What Is A Sleep Chronotype? Knowing What Time You Naturally Want to Go To Bed Can Be So Helpful
Do you always seem to hit snooze like a gajillion times before you get out of bed in the morning? Or do you lie in bed waiting for your alarm clock to go off? Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl actually has something to do with what’s called your sleep “chronotype,” which is basically your body’s natural internal clock, Business Insider reports.
There are four basic chronotypes that all correspond to different times our bodies want to go to bed and wake up. Around half of us have energy levels that correspond with the rising and setting of the sun, board-certified sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus, also known as The Sleep Doctor, says in his book The Power of When, which describes the chronotype system in depth, Business Insider reported. About 15 percent of us are naturally morning people, another 15 are night owls, and another 15 are insomniacs, Dr. Breus tells Bustle.
According to Dr. Breus, understanding your body’s internal clock will help you work with your body instead of against it, the TODAY Show reports. Once you know what your sleep type is, you can start to do things at the best time for your body instead of forcing your body to function when it’s not ready, according to the TODAY Show. You can take Dr. Breus’ chronotype quiz to find out if your sleep type is a bear, a lion, a wolf, or a dolphin — and what that means for your day-to-day.
The Harmonious Bear
Like the other 50 percent of the population, I landed in the Bear category when I took the chronotype quiz. Bears typically sleep with the rising and setting of the sun, says The TODAY Show, and they tend to avoid conflict and prioritize happiness. "Human bears like to get their seven or eight hours of sleep and will hit the snooze button a few times in the morning," Breus told the TODAY Show. Yep, that sounds like me.
The Let's-Get-Going Lion
If you're a lion, a lot of people probably envy you because you wake up early without an alarm clock and just get going, Business Insider reports. But what others don't realize, says Business Insider, is that your energy starts to drop around midday. Lions make up about 15 to 20 percent of the population, according to The TODAY Show, and they're usually overachievers who prioritize health and positive interactions with other people.
The Nocturnal Wolf
Only 15 to 20 percent of the population are Wolves, according to Fast Company. Unlike Lions, "[Wolves] hate mornings and usually hit the snooze button multiple times," Dr. Breus told Fast Company. "They are late to work, and [are] usually on their third cup of coffee at 9 a.m.” Wolves don't really hit their peak energy levels until around 5 p.m., says Fast Company, so the traditional work day can be really tough for people with this sleep type.
The Sleepless Dolphin
Dolphins are the most likely to be diagnosed with insomnia, says The Today Show, perhaps because their brains are constantly swimming. At only 10 percent of the population, dolphins may be highly intelligent perfectionists and light sleepers, The TODAY Show reports. "[Dolphins] tend to wake up feeling unrefreshed and feeling tired until the late evening, when suddenly they feel more alert," Dr. Breus told The TODAY Show. "They try to nap, but are often unsuccessful."
When the world around you is running on a 9-to-5 schedule, it might be helpful to know that your body might be running on a schedule all its own. You might not be able to change society's expectations for when you should be awake and productive, but perhaps knowing how your body works will help you work around society's expectations just a little more easily.