Chronobiology is a field of biology that studies the internal clocks of living organisms. A chronotype, then, is a biological predisposition to be a morning person, an evening person or somewhere in between. According to Michael J. Breus, PhD, and sleep doctor to the stars (like Oprah) in his book, The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype—and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds and More, there are four chronotypes: Lions, dolphins, wolves and bears. Take this quick quiz to find out which one you are, but first, a little more background.
What Do the 4 Chronotypes Mean?
You can learn more about your specific chronotype after taking the quiz below, but in general:
- Lions wake up early with lots of energy.
- Dolphins are light sleepers who are often diagnosed with insomnia.
- Wolves are most energetic in the evenings.
- Bears need a full eight hours of sleep every night.
Why Does My Chronotype Matter?
First and foremost, understanding your chronotype can help you tailor your schedule to your natural circadian rhythm so you’re not swimming upstream when it comes to productivity (more on that later). In addition to the sleep and schedule-related implications, some research suggests that the different chronotypes also correlate to specific personality traits and can even have an impact on physical health. For example, this 2007 study published in Personality and Individual Differences concluded that evening types score higher than early birds when it comes to creative thinking, while morning people are more likely to be extraverted, agreeable, conscientious and generally healthier—or so says this 2017 study published in SAGE Open.
Bottom line: Your chronotype can have an impact on your personality, sleep behavior and general health…and while there’s not much you can do about it, you can make small changes to ensure that you and your chronotype are living in harmony.