Have you ever thought that your sleep pattern and your sleep cycle could be affected genetically? Have you ever wondered why you are a morning person or a night owl?
Have you ever wondered why some people are more productive when they have a morning routine while some find it so hard to maintain one? Have you ever questioned yourself why your productivity or energy levels are high and low at different times during the day?
The answer to all these questions lies with your sleep chronotype.
What is a sleep chronotype?
A chronotype is your genetically pre-determined sleep schedule. It dictates your body’s natural tendency to fall asleep and wake up at a certain time of the day.
The biological clock in our body, the circadian rhythms as it is called, is influenced by the presence of bright light and by the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the sleep hormone that is released in the body in the absence of light. This is why it is suggested to off your lights and screens an hour before you sleep. Because this makes the environment conducive to sleep and the secretion of melatonin happens rapidly making you fall asleep.
Usually, we only call people morning people or night owls. Not everyone sleeps with the sunsets. Chronotypes are what explain the scientific reasons behind them.
Chronotypes are dependent on three factors: Genetics, Environment, and Age. They influence your hormone levels, metabolic function, and body temperature. One cannot actively change their chronotype but chronotypes can change as our bodies change and our brain ages. This explains why many night owls become early birds in their later years.
When you know your chronotypes, you can understand how your body clock works. This allows you to synchronize it with your daily activities and work schedule to make the most of your awake hours. Your sleep chronotype defines your peak productivity times. This aids significantly in planning your day wisely.
What is your sleep chronotype?
There are four different chronotypes that determine your sleeping cycle. They are categorized as four different animals.
Ever used the word ‘spirit animal’? Would you want to know who is your spirit animal? Let’s check out:
Lions are at the top of the heap. They make the 15% of the population. People who rise early and go to bed early. These people are leaders, CEOs, and the COOs of companies, extremely charismatic and disciplined.
Lions are great with early morning exercises, jog or hiking.
The only limitation of being a lion is that they don’t get too involved socially which can be overcome if they exercise later during the day. This will keep them awake till late and they can enjoy a movie or dinner if they want to.
Peek productivity: As early risers, lions are at their best up until noon. Typically, lions complete their day by evening and easily fall asleep by 9 pm or 10 pm.
Bears are happy-go-lucky people, comprising 50% of the population. They are extroverted people with lots and lots of energy. Their energy levels are highest during the day. These are the people that get the work done.
They are super fun to hang out with and spend a great time.
Bears find it hard to keep a consistent exercise schedule. They find it hard to balance their sleep, their mood, and their weight.
They can cope with it by breaking their exercise schedule into 3 to 5 parts during the day. Each time, one can perform the exercise for 5 to 10 minutes to amplify their metabolism by following the sliding scale meal pattern.
They can start their morning with stretching followed by a heavy breakfast. They can do some exercise before their lunch, which is half in the quantity of the breakfast. Then, they can do some more exercise in the evening followed by some healthy snacks. Finally, they can wrap the day with little exercise again followed by dinner, half the quantity of the lunch.
Peak Productivity: Bears are the most productive before noon and are prone to their post-lunch dip aka post-lunch sleep between 2 pm and 4 pm.
Wolfs are the night owls. Like lions, they also make the 15% of the population. These people are creative. The artists, the actors and people belonging to other creative fields are usually wolfs.
Their sleep time begins after midnight.
The wolves usually don’t have the hunger to eat breakfast, but a protein-rich breakfast gives a good start to their day. Moving your body is extremely important. Hence, following breakfast with some sort of exercise is a good idea for a wolf.
Since these people usually skip breakfast, eating lunch in early afternoons is the way to seep in energy during the day. And, having late meals since they go to bed late makes more sense to them.
Having no screens and lightings one hour before bed is as ideal for wolfs as people with other sleep chronotypes.
Peak Productivity: Wolf’s peak productivity begins at noon and stays for up to 4 hours, i.e till 4 pm. They also get another boost around 6 pm. While others are done for the day, they can get a lot done in the closing hours of the day.
Dolphins represent people who have difficulty sleeping. They are like lions, they like to wake up early. But the anxiety keeps on humming them. They make 10% of the population. They are super intelligent, cautious of their surroundings and are very light sleepers.
Here are a few tips for all the dolphins out there to avoid nighttime anxiety:
- 5 minutes of movement after waking up
- Drink a big glass of water and eat a high-protein breakfast.
- Try morning meditation
Peak Productivity: Dolphins have their peak productivity between 10 am to 2 pm which is a great time to accomplish the given tasks for the day.
Your sleep chronotype, as we just saw, affects your productivity and your overall mood. Sleep is as important as other parameters of being healthy. This is why, our Wellness tracker, has a dedicated quadrant that helps you get a fulfilled sleep at your pace.
The 360Wellness app is built to improve your overall wellness. The sleep quadrant of the wellness tracker gives you recovery methods that help you to unwind and relax. So, what are you waiting for?
Go ahead download the 360Wellness app on your android or iOS to enjoy the benefits of a personalized sleep schedule.