Are you an owl, burning the midnight oil and cursing your alarm each morning? Or are you a fowl, struggling to keep your eyes open past 9pm but happily leaping out of bed at 6am? Each of us has a definite preference for sleep time, which would quickly emerge if our busy schedules permitted. Our natural biological clock, without the stress and interruption of our daily routine, would happily and rapidly fall into a natural sleep pattern.
Sleep specialist and clinical psychologist Dr Michael Breus, in his book The Power of When, considers rather than just owl and fowl, there are four types of chronotypes: bear, lion, wolf and dolphin, which are responsible for your sleep/wake cycle. He believes that once you have determined your chronotype, with a few minor adjustments to your programme, you will be back in sync with your body clock. You will have unlocked the secret to not only the best time to hop in and out of bed but also to eat, work and make merry!
Bears – Describing 50% of the population, this group are a thoughtful and easy-going bunch that dislike conflict, enjoy routine and sleep. They are slow to wake and are most productive late morning. Best sleep time 11 pm – 7am.
Lions - This hard working and practical crew account for 20% of us. Energised and sociable, lions are naturally early risers, active and practical. They love a ‘to do’ list and will have it mostly completed by lunch. Best sleep time 10pm - 5:30 - 6am
Wolves – Accounting for another 20% of us, this crowd are the risk takers and pleasure seekers. Struggling to wake before midday, nocturnal wolves are imaginative, spontaneous characters that thrive late in the day. Best sleep time Midnight – 7:30am
Dolphins – Cautious, intelligent and at times neurotic, dolphins are a small group. They are generally light sleepers, often diagnosed with insomnia. Perfectionists that love the fine print, dolphins work best in sporadic bursts throughout the day. Best sleep time 11:30pm – 6:30am
Take the quiz on Dr. Breus' website to find out what your chronotype is https://thepowerofwhenquiz.com.