Know Your Sleep Chronotype to Optimize Your Productivity

by Emilie Berthiaume

Are you constantly struggling with your body’s natural inclinations to sleep or stay awake? Are you guilty of having a weakness for insightful quizzes, especially if they involve animals?

If so, you are in luck. A clinical psychologist from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Michael Breus, devised a set of categories that can help identify your ideal sleep pattern through four different animal chronotypes.




  1. a person's natural inclination with regard to the times of day when they prefer to sleep or when they are most alert or energetic.
    "teenagers and students might find their chronotype shifts as they get older"

Chances are that you fit into one of these four categories; whether it be the mighty lion, the restful bear, the rowdy wolf, or the energetic dolphin. Let’s investigate each one further.


Lions wake up before dawn, and they are most productive in the early mornings. CEO’s are often known to be Lions. Famous Lions are Maya Angelou and Benjamin Franklin.


Being the category that most people fall under, it makes sense that the majority of the workforce is scheduled to suit Bears. These are the people who get up with the sun, and go to bed with the sun. They need eight hours of sleep, and are often considered extroverted and reliable. Some examples of Bears are Stephen King and Jeff Bezos.


This group is most productive and awake in the evenings, and tends to be a creative bunch. Charles Darwin and J. R. R. Tolkien, and Barack Obama are all Wolves.


Like the Lions, Dolphins tend to rise before the sun. The twist: this group often struggles with anxiety and thus rarely has a restful sleep. At work they have to work harder to finish their projects, but the perfectionism in their work leaves their coworkers impressed. Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare fall under this category.

A general rule of thumb for every animal group is to wait 90 minutes after waking up to drink caffeine. I know, for some of us this may be more difficult than others! Often, people who belong to the category of lions, wolves and dolphins wonder if it is possible to change their sleep chronotype to become a bear and integrate better with the workforce. In his Ted Talk, Dr. Michael Breus suggests that this is possible, but that it will leave one feeling jet lagged. He encourages instead to first have a chat with your boss to explore the possibility of altering your work schedule to fit your chronotype.

The benefit of identifying your sleep chronotype is that you can maximize your day based on when you are most likely to be productive and to thrive. For example, if you are classified as a lion, getting up before sunrise for your hearty breakfast and ready to tackle the day. If you are a bear, you need a solid eight hours of sleep at night and it’s best not to interrupt it by staying up late on your phone. So many of us feel guilty about our natural inclinations to sleep and wake up at certain times. Taking this quiz might give you some peace; you can stop fighting those natural animal urges and finally sleep the way your body intends you to, preferably on a heavenly Haven mattress!


Take the quiz by clicking here and let us know your results in the comments.

Optimal schedule for each sleep chronotype lion bear wolf dolphin peak productivity