If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time falling asleep and waking up. Or maybe you jump out of bed in the morning ready to take on the day, only to find yourself ready to snooze by 2 p.m. But whether you’re a morning person or thrive at night, you likely fall into one of four types of sleeper. Find your sleep chronotype to get the best sleep of your life this New Year.
The four sleep chronotypes were developed by sleep expert and author Dr. Michael Breus, who then created a quiz to help people find where they fit. The types are broken down into animals: the Bear, the Wolf, the Lion, and the Dolphin. All four have distinct behaviors that can help outline how to sleep better and stay productive during the day. Take a look at how Breus categorizes each type and how it can help you get your best sleep yet.
Most people fit into this category, and it’s the reason why so many important tasks start early in the day. The bear is easily categorized as those who fall asleep and wake up with the sun. That means you like to get an early bedtime and wake up ready to get your day started. While you might experience a very productive morning, mid-afternoon can be a struggle for you. To get the most out of your day, Breus told MindBodyGreen that people who identify in this chornotype should schedule busy mornings to give themselves the chance to slow down productivity after lunch.
This chronotype tends to get about five full 90-minute sleep cycles, so if you want to wake up by 7 a.m., make sure you’re asleep before 11 p.m. This bedtime will give you the energy to get off to a roaring start the next morning.
While most people might be a bear, I’m more of a wolf. This chronotype thrives when allowed to sleep in and gets its biggest productivity boost in the late afternoon and evening. But unfortunately, most jobs and tasks have early start times, and we can’t sleep in as late as we’d like. To battle this, Breus recommends going to sleep before midnight, especially if it takes you 40 or so minutes to fall asleep (like me!). To combat grogginess in the morning, make sure to wake up and immediately hydrate. This will help let your body know it’s time to get active. And keep your mornings light while leaving the important tasks till after lunch, if you can.
Most of us who struggle to wake up early envy lions like no other. These are the types who can easily wake up at the crack of dawn and immediately get their day started, knocking out morning tasks like it’s nothing. But given the early start time, usually around 6:30 a.m., lions need a good bedtime routine that has them asleep as early as 10 p.m. And, just like bears, it’s good to pack your mornings and leave your afternoons light to get the best productivity.
If you don’t relate to the previous three, and you have trouble falling asleep and waking up, then you’re likely a dolphin. Dolphins struggle with a consistent sleep schedule and tend to catch their rest whenever they manage to fall asleep, sometimes being forced to wake up before they’re ready. That means you might feel bone-deep tired during the day, then find yourself suddenly active and alert at night right before bed. It can be really frustrating!
To combat this, try to schedule in breaks throughout your day to recharge. That could mean a quick power nap, which sounds easier said than done. If you can’t squeeze in a quick shut eye, try meditation routines or even stepping away from important tasks and let your brain focus on something easier for a few minutes. The burst of energy in the late day means you probably can’t focus in the morning, so follow the schedule of a wolf and leave the important tasks till late afternoon.
Whether you’re a bear, a wolf, a lion, or a dolphin, knowing how your body reacts to rest and productivity is the secret to better sleep and more energy throughout the day.