Atma: Discover your sleep chronotype

Sleep is an essential behavior to our human existence, yet we still don’t know that much about it. When we fall asleep, we fall into different sleeping patterns and characteristics which all vary depending on the person. These behaviors are known as chronotypes and dictate our individual levels of alertness and activity throughout the day. We have different types of chronotypes, classified in the forms of the wolf, the lion, the dolphin and the bear.

Each chronotype represents a certain type of person and their energy levels, whether you’re the type of person to take afternoon naps then power through the night or if you’re a heavy snoozer who sleeps early and rises at dawn. By learning what your chronotype is, you can better understand your body’s needs to get a good nights’ sleep.

In addition to helping understand your sleep and wake times and regulating them, chronotypes have an influence on appetite, exercise and core body temperature, so it helps you feel more alert during different times of the day.

The sleep chronotype is closely related to circadian rhythm, the process which controls your day-to-day sleep cycle and releases melatonin in response to its environment. We all differ in sleeping patterns, so it’s all dependent on the individual and can relate to age, genetics and other environmental and biological factors. Some scientists say that it could also relate to geographical location in relation to how much sunlight is in your region. People with later chronotypes may suffer more from social jetlag or get tired easily after work and school if they have difficulty adjusting to work schedules. Similarly, those who prefer sleeping early may not be as agile doing evening activities that require concentration.

So the question arises – what sleep chronotype are you?


The majority of people (around 55%)  fall into the bear chronotype category. This chronotype refers to the animal’s sleep pattern which follows the sun, meaning they have no problem sleeping at night and waking up in the day. Usually, bears are ready to embark on intense tasks in the morning and they’ll start to dip in the mid to late afternoon. Bears are usually friendly and extroverted and can keep a good conversation going during the daytime. They have a steady energy and prefer to maintain productivity until they hit recharge time. A typical routine of a bear comprises eight hours of sleep, usually between 11:00pm to 7:00am.


A lion is, like its counterpart, a natural leader that likes to seize the day from the early hours. Their mornings are action-packed with energy levels mostly before noon and they can finish a load of work before it even hits noon. Waking up at the peak of dawn is no problem and all is well until about midday when the afternoon slump hits. This is usually combatted with an afternoon nap and they are still quite drained by evening. Lions usually need about eight hours of sleep per night and like to snooze from 10:00pm until 6:00am for a full nights’ rest.


Wolves are the late nighters. These nocturnal beasts prefer to start later in the day and their productivity comes in when the rest of the world is winding down. The two main peak periods come at noon for two hours and then again in the night. Usually, wolves are writers, artists and coders, with their creativity coming in when the sun goes down and they enjoy their alone time most. Wolves sleep late, sometimes midnight or much later. They are typically reserved and introverted individuals.


The dolphin may or may not have a regular sleep routine – that’s because they’re light sleepers. Dolphins wake up a lot throughout the night and can sometimes struggle to fall asleep. They work best from mid-morning through to early afternoon and are highly intelligent. Dolphins only sleep because their body wants them to despite them wanting to stay awake most of the time. With their brains always on the go, they get slightly less sleep, snoozing a few hours between midnight at 6:00am.

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