Are you a Lark or an Owl? How to determine your chronotype and get a good night's sleep

Alina MilsentLife
How to adjust your sleep schedule

Traditionally, we know about two chronotypes: those who wake up early and go to bed early are Larks, and those who wake up late and go to bed late are Owls. Scientists say that chronotypes can change throughout life, and for better understanding, they have expanded their list.

Sleep chronotype can affect daily habits and routines. OBOZ.UA publishes a complete list of chronotypes and tells about the features of each of them.

Not only Owls and Larks

Adapting your daily routine to your body's needs can have a transformative effect on your quality of life. Thomas Høegh Reisenhus, a sleep specialist, noted that improving sleep quality can, in turn, improve cognitive function and have a number of other benefits.

It is believed that the sleep cycle is determined by the circadian rhythm, the body's internal clock.

Reisenhus explained that the chronotype depends on the following factors:

  • genetics
  • physiology
  • ecology and environment

Chronotype affects appetite, physical and mental performance, and body temperature.

"Every person's natural sleep schedule is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. The key to better sleep is to understand your chronotype," Reisenhus emphasized.

Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist, has popularized four chronotypes that are not mentioned in peer-reviewed medical research.

The "Lion" chronotype

Lions get up very early. They usually start their day around 5 a.m. and reach peak productivity between 8 a.m. and noon.

Lions love morning jogging and walking in the fresh air as it provides them with a healthy endorphin boost and stress reduction before the day starts. They also have enough time to prepare a healthy, nutrient-rich breakfast, which will help boost energy and improve concentration throughout the day.

However, the Lions also get exhausted quite early. They usually feel the urge to rest around 21:00.

Reisenhus suggests that those with this chronotype consider taking a 20-minute nap during the day when they have evening social plans or commitments.

The "Bear" chronotype

Bears are ruled by the sun. "Those with a Bear chronotype tend to follow the sun, getting up at 7 a.m. and going to bed around 10 p.m.," Reisenhus says. Their daily routine changes depending on the season.

The bears reach their highest level of productivity between 10:00 and 14:00. With this in mind, it becomes more difficult to coordinate their sleep cycle with sunrise and sunset in the fall/winter months when the days are shorter and it gets dark earlier. Reisenhus suggests buying a special "sunrise alarm clock" designed to mimic natural sunlight. The sun is one of the most important factors when it comes to regulating and maintaining the circadian rhythm of Bears.

The "Wolf" chronotype

The "Wolf" is the equivalent of a classic night owl, which can wake up around 12 noon.

"It's important to avoid late night drinking or snacking as this can affect your ability to get a good night's sleep," the expert said.

Wolves should avoid excessive dependence on sugary snacks at night and establish a diet. Athough wolves may go to bed early in the morning, the need for proper sleep hygiene is no less important when it comes to ensuring quality rest.

The "Dolphin" chronotype

Dolphins' sleep patterns can vary and may require some support to improve.

Dolphins sleep very sensitively, often have fragmented sleep patterns, and rarely follow a regular sleep schedule.

"As a rule, people with this chronotype wake up around 6 a.m. and are most productive between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. While they may try to fall asleep around 11 p.m., they may find it difficult to drift off to sleep and enjoy a good night's rest," Reisenhus said.

Useful tips

Although there is a natural internal biological clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, it can fluctuate with changes in life stages and in response to lifestyle, habits, and behaviors.

Just because you naturally identify with one sleep chronotype doesn't mean you can't adjust to a different schedule.

If you want to adjust your sleep routine, do so slowly, making 15-minute adjustments to your wake-up or bedtime every few days.

When adopting a new sleep routine, consider your daytime habits as routines affect concentration and alertness.

Tips for establishing a routine:

  • Try to stick to the same schedule every day
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine, especially six hours before bedtime
  • Walk outside during the day, especially if the weather is sunny
  • After waking up, do some exercises

Earlier, OBOZ.UA reported who, according to research, lives longer: Owls or Larks

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