You know those times at work where you can barely keep your eyes open, but feel everyone else is cracking on? Or when you’re just getting going at a party, but your mate is ready to call it a night? Well, the key to these mysteries may lie in learning what your ‘sleep animal’ is; according to Sleep Doctor, Dr. Michael Breus, once you know yours, you can better understand your health, wellbeing, and productivity.
In his book ‘The Power of When’, Dr. Breus categorizes individuals into four chronotypes (internal body clock cycles) which include the bear, dolphin, wolf, and lion. He has formulated a diagnostic quiz to determine which sleep animal you are. Your chronotype will tell you what time of day is best for your creativity and when you should ideally eat, sleep and exercise to get the best result. It claims to show you how to work with your body and reach your potential.
The demands of work appear to be increasing for everyone. At the same time, the daily patterns of work—the how and especially the when and where—are growing more diverse. So, based on Dr. Breus’ quiz, The French Bedroom Company have put together a flowchart to help you determine your sleep animal and start the journey to better optimizing your life, check it out below!
You’re a Dolphin!
You’re part of just 10% of the population who class themselves as ‘Dolphins’.
The dolphin chronotype is usually associated with those who suffer from insomnia or who have a low sleep drive. They’re highly intelligent perfectionists who may often be stressed and anxious. At work, they’re fiercely independent and excel at problem-solving.
Dolphins should hit the hay later than most, practicing yoga or meditation for relaxation to avoid that awful feeling of lying in bed without being able to drift off to sleep. Dr Breus says that dolphins should get their heads down at around 11.30pm.
You’re a Bear!
Bears are the most common chronotypes; about 50% of the population identifies as ‘Bears’.
“Bears like to get their seven to eight hours, but they’ll hit snooze a few times in the morning,” Dr. Breus explains, taking on their trickiest tasks between 10 am and 12 pm. They should also take a nap in the afternoon, although this might not be acceptable if you’re working a 9-5 shift!
According to Dr. Breus, a bear is an outgoing, “team-player.” Their people skills are on-point, so they make great managers.
You’re a Lion!
You’ve joined around 15%-20% of the population as a ‘lion’. Lions are early risers and are full of energy in the morning, raring to take on the day, but they run out of steam when early evening rolls around.
Those in the lion category should wake early (around 5.30am); “they’re optimistic goal-setters and get-it-done people,” says Dr. Breus. He adds that they’re also leaders with analytical minds. They often take on leadership positions, but they don’t take risks.
You’re a Wolf!
Not a morning person, but thrive in the evening? You, along with 15%-20% of the population, could well be a wolf.
Wolves usually get up between 7 and 7.30am, after staying up late the night before, using two alarms to break the surface of sleep.
People describe wolves as fearless, Dr. Breus explains. They view the world through an intuitive lens and they’re totally fine with being awake when most people are deep in their dreams. Risky situations are where they feel most at home, so they’ll often act on impulse. You’ll find them working in creative fields like the arts.
Regardless of what your sleep animal is, you still need a good night’s sleep!
About the author: Joseph Kiely is a Digital Marketing Executive at Return.