We all have a sleep cycle or body clock, known as a ‘chronotype’. Some follow the classic ‘early to bed, early to rise’ cycle, waking up at the crack of dawn and going to sleep when the sun goes down (click here for early bird wake-up tips.) Others are quintessential night owls – up all night and asleep until noon. But did you know there are two more sleep cycles? Knowing your chronotype can help you channel energy at times that best suit your body’s natural waking period, when creativity and performance levels are at their peak. So, which one is yours? Let’s find out together.
Getting to know the 4 chronotypes:
Each chronotype is named after an animal that mirrors similar sleeping behaviour in nature. Start exploring to crack your chrono-code!
Lion types generally wake between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM, full of energy and raring to go! Your colleagues who are first to arrive in the office? Yes, they’re likely this type. Just like their animal counterpart, lions tend to be most productive before noon, often needing a power nap in the afternoon to recharge. Come evening, they usually feel drained, and conk out before 10:00 PM. People with the lion chronotype (about 15-20% of the population) are typically charismatic leaders with an A-type personality, and like to start their day with a gym sesh followed by their most demanding work tasks.
Productivity tip for lions: Try to avoid working late in the afternoons, and rather take time for yourself to recoup.
Exercise tip for lions: Opt for workouts in the early morning before everyone else wakes up, or in the late afternoon to give yourself an energy boost.
Sleep tip for lions: You need your rest – aim to get eight hours of sleep per night.
Wolf types sleep all day and party all night. (Okay, they don’t always party.) They can work all night too, as their creativity and productivity levels are best after the sun goes down. Like wolves in the wild, people with this sleep cycle have difficulty waking when the sun is up – often hitting the snooze button several times before getting out of bed. Creative souls, wolves are happy to go to sleep well past midnight, which can spur on their most inspired work. About 15-20% of the population are wolves, and they are usually introverted and reserved in nature. An ideal day for a wolf might look like this: Wake at 9:00 AM, complete creative work between 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM, and again from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, and then sleep at 12:00 AM. But we all know typical office hours don’t accommodate this kind of sleep cycle, so many wolves have to adjust to waking and sleeping a little earlier.
Productivity tip for wolves: If you’re feeling behind on your work, burn the midnight oil – because you can.
Exercise tip for wolves: Your late bedtime is conducive to nighttime exercise – rather workout in the late evenings.
Sleep tip for wolves: Wolves generally don’t need as much sleep as lions. Aim to get around 7 hours of sleep per cycle.
Bear types rise and sleep with the sun, so they usually form a stable sleep schedule. Like their namesake, bears like a lot of sleep (around 8 hours) and are most productive in the late morning and early afternoon. Forming around 55% of the population, bears are the vast majority – which explains why typical working hours are from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. People of this type are typically extroverts with bundles of energy for social interaction. You know that bubbly colleague who’s always got a story to share? That’s a bear for you. If you think you share this chronotype – see if you relate to this typical day in the life of a bear: Wake at 7:00 AM, do deep-focus work between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, and hit the hay at 11:00 PM.
Productivity tip for bears: Schedule your meetings for the late morning when you’re most alert.
Exercise tip for bears: We get that you don’t always feel like exercising – so schedule your workouts for late evening and commit yourself to a routine.
Sleep tip for bears: What bear doesn’t like to hibernate? Try to get 8 hours of sleep per night (no more, no less, otherwise sleepy bears are at risk of forming irregular sleep patterns.)
Dolphin types are rather unfortunate in that they battle to fall asleep and remain asleep, so are usually tired throughout the day. They are classic insomniacs, much like the creature of the sea that sleeps with one part of its brain at a time. Those with the dolphin cycle tend to sleep in bursts, and experience creativity and productivity in bursts too. These individuals are typically highly intelligent creatives with scatterbrained tendencies. More introverted in nature, dolphins can appear aloof and distant in social interaction. The sporadic nature of their sleeping patterns means they are accustomed to getting less sleep – so only require about 6 hours to function. Making up only 10% of the population, dolphins find their main resting period between 12:00 AM and 6:30 AM.
Productivity tip for dolphins: Remember to take mental breaks throughout the day to recharge.
Exercise tip for dolphins: Because you are a restless sleeper, wake up and exercise to start your day off on a good note. Try yoga or meditating in the late evenings to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Sleep tip for dolphins: Of all the chronotypes, dolphins need the least amount of sleep. As mentioned earlier, aim for 6 hours of shut-eye as a minimum.
Be the master of your chronotype
Once you know your chronotype, you can manage your sleep cycle to make the most of your peak productivity hours. And to ensure your best sleep yet, why not top things off with a memory-foam Meelu Mattress? Get in touch with us for more information.