What Are Sleep Chronotypes? Everyone is wired differently; that’s why we have morning people and people who loathe mornings to the core. It is because we all have different circadian rhythms. In the study of animals, the term chronotype describes the sleep patterns and time for regular activities of an animal. However, it is not just a matter of the time of sleep and waking; the human body has a natural clock that regulates numerous activities and behaviors. Think of it as internal biological clocks that are set differently. It is a genetic predisposition that affects all primal instincts.
How Do They Work?
Chronotypes are genetically pre-determined and are particularly associated with the PER3 gene. They are dependent on your natural clock and circadian rhythms. Your PER3 gene also determines the amount of sleep you need.
Are Morning People Superior?
People usually assume that morning people are more productive. This is a misleading misconception which has no scientific proof. People with different chronotypes can be equally productive. They just have different schedules.
Recent research argues that there are four different circadian rhythm personalities or chronotypes all likened to the sleeping behavior of different mammals instead of the customary two chronotypes associated with birds. The Chronotypes are Lion, Bear, Dolphin, and Lion.
These are the people we refer to as “good sleepers”. Almost half of the world’s population have the bear chronotype. Their natural clocks track the solar cycle. This means that their sleeping tendencies are connected to the rise and fall of the sun. They do not have trouble getting sleep at night and usually have a good 8 hours of sleep. Their productivity is high in the morning and dips towards mid-afternoon.
They represent nearly a fifth of the global population. They start their days later than others. These are your customary late-comers. They are what people like to call night owls because they depict nocturnal traits. Their productivity peaks in the middle of the day when most people have already logged off. Traditional workday doesn’t favor wolves. People with this type of chronotype tend to be creatives; coders, artists, writers, etc.
Another fifth of the world’s population is lions. They fall into the early bird stereotype. Being able to wake up early without the need of an alarm clock is an enviable trait. They naturally go to sleep early and wake up very early due to their action-packed mornings. Their work rate and efficiency is very high in the morning and dwindles as mid-day approaches.
Making about a tenth of the earth’s population are the dolphins. They are light sleepers and usually have a difficult time getting sleep. Their brains are always active, and they never get enough sleep because turning their brains off often proves to be a difficult task. Even if or when they manage to nod off, they wake up feeling unrefreshed. Don’t be fooled though dolphins are intelligent and most of them tend to be perfectionists. Sadly, most of them are insomniacs.
Understanding the various sleep chronotypes is important if you want to get better sleep.