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4 Different types of chronotypes, dolphin, lion, bear, lion

How Chronotype Affects Your Sleep

How Chronotype Affects Your Sleep

Do you know how your chronotype can affect your sleep? Fist, do you know your chronotype? If not, go take the quiz here to learn which chronotype you are. After the quiz you can watch a short video from the author of The Power of When, explaining your chronotype. Don’t worry, there’s no pressure to buy anything! Be sure to come back when you’re finished to learn more about your chronotype and how it can affect your sleep. 

What is a chronotype? A chronotype is a manifestation of your body’s unique circadian rhythms for hormones, sleep, hunger, etc. and your personality. Using chronotypes, you can better adjust your schedule to optimize your daily routine, including your sleep routine. Maybe you’re wondering why your partner, friend, family member can easily wake up at early hours while you’re feeling energized late into the evening. Knowing your chronotype, you can figure out how to make your circadian rhythms work for you so you can get the right amount of rest you need when you need it. 

Scroll to the bottom for a sample daily schedule for your chronotype! 

Tips for All Chronotypes from Dr. Chan:

  1. Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day. Take note of when you are the most fatigued and when you are most productive and energized.
  2. Identify your ideal sleep time.  Remember to account for at least 8 hours of sleep.
  3. Use up your energy during the day. Do enough physical activity to feel tired by the end of the day.
  4. Allow for some wind-down  time. Reduce bright light exposure at least 2-3 hours before sleep. 
  5. Set a work time. Identify your peak energy and productivity timings. Schedule the most important work/activities during these times.
Bear chronotype

If you’re a bear, congratulations on being part of the most heavily-represented chronotype with 55% of the population classifying as bears. However, since this is the largest chronotype, there tends to be more hybrids and variety within it. So don’t be surprised if you find your circadian rhythms falling in between a lion-bear, dolphin-bear, or wolf-bear. 


Bears are often extroverted, social butterflies. Easy to talk to and open-minded. Bears like to get things done and often make great managers. 

Sleeping Patterns: 

Bears have a strong internal clock that tracks with the sun, meaning you wake moderately early with energy to start your day and naturally settle down for rest when the sun goes down. Make sure to get a full 8 hours of rest, as this amount of sleep helps bear thrive during the day. 

Famous Bears: 

Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen King

Wolf chronotype

If you’re a wolf, you are truly howling at the moon most nights. Wolves represent 15-20% of the population. 


Wolves tend to be more introverted, but also risk-takers. Wolves are creative and think out of the box, with their creativity higher at night.

Sleeping Patterns: 

Not surprisingly, wolves like to stay up late! However, wolves can also thrive off less sleep than most with 5-6 hours of rest being enough to fuel a wolf through their nightly adventures. Remember that 8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep for most.

Famous Wolves: 

Elon Musk, Barak Obama, Mark Twain, Bill Gates

Lion chronotype

As a lion you’re up early ready to pounce on the day’s tasks. Lions represent 15-20% of the population. 


Lions are go-getters that make excellent leaders. With a positive attitude and logical brain, lions can get done just about anything they put their mind and energy to.

Sleeping Patterns: 

Lions are early-risers, but also early to bed. Waking up early and getting things done is the best approach, so you’ve accomplished everything by the time you’re ready to turn in for the night.

Famous Lions: 

Maya Angelou, Benjamin Franklin, Kevin Johnson

Dolphin chronotype

As the more rare chronotype, dolphins might often feel as if they’re swimming through stormy seas. Dolphins often struggle with their sleep more than other chronotypes.


Often type-A personalities and natural problem-solvers, dolphins are intelligent and driven. However, this drive can sometimes lead to anxiety and stress.

Sleeping Patterns: 

Dolphins often struggle more with sleep, having bursts of energy late at night and waking throughout the night. 

Famous Dolphins: 

William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Richard Branson

Now that you know your chronotype you can try using some of the recommended strategies and day/sleep planning techniques to maximize your energy potential. NOTE: Even if your chronotype doesn’t specifically state you may have sleep struggles ALL types can have sleeping disorders! If you feel like you need a little extra help sorting out your sleeping habits, schedule a time to see Dr. Chan at Lotus Health and begin receiving personalized healthcare tailored to your unique needs.

Infographic of chronotype affect on sleep and daily schedule

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