Out of nowhere do you feel sleepy while your friends are ready to party? Do you feel like dozing off early while everyone else starts showing signs of an owl? If yes, then this article will help you in knowing why your schedule is different from others. Here, you would get to know what exactly is 'Chronotype and Sleep: How They Connect?' and and and, to your surprise, this different set of routines are because of your chronotype, which is the body's biological clock. It is going to be really interesting. So, glue yourself to this article to explore some exciting information and to know what is your chronotype!
For those who always wonder how their sleeping patterns are different from others will get to know some interesting pieces of information right below. Yes, it is a bit scientific but once you get to know about it, you will be amazed at it! Even interesting, chronotypes can also tell what profession or hobby can an individual perform! Don't believe it? Read below to know more about it.
What is a Chronotype?
It can be referred to as the natural tendency of the person to doze off or wake up at a fixed/particular time within 24 hours. Our body's clock works on the basis of the presence of light and the presence of melatonin. But for those who wake up till early mornings and sleep even before the night knocks the door, chronotype is the answer.
It may be called our genetic wake-sleep cycle. As per Dr. Michael Breus, who is also an author of the book 'The Power Of When' and who is also popularly addressed as the sleep doctor, chronotype is 'genetically predetermined sleep schedule.' It is strange to know that he believes having eight hours of sleep every night is a myth! It is because he says that every individual's sleep needs are different. After all, everyone sleeps as per the chronotypes. So, we can define them as-
"Chronotypes are biologically set rhythms internally."
How to Find your Chronotype?
It is said that study was done on chronotypes for the first time in the 1970s. From then till date, many ways have emerged to find the chronotypes of an individual. Some of the ways to find your chronotype can be-
- MEQ- Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire, developed by Olov Ostberg.
- MCTQ- Munich Chronotype Questionnaire, developed by Till Rosenberg.
- Apps and Books: Certain apps and books by sleep doctors or sleep experts can also help in finding our chronotypes.
Types of Chronotypes?
There are four types of chronotypes as follows-
- The Bear
- The Wolf
- The Lion
- The Dolphin
It might seem vague to see a list of animals here! But these aren't merely the names of some animals but the types of chronotypes. If we get to know what our chronotype is, we would get a fair idea of our wake up and sleep cycles. We would also utilize our times in the best ways possible. Also, we would be able to have a better, mentally and physically healthy life.
Explaining Different Chronotypes
To know what your chronotype is, you need to know all the four types of chronotypes in detail. Gear up to know you fall in which category, because this is gonna help you in making the most of the time you have otherwise.
- The Bear Chronotype: Usually people fall under this category. Such people find it easy to doze off and wake up, and walk along the lines of the sun. They sleep deeply and usually wish to stay healthy but may end up not following a healthy lifestyle and eating habits.
- The Dolphin Chronotype: One may call them insomniacs! They struggle to sleep and keep continuing with that sleep. Usually, their mornings aren't fresh and chirpy! Their cortisol and blood pressure levels remain flipped throughout the day and such people suddenly feel a flow of energy in the evening. They get easily disturbed due to light or noise so end up not having a complete and full sleep. But they may show nice productivity in the morning, not early though! It remains till the afternoon.
- The Lion Chronotype: People falling under this category wake up early with apt energy levels and also doze off to bed early with no energy left. They remain fine till the afternoon, with willingness to work and stay productive. But in the evening, it is difficult for them to pull through.
- The Wolf Chronotype: People who fall under this category usually wake up late and sleep late at night. They find it difficult to get up in the morning and show lethargy. However, if they get up at noon, they wake up energetic. It is interesting to know that such people don't desire food in the morning but show extreme hunger in the evenings. Even in the evening, they get charged up to do tasks. So, when everyone else feels like winding up, these people begin.
How to Increase Productivity Using Chronotype?
'What is your chronotype? 'Give it a thought! After reading the above mentioned types, you might have got a fair idea of which category you fall under. As discussed in the beginning, chronotypes can also help in letting us know the type of profession, nature, or basic habits of the individual. But as it is usually said, exceptions do exist! So, let us move further to get interesting information about it. Also, you can now figure out how to increase productivity using chronotypes.
The dolphins are usually perfectionists who would not even miss any point! Such people need to enhance their energy levels in the evening. To enhance productivity levels, these people should never fall into the trap of anxiety and stress in the evening. For that, meditation and yoga can be a solution. It is advised for these people to not take naps in the day but if wishing for breaks, just get up and go for a walk! Some aloners and detailers fall in this category.
Usually, the CEOs of the companies, the businessmen, or entrepreneurs fall under this category. Generally, these are optimistic people and may be introverts but showcase good leadership skills. Just because such people feel exhausted in the evenings, it is difficult for them to socialize. Therefore, their productivity phase is in the daytime. So, one must work in the day post waking up.
Such people are pessimists! Usually, termed as lazy, these people are moody and extroverts too. They can show productivity in the afternoon, after getting up for almost four hours. Also, in the evening, they might show some charged up energy levels.
People fall mostly under this category. These people are good to talk to and handle conversations well! Just because they work as per sun, so any type of work that calls them to stay up late will not work!
How to Work According to Chronotype?
Chronotypes help define when we eat, when we sleep, when we wake up, and when we show energy!
Benefits of Chronotype
- Helps Us Understand Stress: It helps us understand when we get anxious, when we get stressed, and when we are feeling low. It is because usually those who are awake till late, and find it difficult to get up in the morning may end up catching stress due to procrastination.
- Helps Us Know Our Sleep Time: It helps to identify our sleeping patterns so we may schedule things accordingly.
Sleep Hygiene for all Chronotypes
It is important for all types of chronotypes to maintain sleep hygiene to be able to cope up with daily life.
- Meditation: It is important to meditate to come out of anxiety, stress, and low times caused due to chronotypes. Meditation helps to relax the mind and let the sleep be deep for whatever time it is supposed to happen.
- Good Food: It is important to eat healthy and avoid fried food before sleeping. It may upset digestion and cause disruption while sleeping.
- No Alcohol: One must not consume alcohol. Any toxic substance, high intake of caffeine isn't good!
- Good Pillows: It is important to sleep on good bamboo pillows. These are soft, hypoallergenic, and breathable to let the sleep get disturbed. The ones offered by Sleepsia are highly recommended.
- Exercise: It is important to involve yourself in physical exercise or yoga. The time of yoga or exercise depends upon your chronotype and timings of sleep.
- Positive Thoughts: Try to remove all the negative thoughts from your mind. An optimistic approach towards life shall give you better peace and better coping mechanisms.
- Vitamin D: Natural sunlight is important for sleep. Try to consume vitamin D as much as you can.
- Balanced Meal: Just before we mentioned good food is important. But the food isn't supposed to be good only. The plate must have balanced meals. Each nutrient has its own benefit. An overall healthy body provides healthy sleep.
- Keep It Ventilated: Try to sleep in a ventilated area. Nothing is better for sleep than an area where air circulates. That's the reason one must sleep on breathable pillows. For those like dolphins, what is the use of sleeping in a suffocating and sweating area? Already they have a minimum amount of sleep.
We are sure after reading 'Chronotype and Sleep: How They Connect', you must be wondering what type you are! Keep thinking and keep sleeping on nice bamboo pillows to maintain sleep hygiene!