can help you fall asleep fast

Best Bed/Wake Times for Your Chronotype

Chronotype Category

Sleep Schedule | Wake Schedule 

Bear

11pm | 7am

Wolf

Midnight | 7:30am

Lion

10pm | 6am

Dolphin 

11:30pm | 6:30am


Most Productive Hours for Your Chronotype

Chronotype Category

Book the Power at 

Bear

10pm

Wolf

10:30pm

Lion

6pm

Dolphin 

7pm


Conclusion 

Understanding your chronotype can help you fall asleep fast, stay asleep for a full 8 hours, and utilize the power of your most productive hours. To assist your natural sleep patterns, eat as healthy as you can, find an exercise you enjoy and spend a little time in nature every week. All work and no play makes us all unhappy and unmotivated. Be kind to yourself, make time for your loved ones and unleash the power of the bear, wolf, lion, or dolphin in your life because nature knows best.