What is your Chronotype? The bear, the lion, the wolf or the dolphin?

Your chronotype is your internal body clock that controls your sleep pattern and when you’re most productive. Find out which chronotype you are to help improve your sleep.

Are you a night owl or early bird? These aren’t just idioms to explain if someone if a morning person or not, but are actually two chronotypes: morning types, or evening types. These are further broken down into four chronotypes: bears, lions, wolves and dolphins.

What is a chronotype?

Chronotypes are variations in individuals sleep-wake patterns, which are determined your internal biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. There are four chronotypes, each aptly named after animals that represent their sleep and activity patterns: bears, lions, wolves, and dolphins.
Chronotypes vary from person to person, and some evidence suggests that your chronotype is actually genetic - which means you can’t train to become a different chronotype. This genetic variation across the population is actually thought to be a human survival technique, shared with other species, to ensure that someone is always ‘on watch’.
While you can adjust your circadian rhythm, you may not be at your most productive if your sleep cycle is misaligned with your chronotype.
That’s why understanding your chronotype and aligning your sleep schedule to it can enhance your productivity and mood. So which chronotype are you?

1. The Bear Chronotype

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The bear chronotype is the most common among humans, and represents the typical sleep pattern of the population. Around 50% of the population are bear chronotype and your sleep patterns tend to follow the sunrise and sunset. You’re most alert in the late morning and early afternoon, and require a solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night to feel alive. Short afternoon naps can be a habit of bear chronotypes to re-energise for the afternoon.
Wake up: 6-8am
Go to bed: 10-11pm
Best focus time: Late morning and early afternoon, typically between 10am-2pm

2. The Lion Chronotype

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Otherwise known as the ‘early birds’. Lion chronotypes prefer to wake up before the sun is up, usually around 6am. You’re highly productive in the morning and early afternoon, but you find your energy levels drop in the evening. People following The Rock waking up at 4am for a workout is likely made up of the 22% of the population who are Lion chronotypes.
Wake up: 5-6am
Go to bed: 9-10pm
Best focus time: Early morning to midday, typically between 7am-1pm

3. The Wolf Chronotype

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We’re looking at you night owls. And you only make up about 15% of the population. The Wolf chronotypes are most productive in the late afternoon and evening and have a later sleep schedule than most people. You tend to wake up around 9am, but might function better waking up a but later. You feel most creative and productive as everyone else is winding down, but you still need a solid 8+ hours of good quality sleep.
Wake up: 9-10am
Go to bed: 12-1am
Best focus time: Late afternoons and evenings

4. The Dolphin Chronotype

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And lastly, the dolphin. The dolphin chronotype are those that have irregular sleep schedules. You have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, as you’re likely to be disrupted by shifts in light or noise. You’re a light sleeper and can suffer from insomnia or sleep problems. You may find yourself ruminating at night and having whizzing thoughts as you’re falling asleep. You don’t tend to get enough regular sleep which can make it hard for you to work to a consistent or ‘typical’ schedule.
Wake up: Irregular
Go to bed: Irregular
Best focus time: Varies a lot, but typically late morning or early afternoon
Not sure which one you are? Take this quiz by The Sleep Doctor which gives your your chronotype and gives you a great video explanation of your results
We all know sleep is important. It helps us learn, recover and focus. So by understanding your chronotype, you can optimise your natural sleep-wake cycle and heighten your productivity. Whether you're a bear, lion, wolf, or dolphin, prioritising quality sleep and maintaining a consistent schedule where you can might just make you feel 100x better. And if you're ever feeling sleepy during the day, just remember that it's not laziness, it's your chronotype at work!
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