What Is Sleep Chronotype And How To Boost Your Productivity

What Is Sleep Chronotype And How To Boost Your Productivity

Regarding sleep patters, we all have different habits or preferences and these -at the most cases- are connected with our age, the activity levels and the sleeping conditions. 

Chronotype is the scientific term for what we commonly refer to as an internal clock. Chrono means time and type refers to one of the following four classifications:

  1. The Lion
  2. The Dolphin
  3. The Bear
  4. The Wolf

The four categories of sleep chronotypes are relevant to each animals' sleep habits and your personal chronotype impacts what time of day you're the most focused, most creative, most likely to make a mistake, most likely to be in a good—or bad—mood, and much more.

Knowing your chronotype can boost productivity and help you listen to your body.

The Bear

bear-sleep chronotype

Image by Robert Balog from Pixabay


  • Steady energy
  • Extroverted
  • Friendly
  • Most productive: morning 10:00am to 02:00pm

Productivity tips:

  • Schedule meetings in the morning and try to finish the most significant tasks before late afternoon

Bear is the most common chronotype as 55% of population falls into this category. Bear follows the solar cycle and the normal hours of sleeping are between 11:00pm and 07:00am.

This chronotype is super productive in the morning but will typically struggle with a nap after launch. As the day comes by, bear is losing energy and has no difficulties to sleep. 

    The Wolf


    Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay



    • Introspective
    • Highly creative
    • Introverted
    • Peak period 12:00pm to 02:00 pm and when the sun goes down 

    Productivity tips:

    • Get ahead on work a home while you're feeling most awake

    Wolf is a less common chronotype (15% of population) and is usually what we call a "night owl". Wolf is having difficulties to wake up early in the morning and it usually have two peak periods that appear by noon and late at night.

    This type of person is reserved and introverted but they are very creative. Wolfs are makers such as writers, artists and coders. 

    The Lion


    Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay



    • Natural leaders
    • Early risers
    • Go getters
    • Most productive: morning 08:00am to 12:00pm

    Productivity tips:

    • Know when it's quitting time and take time for yourself at the end of the day

    Lion represents the 15% of population and they are the "early birds" type of people. They wake up when is still dark and they usually complete all of their tasks before lunch.

    This type of chronotype is super alive in the morning but loses its energy quickly and by the evening they feel drained.   

    The Dolphin


    Image by christels from Pixabay



    • Highly intelligent
    • Scatterbrained
    • Struggle to fall asleep
    • Best time to focus 03:00pm-09:00pm

    Productivity tips:

    • If needed take breaks throughout the day to mentally reset and recharge

    Dophins are nature's insomniacs. They sleep with half their brain on at a time while this helps them to stay alert and aware of predators.

    This type of person is usually anxious and rarely get a full night sleep. Moreover they have hard time waking up and always underlying tiredness. Dolphins represent the 10% of population and they are highly intelligent. 

    Circadian Rhythm vs Sleep Chronotype

    Circadian rhythms only refer to drowsiness and alertness levels. also considered "sleep/wake cycles". It is the internal clock that controls when we feel like waking up and go to bed. 

    Chronotypes on the other hand are a guide to how circadian rhythms play role in everyday life. They are typicaly seen as a productivity tool and they help you understand how sleep schedules affect your life. 

    How to be more productive according your sleep chronotype

    Having identified your sleep chronotype now you can improve your sleep but also your productivity throughout the day.

    According to Daniel H. Pink's book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, we can schedule our tasks of the day based on our energy levels.

    For example, the time when when your energy level is at peak according to your sleep chronotype, you can schedule all the tasks require analytical thinking. On the contrary, when your energy drops down and it's easier for you to get distracted, it's better to schedule creative tasks.

    According to Pink, when we get distracted during the day then we may find ourselves more creative because we make connections that we might not have made if we were highly focused.

    Hence, we can build a high productive daily routine by scheduling our tasks based on our sleep chronotype.

    The bottom line

    While chronotypes aren’t an exact science, they’re an interesting way to learn more about oneself. Generally, people will fall into one of the four categories, but it’s common to have subtle traits of more than one.
    Circadian rhythms and chronotypes are relatively constant, but day-to-day energy has too many variables to define exactly when tasks should be completed.

    Hopefully you can use this guide to better understand your work tendencies and become more efficient in the process. Regardless of your type, it’s important to get a good night's rest.