How knowing your 'chronotype' can help boost productivity at work

How knowing your 'chronotype' can help boost productivity at work

10/13/2020

Are you a dolphin, wolf, bear or lion? Expert reveals how knowing your sleep ‘personality’ can help you boost productivity and succeed in your job

  • Chronotypes outline underlying circadian rhythm and personal sleep profile
  • Australian sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo explained how chronotypes work
  • She also explained how each chronotype enjoys their rest time and awake time
  • Bears slump in productivity in early afternoon while Wolves are better at night
  • While you can’t change your basic chronotype you can alter your behaviour

An Australian sleep expert has explained how knowing your ‘chronotype’ can help boost your productivity at work – and keep you accountable to deadlines.

Olivia Arezzolo described chronotypes as your ‘sleep profile’, a way of understanding whether you’re biologically geared to rise early and be tired later, or rise later and be tired later.

‘It outlines your individual circadian rhythm or how your sleep-wake cycle is programmed,’ the 30-year-old told FEMAIL.

There are four chronotypes humans can be categorised in – Bear, Wolf, Lion and Dolphin – which determine when you are most focused during the day. 

Olivia Arezzolo (pictured) described chronotypes as your ‘sleep profile’, a way of understanding whether you’re biologically gears to rise early and be tired later, or rise later and be tired later.

BEAR

This is the category that approximately 55 per cent of people fall under because the Bears’ sleep-wake cycle follows the normal solar cycle.

They typically rise when the sun does and lose energy as it sets, meaning they are most productive during ‘waking hours’ between 8am and 1pm, Olivia said.

‘After lunch is where they have their lowest productivity. If you’re working from home starting earlier and finishing earlier is ideal.’

Workers with a regular desk job can make this work for them by scheduling morning meetings and making deadlines earlier, rather than later, in the day.   

This is the category that approximately 55 per cent of people fall under because the Bears’ sleep-wake cycle follows the normal solar cycle (stock image)

WOLF

Wolves are considered ‘night owls’ and are most productive in the early afternoon and later in the evening, after 6pm.

Olivia said that night shift workers in the hospitality or events industry would be suited to this chronotype. They struggle to rise early in the morning.

It’s important to break up the day with time outside for Wolves, so they can get a burst of energy if they’re having to work during light hours. Approximately 15 per cent of the population fall into this category.

1. Create a sleep sanctuary: Remove any blue light from iPhones and devices and keep your bedroom for sleep and relaxation.

2. Block blue light: Do not allow blue light into the bedroom and restrict this two hours from bedtime.

3. Set a goodnight alarm for your phone: At this point switch it off so you wake fully refreshed.

4. Diffuse lavender: Diffuse lavender either onto your pillows or throughout the room to promote relaxation.

5. Have an evening shower or bath: This helps to promote relaxation 45-60 minutes before bed.

6. Drink chamomile tea: Do this an hour before bed to make you calm.

7. Take a magnesium supplement: This helps the muscles to relax.

8. Practise gratitude: Think about what you are grateful for.

9. Try meditation: This can be useful to help you sleep.

10. Practise deep breathing: This makes it easier to sleep.

Source: Olivia Arezzolo 

LION

These people are the opposite of Wolves and you’ll normally find them rising before the sun does, exercising in the early hours of the morning.

Lions feel energised and most productive before midday before they start to ‘fizzle out’ and they prefer to be in bed by nine or 10pm.  

Taking up a trade would be an effective use of your time as a Lion because they finish working at 3pm most days.

Another 15 per cent of the population are considered Lions.  

These people are the opposite of Wolves and you’ll normally find them rising before the sun does, exercising in the early hours of the morning (stock image)

DOLPHIN 

This 10 per cent of the population struggle with sleeping in general, and often wake up irritable and are unable to function in the afternoon hours.

Their window of productivity is between 10am and 2pm with bouts of tiredness on either side of that time frame. 

‘Since COVID-19 began the amount of people struggling with sleep has almost doubled, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily a Dolphin,’ Olivia said.

This 10 per cent of the population struggle with sleeping in general, and often wake up irritable and unable to function in the afternoon hours (stock image)

‘This lack of sleep could be environmental factors like being exposed to your phone late at night or being stressed during the day.’

Dolphins should find jobs with more flexibility, like an entrepreneur or project-based work. Something that doesn’t have a specific routine each day.  

While you can’t change your core chronotype you can wake feeling more refreshed by avoiding caffeine, alcohol and blue light in the afternoon.  

For more information about Olivia Arezzolo, you can visit her website here   

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