4 Types of Sleep Chronotypes – and How to Determine Your Real Sleep Schedule

4 sleep chronotypes

Discover your Sleep Chronotypes

Do you know what your chronotype is?

Chronotypes are a term used to describe the different sleep schedules that people naturally fall into.

There are four types of chronotypes, and each one has its own unique benefits.

If you’re not sure which type of sleeper you are, and what are the benefits of knowing your chronotype, here’s how to find out:

Key Takeaways

  • Chronotypes are determined by a person’s natural rhythms, which can be charted.
  • Chronotypes play a role in the regulation of sleep and wakefulness.
  • According to research chronotypes affects your natural behaviour – not just sleep!
  • Chronotypes vary depending on factors such as age, genetics, and location.
  • Chronotypes can change as you age.
  • Circadian rhythm is a more stable part of your natural state than sleep chronotype.

What is a chronotype?

Chronotypes are the individual differences in activity and alertness in the morning and evening. Knowing your chronotype can help you better plan your day and use your time efficiently.

Chronotypes vary and can be classified as “larks” (early birds), “troublemakers” (those who are productive in the morning but disruptive in the afternoon), or “owls” (those who are most productive in the evening).

To determine your chronotype, ask yourself questions like “When is the best time for you to be active?” and “When is the best time for you to be in bed?”

A chronotype is a person’s natural sleep cycle. To determine your chronotype, you should take a sleep diary for two weeks.

What are the 4 types of chronotypes?

There are four main types of chronotypes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Morning and evening chronotypes are the most well-known types. Chronotypes can be used to assess the sleep-wake preferences of humans.

It is best to work with your circadian rhythm rather than against it to achieve better results.

Dolphin Sleep Chronotype

dolphin chronotype
Dolphin Chronotype
  1. People with the Dolphin chronotype have a hard time sticking to a set sleep schedule
  2. People with the Dolphin chronotype often experience symptoms of insomnia
  3. People with this chronotype are productive in the morning
  4. Dolphins have a circadian biology that is turned upside down
  5. Dolphins’ brains are active in the evening, with areas that promote alertness that is why Dolphins tend to wake frequently during the night

Read more about the Dolphin Chronotype.

Lion Sleep Chronotype

lion chronotype
Lion Chronotype
  1. People who are Lion-type thrive on a schedule where they can get things done as soon as possible
  2. People with this chronotype wake up early in the morning and are most productive in the morning hours
  3. Most lions are full of energy after a morning workout and fuel up for breakfast
  4. After completing their day, Lions tend to fall asleep early, around 10pm – which is the best time to go to sleep in general
  5. Getting the best sleep possible is vital for lions
  6. their social connections are limited

Read more about the Lion Chronotype.

Bear Sleep Chronotype

bear chronotype
Bear chronotype
  1. People with the Bear chronotype are most productive in the middle of the day
  2. Bears are in between the early birds and the night owls
  3. People with the Bear chronotype generally begin to decline in energy in the late afternoon, and wind down for sleep in the early evening
  4. Bears have a natural sleep-wake cycle that is aligned with the sun
  5. Bears are fun to be around

Read more about the Bear Sleep Chronotype.

Wolf Sleep Chronotype

wolf chronotype
Wolf chronotype
  1. The wolf may be happy to go to bed at midnight or well past it to help fuel their creativity.
  2. The wolf needs more time to hit snooze in the morning and get all the energy they need for their two bursts of creative energy
  3. Wolves are highly vulnerable to chronic social jet lag and insufficient sleep
  4. Getting the recommended amount of sleep can be tough for Wolves because of their biological rhythm

Read more about the Wolf Chronotype.

Chronotype vs. Circadian Rhythm

Chronotype is a term used to describe someone’s natural sleep pattern. Chronotype can be determined by measuring a person’s melatonin levels. Chronotype is important because it can affect an individual’s overall health and well-being.

Chronotypes and circadian rhythms are different

Chronotypes are used to measure sleep-wake preferences while circadian rhythms control the body’s natural rhythm of biological processes.

Circadian rhythms are controlled by the brain’s hypothalamus. Chronotypes are a guide to how circadian rhythms play a role in everyday life.

Circadian rhythms can change depending on your chronotype.

How to determine your chronotype?

Step 1: Understand the 4 major chronotypes

Chronotypes play a role in determining your sleep-wake preferences.

It’s important to be comfortable in bed and get a good night’s sleep so that you can be productive throughout the day

Step 2: Determine which category you fall into

If you are fatigued during the day and find it difficult to wake up, you may be following a schedule that is not in line with your chronotype.

For example Lions are most productive in the morning, Bears in the afternoon, and Wolves at night.

To getting better quality sleep is figuring out your chronotype by identifying your natural rise time and the time of day you feel most alert.

You can use a genetic test to determine your chronotype and also you can try to use a sleep diary for a few weeks.

Step 3: Follow a consistent sleep schedule

If you want to determine your chronotype, it is important to follow a sensible sleep schedule. Most people should reserve their bedroom for sleep and sex only, so make sure to follow this rule closely. Relaxing routines before bed can help you determine your chronotype easily.

Step 4: Eat at the right times

If you’re still struggling to get a good night’s rest, consider eating breakfast within an hour of waking up. This will give you enough energy to start the day without feeling groggy after wake up.

Benefits of knowing your Chronotype

Knowing your chronotype can have many benefits, including better understanding your sleep-wake schedule and mental health. By syncronizing your behavior and lifestyle with your chronotype, you can maximize your potential.

How to live with your chronotype for better sleep and productivity

There are four main types of chronotypes, and each one has different sleep patterns and natural energy levels. By understanding your own chronotype, you can optimize your daily schedule to make the most of your natural productivity rhythms.

To figure out your chronotype, consider when you naturally wake up and go to bed, how well you function in the morning versus the evening, and whether you prefer working alone or with others.


What are the productivity benefits of a morning chronotype?

A morning chronotype is more productive than an evening chronotype. Knowing when you are at your best can help you be more productive. A morning chronotype is most effective in the morning and can be beneficial for productivity.

For students who find mornings difficult, a remote or distance learning format offers an opportunity to improve productivity.

What are the risks associated with an evening chronotype?

There are risks associated with being an evening type, including difficulty adapting to new schedules and problems completing tasks on time. People who are evening chronotypes should consult a doctor or specialist to get advice on how to adjust their schedule.

How to Become a Heavy Sleeper?

I have created a guide about how a dolphin can become heavier sleeper by optimizing your sleeping habits. So you’ll be less likely to experience sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea

Do our chronotypes change over time?

Each person’s chronotype is unique and can change over time based on age, genetics, or biological changes.

Hacking your chronotype?

Can you change your chronotype? Chronotype cannot be changed completely because it is coded in your genes, but you can shift it to better match your lifestyle. It is important if you fight against jet lag – especially if you are a pilot with frequent jet lag for example.

Your chronotype has a genetic component

Chronotype is a genetic component that affects how people feel and act during the day. Genes control the human circadian rhythm, which determines your sleep drive, daily routine, and energy levels.

Chronotype (a person’s natural tendency towards daytime or nighttime habits) is influenced by environmental factors.

How your environment and lifestyle influence your chronotype

Seasonal changes play an important role in chronotype because they affect our natural sleep patterns- wintertime tends to be especially difficult for people who have a late chronotype since they have to wake up earlier in order to get sunlight before it starts getting dark outside.

People with evening chronotypes are more likely to be younger, unemployed, and have greater alcohol use than other chronotypes.

Research suggests that people with morning chronotypes tend to have more feelings of optimism and happiness than evening chronotypes.

Evening chronotypes are linked with negative health outcomes such as Poor cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.

Many aspects of society favor morning chronotypes over evening chronotypes which can lead to negative health effects for those who are unlucky enough to be born with an evening chronotype.

Choosing an intermittent fasting schedule according to chronotype

When choosing an intermittent fasting schedule, timing is important, as it can affect how your body responds. This would mean starting and ending of your intermittent fast should be beased on your chronotype.

What is the rarest chronotype?

Dolphins are the rarest sleep chronotype, making up only 8-10 % of the population. They have a difficult time to get to sleep fast at night and waking up in the morning, making it difficult to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. As a result, dolphins often suffer from sleep deprivation and other sleep-related problems.


Nathaniel Kleitman wrote the book Sleep and Wakefulness in 1939. The basic rest-activity cycle was first proposed by Kleitman in 1963.

Zou H, Zhou H, Yan R, Yao Z, Lu Q. Chronotype, circadian rhythm, and psychiatric disorders: Recent evidence and potential mechanisms. Front Neurosci. 2022 Aug 10;16:811771. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.811771. PMID: 36033630; PMCID: PMC9399511.