There are four types of sleeper…. And it’s bad news if you’re a wolf who lives with a lion

UNTIL now, many of us have considered ourselves an early bird or a night owl, but as it turns out, there are actually four types of sleepers – a bear, wolf, lion and dolphin.

American sleep expert Dr Michael Breus calls them "sleep chronotypes", and knowing which one you are will help you get some seriously good shut eye.

In his book The Power of When, Dr Breus explains exactly how to figure out which one you are which he says is key to working out your ideal bed time and when you will be most productive.

He explained: "Working against your natural wiring, as much as it might seem advantageous in a given moment, is not productive.

"Understanding your personal circadian clock (and how it operates) can help you get rejuvenating sleep at night and lead a happy, healthy life."

How do they work?

Your type often comes down to what time you'd naturally fall asleep and wake up each day – which isn't the same for everyone.

How to figure out your sleep chronotype

While it can be difficult to find your natural sleeping rhythm (thanks to our work schedules and setting daily alarms), there is an online quiz that you can take, developed by Dr Breus.

So find out your what your sleep chronotype is and be on your way to a better sleep.

Chronotypes explain why some people might work better at night time, while others are dozing off at 9pm and feel their best as the sun rises.

‘"Your chronotype influences hormone levels, metabolic function, and body temperature, to name a few, "Dr Breus explained.

"While we cannot actively change our chronotype, our chronotypes can change as our bodies and brains age (which is why many night owls become early birds in later years)."

Speaking with Metro, sleep practitioner and founder of WyeSleep, Joanna Kippax, shared some tips to help you depending on your sleep chronotype.


Bears have an energy cycle that rises and falls with the sun and they’re most productive in daylight.

They tend to wakeup at sunrise and hit an afternoon slump making them pretty tired by the end of the day – about 50% of people fall into this category.

Joanna said managing caffeine intake is key for bears to avoid disturbing their sleep pattern overnight – and to avoid drinking it past lunchtime.

What's more,Waking at the same time every morning will help kick start your natural body clock which will improve sleep quality and quantity.


Wolves naturally stay up later and sleep in most days, struggling to wake up each morning.

They tend to have an energy surge late in the day and do their best thinking at night – only about 15% of people fall into this group.

Unlike the bear, Joanna said wolves tend to need more caffeine in the morning to help them wake which can be really helpful to start the day.

Tips on how to get a better sleep

Sleep expert and managing director of Kally Sleep, Ori Leslau said: "Understanding your sleep chronotype is key to maximising your productivity.

"The circadian rhythm – your brain’s sleep-wake cycle – controls when you are alert and tired during a 24 hour period. Everyone’s rhythm is different, and no rhythm is right or wrong."

Here are Ori's tips:

  • Find out what type of sleep chronotype you are, and make decisions based around that. ie. if you know you are at your most productive in the mornings, try and make your important decisions during this time.
  • If you suffer with sleep problems, consider investing in a quality sleep product.
  • Reduce your caffeine (or other stimulant) intake, but especially avoid drinking coffee or tea in the hours leading up to bedtime.


She recommends getting outside in the daylight which will help wake you up, and in the winter, use a daylight lamp which will help your body wake up earlier.

Our hunger hormones are affected by our sleep time too, Joanna explained.

If you are sleep deprived, the level of your appetite hormone, ghrelin, is high and our "feeling full" hormone, leptin, is low – this means you tend to eat more at night which can also cause issues with weight gain.

Joanna said that a combination of light and exercise will help you sleep better.


Unlike wolves, lions naturally wake up early and prefer earlier bedtimes – which could be an issue if your partner is a wolf.

About 15% of people fall into this category and they may find themselves napping in the afternoon to re-energise.

Joanna said that 20 minutes power naps could be beneficial for lions as it is the most productive way to boost productivity in the afternoon – although napping too late (after 3pm) can disrupt your sleep later that night.

The key to a "super nap", Joanna explained,is to have a small caffeinated drink right before a 20-minute nap, which has been proven to be the most effective way of interrupting tiredness.

Be warned though, as Joanna said to seek medical advice if you find you need to nap most days which could be a sigh of a sleep disorder.


Dolphins are light sleepers, and tend to wake up regularly meaning they're tired consistently throughout the day.

They are usually wired at night time making it hard to get to sleep, with 10% of people falling into this category.

Winding down and preparing the "runway" for sleep is important if it means getting to sleep with ease, according to Joanna.

Avoid screens at night time – including checking emails or watching TV – which stops the sleep hormone from being released, therefore making it harder to fall asleep

Black out curtains are a must and consider using earplugs and an eye mask to block out any noise and light.

Joanna suggested having a warm bath too, and avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening if you want good quality sleep.

We also shared how to get the best night’s sleep EVER as the temperature drops & why the hairdryer is going to be your new best friend.

Plus a slumber expert offers eight tricks to help your kids get a good night sleep, including feeding them tuna and doing the hoovering.

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