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Understanding Sleep Chronotypes: Are You an Early Bird or a Night Owl?

Many of us are familiar with the age-old idioms of being an “early bird” or a “night owl.” Simba, the sleep tech firm, has created a quiz that allows us to find out our individual sleep patterns through a concept known as sleep chronotypes. These chronotypes categorize people into four primary sleep animal types: Bears, Lions, Dolphins, and Wolves. Try out the quiz, find out which sleep animal you are and then learn to manage your sleep patterns.

These sleep animals correspond to distinct sleep chronotypes, reflecting our individual circadian rhythms—our internal body clocks. This can be influenced by several factors including things such as light exposure, meal times and your daily physical activity.

Hormones have a lot to do with things. The amount of melatonin which your body naturally produces has a big influence as it’s responsible for sleepiness. If you’re more sensitive to melatonin then it’s likely you’ll be more of a night owl.

Unfortunately genetics also have something to do with it which you can’t really change. Specific genes have been identified by scientists which highlight a preference for late and early sleep patterns so if your parents are early risers then it’s likely you will be too. Although that’s potentially a nature versus nurture debate to pick up elsewhere.

Your environment and lifestyle can have a huge impact on sleep. I personally found that switching to a king size mattress worked wonders for my comfort at night time. Your working patterns, social activities and lifestyle habits will affect your sleep pattern. People who are exposed to natural light throughout the day are more likely to be early birds.

Each chronotype has its unique set of characteristics and preferences allowing you to discover when you are most alert and energetic during the day.

  • Dolphins are often light sleepers who might struggle with insomnia. They tend to be more alert during the morning and early afternoon.
  • Lions, on the other hand, are the quintessential early risers. They have abundant morning energy but may experience early evening fatigue.
  • Bears tend to follow the natural rhythm of the sunrise and sunset. They are the eight-hour sleepers, generally aligning with the conventional workday schedule.
  • Wolves are the night owls, struggling to wake up early in the morning. They find their peak energy and alertness during the late afternoon and evening.

Understanding your sleep animal can provide insight into determining your most optimal times for various activities, such as eating, working, exercising, and consuming substances like coffee or alcohol. All of this will help you to get more sleep which is essential for your health and well-being.

Creating a consistent sleep schedule – Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help your body adjust to a regular sleep-wake cycle. This will make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

You’ll be able to identify sleep problems (if you aren’t already aware of them) – do you have trouble getting to sleep at night? Or perhaps struggle to wake up in the morning? Maybe you have trouble staying asleep and have restless nights?

Knowing your sleep chronotype can help you create a sleep-friendly environment. For example wether you should avoid bright lights and loud noises in the evening or in the morning. This will ultimately help you create an environment that is conducive to sleep.

Take the sleep chronotype animal quiz to find out more about yourself and receive invaluable self-improvement advice.

Last Updated on 6 months by Lavania Oluban

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