Sleep Chronotypes and Their Animal Names

I’d never heard of the concept of sleep chronotypes until this week. I don’t know if they’re truly widely accepted by the medical community, but I found that reading about them – and the animal names they’re given to represent them – was absolutely fascinating.  Because of that, I thought I’d share the concept with you so you can have a look into it as well in case it interests you as much as it does me.

What Are Sleep Chronotypes

What are Sleep Chronotypes?According to a lovely MindBodyGreen article that I found broke it all down very well, sleep chronotypes are essentially the patterns that our bodies follow to get the rest we need.  There are four different categories that describe the type of sleeper we are.  The reason that these categories are meant to be helpful is that by identifying how our bodies naturally get rest, we can make some changes to our lifestyles to optimize our daily schedules and get the best possible rest quality.

What Are the 4 Categories?

These four sleep chronotypes are determined by the way our natural circadian rhythm (our body’s sleeping and waking clock) functions. This circadian rhythm determines when we have energy throughout the day and/or night, and when we are the most ready for quality sleep.

The four categories are named after animals and are known as: bears, lions, wolves and dolphins. Since that doesn’t really say too much to those of us hearing the terms for the first time, here is a quick breakdown of each one so you can decide which one most likely fits your natural inclinations to be energized or restful.

Which of the Sleep Chronotypes Best Describes You?

Here are the four sleep chronotypes as I understand them. There are lots of great sources of further information if you feel like digging in up to your elbows to learn more about the specific one that represents you.

  • Bears – If you sleep like a bear, it means that your schedule is essentially aligned with the sun. Your most productive time is in the morning.
  • Lions – If you’re the type of person whose sleep is like a lion, it means you’re an early riser and are most productive during the hours shortly after starting your day.
  • Wolves – People who sleep like wolves prefer to wake up later in the day. Your most productive times are in the afternoon and/or into the evening hours.
  • Dolphins – Dolphins are less consistent than the other groups. You typically struggle to fall asleep and to wake up if you’re a dolphin. Your most productive time tends to be in around midday.

The most common sleep chronotype is bears, but it’s more than possible that you could fall into one of the other groups.  If you find that one of these descriptions resonates with you, I’d recommend looking into recommendations for schedules that will work best for you. It’s true that we can’t all change our entire schedules and still continue going to school or remaining employed. Still, there are some tweaks that we can make to our bedtimes, when we eat, and other daily habits that can allow us to get more rest and to squeeze more out of our most naturally productive hours.

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