Most of us can identify a particular sleep type or chronotype, although we’ve never done it before. Your chronotype, divided into four categories, is based on your biological clock and indicates when you should sleep. Whether you go to bed before sunrise or wake up with roosters. Also, chronotypes give you information about all your essential daily activities, such as eating, working, exercising, and socializing.
What is sleep chronotype?
A chronotype is a person’s circadian (24-hour) typology or individual differences in morning and evening activity and alertness. Certified sleep science coach Eva Cohen of Kansas-Sleep says, “Knowing your chronotype shows you how your biological clock works and how to make the most of your time. It can help you understand how to synchronize it with your daily activities and tasks.” he explains. Cohen says your chronotype defines when you’re most productive and allows you to plan your day wisely.
To find your sleep type, you can examine the chronotype types, which are divided into four categories: bear chronotype, wolf chronotype, lion chronotype, and dolphin chronotype.
Most people fall into the bear chronotype category among sleep types. This means that the sleep and wake cycle occurs relative to the sun. Cohen says bear chronotypes wake up quickly and typically fall asleep without issue. Productivity appears best before noon, and those in this category tend to nap between 2 and 4 pm.
The wolf sleep chronotype often has difficulty waking up in the morning. Cohen says wolf chronotypes feel more energized when they wake up at noon, especially since their peak productivity starts around noon and ends after about 4 hours. Wolf chronotypes re-energize around 6 pm and can complete many tasks while everyone else is exhausted.
Unlike wolves, lion chronotypes like to get up early in the morning. “They can easily wake up before dawn, and their productivity will be at its highest at noon,” Cohen says. Says. Typically, lion chronotypes settle in the evening and fall asleep around 9–10 pm.
You might be a dolphin if you have trouble following any sleep schedule. “People with the dolphin chronotype often don’t get enough sleep due to their sensitivity to different irritating factors such as noise and light,” says Cohen. Says.
So what’s the good news? They have the highest productivity range from 10 am to 2 pm, a great time to get things done.
Why should we know our chronotype?
Identifying your chronotype can give you insight into your sleep and wake cycles and peak productive times.
It helps you understand when you fall asleep. Some of its advantages are as follows:
According to one study, evening chronotypes typically have timed sleep patterns 2 to 3 hours later than morning chronotypes.
It helps you to observe your eating habits.
Knowing your chronotype can also help you monitor your eating habits. A review of the link between chronotype, diet, and cardiometabolic health found that, as with wolf chronotypes, an evening chronotype was associated with a greater intake of energy drinks, alcoholic, sugary and caffeinated beverages, and more energy from fat, while consuming less fruit and vegetables.
It helps you understand the connection between sleep-wake time and mental health.
Another review found a link between people with the evening chronotype and a range of negative mental health issues, such as depression, compared with people who identify with their morning chronotype.
What is my chronotype?
You can learn more about a chronotype of yours.
According to a study, your chronotype depends on various factors, including genetics, environment, age, and gender. The researchers also reported that older adults identified more with the morning chronotype, while teenagers and young adults tended to adhere to the evening type. Regarding gender differences, they found that men were more likely to be associated with evening chronotypes, perhaps due to endocrine factors.
How do I use sleep chronotype information?
Identifying and understanding your chronotype and sleep cycles can help you increase your waking time and productivity and help you sleep better at night. SleepScore Consultant and co-director of the Washington Medical University Sleep Center, Dr. Nate Watson, says most people are neither morning nor evening when it comes to sleep and chronotypes. In other words, they fall into the “none” category. This means that their sleep should not be affected. However, he points out that people with the evening type will desire to go to bed and wake up later than the morning type.
While chronotypes are primarily stable, Watson says exposure to light in the morning can help an evening type fall asleep sooner. Exposure to light in the evening can help morning types sleep later.
Additionally, Watson says, evening chronotypes may work best in jobs that do not require an early morning start or in careers that have flexibility in when work is done. Morning chronotypes may work best in traditional clocks.
“Sleep is best when it occurs predominantly at night, regardless of chronotype,” Watson says. Says. “I recommend that both chronotypes (morning and evening) listen to their bodies and go to bed when they feel tired and get up when they feel rested,” he says.
As a result
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your physical and mental health.
Identifying and understanding how your chronotype affects your sleep and wake times can help you maximize your productivity, learn about your health, and learn new ways to improve your sleep quality.