How to decode your sleep chronotype and increase productivity

Regardless of whether you thrive in the early hours or come alive at night, identifying your inherent circadian rhythm type, or "sleep chronotype," might be the secret to achieving your highest productivity levels, as suggested by a top sleep researcher.

Ever long for more efficiency in your morning routine? Are you jealous of those who awaken energized, swiftly accomplishing tasks before the clock strikes nine? Or perhaps you aspire to be more of a night owl, yet you're consistently exhausted by evening, lacking the drive to exercise or pursue activities post-work?

The reassuring part is, no matter which scenario you find yourself in, you're in good company. It's possible that your tendencies are rooted in your genetics.

Sleep science expert Dr Michael Breus points out that our bodies operate on diverse biological clocks, tied to our sleep chronotype. Embracing these innate patterns could be the straightforward answer to enhancing productivity. Dr Breus has devised a quiz to facilitate a deeper comprehension of your sleep chronotype, offering a practical step towards leveraging your natural rhythms.

The four sleep chronotypes 

In his practice treating individuals with insomnia, Dr Breus observed varying circadian rhythms, leading him to coin the term “circadian rhythm personalities”.

He discovered that although a master biological clock governs everyone's brain, the timing and speed at which it operates can significantly vary from person to person.

Dr. Breus classified these variations into four distinct sleep chronotypes, each likened to animals that exhibit similar sleeping behaviors – namely, bears, lions, wolves, and dolphins.

Your circadian rhythm is essentially your brain's internal clock, guiding your sleep-wake cycle, whereas your chronotype pinpoints the specific times during the day when you're naturally more energetic and alert.

Which chronotype are you? 

Bear – Dr. Breus identified individuals as bears when their sleeping and waking habits align with the solar cycle. Those fitting the bear chronotype typically experience little difficulty sleeping and hit their peak productivity levels in the late morning. Does this describe your routine? A majority of individuals resonate with this group, sustaining their work efficiency throughout the day. Nevertheless, bears must be cautious of the potential drop in energy during the early afternoon.

Lion – Individuals who naturally wake up early are often categorized under the lion chronotype. These are the go-getters, waking before sunrise with energy to tackle the day. Typically, their productivity peaks in the early hours, but they might notice a decrease in energy as the day transitions to night.

Wolf – Wolves are the modern term for what were traditionally known as night owls. These individuals prefer the nighttime and find their peak productivity hours occur in the afternoon and evening, just as others begin to wind down.

Dolphin – Individuals who find it difficult to stay asleep, often waking during the night, might identify with the dolphin chronotype. Characterized by their tendency to overthink and worry, dolphins might find these thoughts disrupt their sleep. Typically, they are very smart and have a strong inclination towards perfectionism. Their peak productivity spans from late morning to early afternoon.

Attempting to alter your natural rhythm to match that of a lion, when you inherently align more closely with a wolf, may result in an uphill struggle against your genetic predispositions.

Take the quiz here to better understand your biological programming and discover which chronotype best fits you.

You can also watch Dr Breus’s Ted Talk here.

Whatever your type, our silky sleep masks can help you get a good night’s rest. Check out the range here.

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