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How To Get The Best Rest (Based on Your Sleep Chronotype)


I used to think everyone should wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the sun because it made sense when I looked at it from an ancestral perspective. However, I was more of a night owl, which I thought was due to my lack of morning sunlight or too much blue light at night. And since I couldn’t get myself to get to bed early enough to fulfill this supposed "belief", I did some research and found out that genetically, we are all different (not only with our nutrient requirements but with our sleep schedules and daily rhythms as well). These rhythms are determined by something called your “chronotype”.


Thanks to the work of several researchers in this area, and the author of the book The Power of When, Dr. Michael J. Breus Ph.D., we now understand how unique and different our sleep/wake cycles are from person to person. He found that there are four different chronotypes that are based on your biological clock. He said, “Everyone has their own unique biological clock which is an internal timekeeper that sets your day's hormones, energy levels and has an incredible influence on your daily success. What your time runs is called your chronotype.”


These four different chronotypes, identified by Dr. Breus are bears, lions, dolphins, and wolves. Each has different sleep/wake times, characteristics, personalities, and natural rhythms. In this blog, I am going to go over the different types and discuss ways to improve your sleep based on each chronotype's ideal timings for sleep, caffeine, alcohol, and waking up. There are a thousand things we could talk about for each but really I just want to focus most of my time on helping each type improve your sleep so you don’t fight your natural rhythms and thus improve your sleep and life by adjusting your daily cycles.


Everything you are about to read comes from the book, The Power Of When, so thank you, Dr. Michael J Breus, for this information. You can find out your unique chronotype by taking the quiz at the thepowerofwhenquiz.com.

LION

Percentage of Population:

  • 15 - 20% of the population

Personality Traits:

  • Conscientiousness, stability, practicality, optimism, energetic, driven, optimistic, goal-setters, achievers, organized, leaders, analyzers, high self-control, not risk-takers, cautious, introverted

Behaviors:

  • Overachieving, prioritizing health and fitness, seeking positive interactions, strategizing

Sleep Patterns

  • Take about 20 minutes to fall asleep

  • 5 x 90-minute sleep cycles

  • Average 7 - 8 hours of sleep

  • Early risers (morning hunters). Lions wake up bright-eyed at dawn or earlier, start to feel tired in the late afternoon, and fall asleep easily.

  • Medium sleep drive (need to sleep & depth of sleep)

  • Naps: Lions hardly ever nap. They’d rather be doing something useful.

Alertness Patterns

  • Most alert: noon.

  • Most productive: morning

Best Time To Go To Bed

  • 10:10pm

Best Time To Awaken

  • 6:00am

Best Time For Caffeine

  • 8:00am - 10am AND 2pm - 4pm

Best Time For Workout (For Performance Not Fast Loss)

  • In the late morning

Best Time For Alcohol

  • 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Best Time To Put On Your Blue Blocker Glasses

  • 8:10pm - 9:40pm

Best Time To Shut Off All Screens

  • 9:30pm

Sleeping In On Weekends

  • Never, lions thrive on routine and should not break their habits on weekends or it could disrupt their chrono rhythm

Best Activities Before Bed

  • Socialize online

  • Connect with loved ones

Best Time For Sex

  • 7:00am - 7:30am

BEAR

Percentage of Population

  • 50% of the population

Personality Traits:

  • Cautiousness, extroversion, friendly and easy to talk to, open-minded, team players, worker bees, good people skills, balanced thinkers, not dramatic type, Type B personalities, risk-averse, gregarious, easy-going.

Behaviors:

  • Avoiding conflict, aspiring to be healthy, prioritizing happiness, taking comfort in the familiar, love to be around other people, Love eatingwhenever

  • Playful and affectionate

  • Go-with-the-flow ramblers, good sleepers, and anytime hunters

  • Fun-loving & outgoing

Sleep Pattern:

  • Take about 20 minutes to fall asleep

  • 5 x 90 minute sleep cycles

  • Average 7 - 9 hours of sleep

  • Bears wake up in a daze after hitting the snooze button once or twice, start to feel tired by mid-to late evening, and sleep deeply but not as long as they’d like.

  • The night seems too short to them

  • Solar synced” because they sleep with the sun and rise with the sun.

Alertness Pattern:

  • Most alert: mid-morning into early afternoon. Most productive: late morning. Naps: Bears catch extra hours on the weekends, on the couch.

  • They tend to fall asleep around between 9pm - 10pm and rise around 5am - 7am.

  • They tend to require the most amount of sleep. Active in day restful at night

  • High sleep drive (need to sleep & depth of sleep)

  • Love to nap

Best Time To Go To Bed

  • 11:10pm