Understanding Your Chronotype & How It Affects Your Productivity
Are you someone who stumbles into bed right before sunrise or are you someone who prefers to wake up when the roosters wake up? Are you someone who is naturally inclined to be more productive at night or do you prefer to finish your tasks first thing in the morning?
This natural inclination to be productive during a certain time is what could be termed as your chronotype. While circadian rhythms help us understand our sleep patterns and how our biological clock works, chronotype helps us understand how our circadian rhythms impact our behaviour and productivity type.
Understanding our chronotype can help us understand how to synchronize our daily activities to use our time efficiently. Knowing our chronotype also helps us to plan our day and utilize our time wisely.
Chrono means “time” so the word chronotype refers to one of the four types;
To have knowledge of your chronotype can help you boost productivity and help get a better understanding of your body’s needs.
The Four Chronotypes:
Many people fall under this classification. Having a bear chronotype means that your sleep cycle and wake cycle follow the sun. You don’t have trouble waking up or sleeping. Bear chronotypes are productive in the mornings and struggle with a slump in the afternoon. Their sleep schedule is typical with eight hours of sleep.
If you’re a bear chronotype then you will face lethargy if you don’t get enough sleep. You are an extrovert and are able to keep up your energy throughout the day.
Lion chronotypes are early risers and don’t normally face trouble in waking up before dawn. You are a lion chronotype if you feel most alive and alert in the mornings and are able to finish most of your work before lunch. Although active in the mornings, they typically face a pretty hard slump in the afternoon, and by evening their energy is almost drained. The people who fall under this category need to have a wind-down activity to help them decompress.
Lion chronotypes need at least eight hours of sleep each night to help them maintain energy levels for the next day. If you fall under this category, then you are a natural leader, early risers, and know to take time for yourself at the end of the day.
Wolves are nocturnal animals so naturally the people classified under this chronotype have trouble waking up in the morning and are more likely to be productive at noon and night. If you feel like you fall under the category of wolf chronotype then you might be considered a night owl.
If you’re a wolf chronotype then you are more likely to be introspective, introverted, and highly creative.
If you are someone who has trouble following any kind of sleep schedule then you might be considered a dolphin chronotype. People under this classification are insomniac and face trouble waking up in the morning. They are productive around mid-morning and are always tired.
People who identify with dolphin chronotype have a sporadic sleeping pattern but are highly intelligent, are full of creative energy, and frequently take time out of their schedule to mentally rest and recharge.
Benefits Of Knowing Your Chronotype:
By knowing and understanding your chronotype, you get an insight into how your sleep cycle and wake cycle varied and when your productivity level is likely to peak.
Other benefits include:
- Helps track your eating patterns. For instance; wolf chronotypes have a lower intake of fruits and vegetables and a higher intake of sugary beverages.
- Help you understand your mental state. A study showed that people who identify with evening chronotypes are more prone to depression and other mental health disorders than people who identify with morning chronotypes.
How To Change Your Chronotype?
Understanding your chronotype is essential because it can have a severe effect on your mental health and physical health. Chronotypes help us understand how our sleep cycle works and sleep is very closely related to our mental health.
Changing your chronotype is difficult but it isn’t impossible. By changing your chronotype you can increase your productivity, gain an insight into your mental and physical health, and change the quality of your sleep. To change your chronotype you can:
- Slowly change your sleep time.
- Create a soothing bedtime routine. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and aromatherapy can help.
- Change your eating habits to promote better sleep. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Exercise regularly. 20-30 minutes of exercise either in the morning or in the evening can help you sleep better.
- Don’t snooze. While it may be tempting to hit the snooze button in the morning, try not to.
It is not necessary to change your chronotype but if your chronotype is the reason you are facing struggles with your sleeping habits and if it is causing your mental health to decline or worsen then you should consider changing your chronotype.
If self-help is proving not enough, then ask for help and guidance from a professional.
If your sleep patterns are affecting your career, relationships, and health, then bringing a change to your chronotype might be helpful. Chronotype is what helps us understand our sleep patterns and when our productive tendencies are at a peak but if your chronotype seems to affect your daily routine, then you should consider changing it.
Sleep is very important to create a healthy balance for your mind and body. Any kind of misalignment can cause you to develop mental health problems and other chronic illnesses.
It can be difficult at first to go against your natural inclinations and sleeping patterns but in the long-term, those natural patterns might affect your work and life. If the self-help tips don’t work for you, ask for help from a professional who specializes in treating sleep disorders.
Until next time, stay healthy, stay well!