Have you ever found that you are on a different schedule than others around you? Maybe you never feel awake before noon, or still yawning when your friends are ready for dinner. If you want to figure out the reason, you’d better get to know your chronotype or your body’s biological clock.
What Is a Chronotype?
A chronotype is a person’s individual differences in activity or alertness in the morning and evening. Simply to say, your chronotype dictates your body’s natural tendency to fall asleep and wake up at a certain time of day.
Though we all need sleep, usually we don’t follow the same sleep. The chronotype is dependent on three factors which are genetic, environmental, and age-related factors. It will influence your hormone levels, metabolic function, and body temperature.
Paying attention to your sleep habits and cycles and learning more about your chronotype can help you get better control of your sleep schedule and make it easier to get healthy rest at night.
What are the 4 Chronotypes?
There are 4 types of chronotypes named the bear, wolf, lion, and dolphin chronotype.
- Bear: Bears are middle-of-the-road types which most people fall into this category. People with bear chronotypes often sleep and wake up according to the sun, and their productivity is the highest before noon.
- Wolf: Wolves are nighttime types. People in this type have trouble waking up in the morning, and their productivity is at its peak during the afternoon.
- Lion: Lions are usually morning types, and they are easily wake up before dawn while fall asleep by 10 pm in the evening. Usually, they have their best productivity before noon.
- Dolphin: Dolphins are difficult sleepers who often don’t get enough sleep because of their sensitivity to noise and light. But usually, they get their best productivity between 10 am to 2 pm.
Circadian Rhythms vs. Chronotypes
Our previous post mentioned circadian rhythm disorder (link), which indicates a person with an abnormal sleep-wake cycle. Circadian rhythms are biological cycles that coordinate vital mental and physical functions such as sleep and hunger.
While your chronotype dictates your body’s tendency to sleep and wake up, and it is usually the reason why certain people tend to stay up until sunrise while others nod off before going to bed.
However, they usually work together to regulate your internal system. Your chronotype can influence your body’s melatonin production which is usually produced in the evening and ceased in the morning. When your sleep routine is impacted by your chronotype to the point of preventing day-to-day functionality, it leads to a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.
How does Chronotype affect your sleep?
There are numerous benefits to knowing your chronotype, and it can provide you insights into your sleep and wake cycles and your productivity.
- Understand your sleep time and peak productivity period: to identify which chronotype you have, you can schedule your time more easily.
- Track eating habits: each chronotype has different eating habits. Such as wolves usually pursue a lower intake of fruits and vegetables but a higher intake of energy drinks.
- Find the connection between sleep-wake time and mental health. Numerous findings indicate that there are connections between different chronotypes and mental health. For instance, evening chronotypes are prone to get depression than morning ones.
Since we cannot change out chronotypes, you can learn how to regulate your internal clock and improve your sleep quality. It is not wise to work against our natural wiring, and if you are constantly struggling to get good sleep and suffering from insomnia, you’d better talk to your doctor about the problem.
Moreover, numerous sleep apps can help you calm down and learn your personal circadian clock, such as ShutEye, which can help you get rejuvenate sleep at night and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to both your physical and mental health. Being able to identify and understand your chronotype can help you gain insight into your health and work productivity, as well as to learn new ways to improve your sleep quality.
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