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Understand Your Chronotype for Better Sleep and Productivity


Everyone has an internal ‘clock’ that dictates when the best times to do things like work, eat, sleep, and wake up are for them.

As you’ve probably noticed, there can be a huge difference in how you feel during the day based on factors like when you go to bed and when you get up. 

So, when you wake up groggy for no clear reason, the issue might come from your body not being in sync with your master clock.

When you’re out of sync, you’re likely to wake up feeling less alert and more tired – even if you had a full night of sleep! 

That’s why understanding your chronotype and adjusting your bedtime accordingly can dramatically change your day for the better.

This post will help you learn more about your chronotype to improve the quality of your sleep so you can boost your productivity and overall health.

What is a Chronotype? 

First things first: A chronotype is the circadian rhythm or internal ‘clock’ that each one of us has. It regulates your body’s activity, alertness, and sleep patterns. 

Since everyone is different, chronotypes vary from one person to another. This is why some people do their best work early in the morning and other people feel more alert late at night. 

In your case, you may have noticed that you wake up feeling livelier when you sleep and wake up at a particular time. But if you sleep earlier or later, you wake up feeling less energetic.

This is tough because a lack of energy can really affect everything from your work goals to your mood.

The good news? With some tweaks to your schedule, it’s possible to dramatically improve your energy levels. 

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the different chronotype categories.

Chronotypes are classified into the following four categories:

  • Bear
  • Wolf
  • Dolphin
  • Lion

If your chronotype is the bear, you follow the solar cycle, meaning you have no problem sleeping at night and waking up early in the morning when the sun rises. People in this category tend to be super productive and have the most energy during the morning hours. But, they slow down as the afternoon approaches.


Those who belong to the wolf category are more active during the night. As their counterparts hit low energies in the evening, these individuals experience a burst of energy, which keeps them going until late in the night. On the flip side, though, wolves find it difficult to wake up early.


If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you probably belong in the dolphin category. Dolphins sleep cautiously, with one part of their brains awake while the other half rests. So, you’re likely to sleep sporadically with the best bits of sleep coming between midnight and 6 a.m. 


Finally, the lion is happy to wake up early. Individuals who fall in this group wake up early and accomplish a lot before lunchtime. Their energy levels drop drastically in the afternoon, and they may need a power nap to recharge.

How can you figure out your chronotype?

Now that you have a better understanding of the four chronotypes, you probably have a clue about the category you belong to. But if you’re still unsure based on the descriptions above, don’t worry. You can always take a chronotype quiz to be sure. 


Once you know your chronotype, here’s a challenge: For two weeks, try going to bed, getting up, and doing your most important work according to your chronotype. Keep track of how you feel during this time. 

Are you more alert? Do you feel more rested? Are you able to get a lot more done on a daily basis than before?

Changing your schedule can be hard at first, so give yourself some time to get used to doing things differently. You might discover that switching things up makes a world of difference in your life. 

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