Which Sleep Chronotype Am I & What Do They Mean?
5 min read
Last Modified 15 September 2023 First Added 23 November 2020
Whether you prefer an early night or tend to find yourself functioning better in the evenings, you’re likely to identify with a specific sleeping pattern or for another word, a chronotype.
Broken down into four animal categories, your sleep chronotype shows you how your internal body clock works best (your circadian rhythm). It also gives you some insight into your daily activities and when’s best to do them – such as eating, working, exercising, and socialising.
The popular book The Power of When by Dr. Michael Breus explains how we each have a sleep chronotype which determines the best times to do everyday activities. You probably already know whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, but Dr. Breus takes it a step further with four classifications: lion, bear, wolf and dolphin.
Knowing your sleep chronotype helps you to work with your body’s natural tendencies rather than against them. Dr. Breus explains it’s the PER3 gene that determines your sleep drive. This gene along with PER1 and PER2 is responsible for maintaining your circadian rhythm.
While it’s not possible to change your chronotype, you can work with it and not against it in order to enjoy a better lifestyle and improved sleep. You’ll be able to tap into your internal body clock and improve productivity as well as your sleep quality. By understanding your chronotype, you can then set ideal sleep and wake-up times for an efficient everyday schedule that helps you perform at your best.
Once you start getting the right amount of sleep, or the right sleep cycle, it’ll have a positive impact on your mood and set you up for the day.
Discover your sleep chronotype below by studying the four animal categories and seeing which one resonates with you the most:
The bear chronotype is the most common, with the majority of people falling under this category. Bears perform better in the middle of the morning and tend to feel a slight dip in energy during mid-afternoon.
The wolf chronotypes are those who hate early mornings, they much prefer to stay up late and tend to do their best thinking at night.
Dolphins are incredibly light sleepers. They tend to struggle to fall asleep and wake up frequently throughout the night. This chronotype is most often found in those who suffer from insomnia.
Lions are early risers who like to get all their stuff done before the afternoon and are burnt out come 5pm. They like to get an early night and sleep through until sunrise.
If you’re still unsure what sleep chronotype you fall into, try out one of these quizzes below, for free, to help narrow it down.
We hope you found your sleep chronotype and we wish you luck on your way to peak productivity and sleep success. While you’re here, why not check out our infographic on the meaning behind your sleeping position!