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What Type of Sleeper Are You?

 Dr Michael Breus, author of 'The Power of When' calls himself the sleep doctor. He has a practice in Los Angeles and guides his clients and readers in understanding their chronotype: their biological predisposition to be a morning person, an evening person, or somewhere in between. Each chronotype takes the form of an animal: a bear, lion, wolf or dolphin - and explains the ideal daily routine for each. Want to know what yours is? Take the quiz here

Learning what your chronotype is and the best schedule that goes with it not only improves your sleep, it can improve your health, happiness and productivity. It encourages you to make changes like waiting until mid-morning to drink your coffee and putting away screens in the hour before bed. What's more? According to The New York Times' Emily Laber-Warren, organizations around the world are starting to recognize the importance of chronobiology and let employees craft their schedules around when they work best. Once you learn to adapt to the changes, you are likely to reap the benefits. 

So, read through the information below, and determine whether you are a bear, lion, wold or dolphin:

 
Bears:
sleeping behavior
Half the world's population is bear. This means that they are generally good sleepers and their body clock tracks the rise and fall of the sun. The ideal day for a bear starts at 7 am. They should eat a high-protein breakfast soon after waking and shouldn't consume caffeine until about 90 minutes after they got out of bed. At work, tasks that require lots of focus and concentration are best tackled in the morning. Meanwhile, creative tasks are better saved until the afternoon. Instead of an early dinner, bears are better off exercising at around 6 pm and eating a relatively light meal afterward, using the hours before bedtime to wind down.  
Lions: 
sleeping behavior
According to Breus, many people have the 'lion envy' this means that they want to be the type of person who naturally wakes up and gets going early. However, what many lions don't tell you is that their energy starts flagging in mid-workday. Lions should eat and hydrate when they wake up, before planning the rest of their day. The morning is best spent on analytical tasks, and the afternoon on brainstorming and journaling, or other creative activities. The best time for a lion to exercise is at about 5 pm, and should aim to hit the hay around 10 pm. 
Wolves:
sleeping behavior
Stereotypically, wolves are night owls, which means that they have a hard time starting work at 9 am. Wolves should aim to kick start their day with breakfast around 8 am, then get some physical activity outside. Coffee should be taken at around 11 am. Wolves don't typically hit their mental peak until later in the day. They should spend the morning planning the rest of their day and gathering their thoughts. The late afternoon is ideal for wolves to meet with coworkers, or to present any ideas to their boss since they are naturally more energetic at this point. Dinner is best taken at 8 pm - though alcohol is best avoided at this time, and can interfere with going to sleep around midnight. 
Dolphins:
sleeping behavior

Dolphins tend to be diagnosed with insomnia as they often have trouble sleeping. It is best that dolphins fit their exercise in first thing in the morning, before eating a high protein breakfast. The morning should be spent on brainstorming, or thinking big-picture. In the afternoon, they are likely to see their energy rise. This point is best for doing research or other tasks that require deep concentration. In the hours between dinner and bedtime - about 7 to midnight, this should be a time for the dolphin to wind down and shut off screens. 

The key here is to not fight your internal rhythms but work with them as much as possible, instead of getting frustrated that you cannot hop out of bed at 5 am to run six miles. So, always find a time that works better for you. While it won't be easy, it will most definitely be worth your time. 
 

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