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  • Writer's pictureGuylaine Richer de Lafleche

A Night Owl, Lost in an Early Bird World

Are you an early bird or a night owl? I use to think it was one or the other but according to sleep specialist, Dr Michael Breus, there are actually four mammals in the animal kingdom we should identify our sleep patterns with. These are known as our chronotypes and include lion, bear, dolphin, and wolf.

As someone who feels most productive at night — as if I am waking-up as the sun goes down — I have always identified myself as a night owl. Unfortunately for me, society doesn’t run on this schedule and I’m left feeling heavy, listless, and more tired than when I went to bed. Over time I’ve surrendered to these feelings assuming it’s the result of a night owl trying to conform to an early bird schedule, but lately, I’ve begun to think that perhaps I should take a closer look at my sleeping habits because surely this can’t be normal.

A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned in conversation that I wanted to see a sleep specialist to figure out what exactly my sleep schedule should look like in order to maximize my day. You’re probably thinking; “your phone was listening in on your conversation, that’s what led you to Dr Breus,” but this time it wasn’t! I stumbled upon Dr Breus on the Dr Oz website, after searching for an unrelated article for a friend. On the sidebar it read, “What is Your Chronotype?” In truth, I hadn’t heard of this term until now, but I was intrigued and clicked on the link. To my surprise, it was a blessing in disguise!

The site defines a chronotype as; “your own personal biological clock that controls your body's rhythms — it's the reason you are grumpier in the morning or focus better later in the day. This genetic biological clock affects much more than your waking and sleeping patterns, it affects when you should eat; when the best time for coffee is; and when you should socialize, work, and exercise, among other things.” Dr Breus comments on everything sleep-related I have been questioning for years, and they’ve even provided a quiz to discover your chronotype.

According to this quiz, I’m a bear — the most common chronotype. Apparently, bears should try to wake around 7 am and be in bed by 11 pm. It’s not going to be easy for the dreamer in me to adjust to this schedule, considering my favourite time to dream is between 7-10 am, but at this point, I'll try anything.

For the past few weeks I’ve been giving this schedule a try and I must admit, I’m enjoying it very much! As a bonus, I’ve practically eliminated my alarm clock because my internal clock wakes me up at the exact same time every day — even on the days I allow myself to sleep-in. For once, I am waking up feeling refreshed and ready to start my day. There is one element that has suffered a bit, and that is in my dream recall. Upon waking, my dreams feel jumbled and distanced. I assume this is all apart of the process and in time I will adjust. Until then, I will turn to my dream recall tools and techniques to get myself back on track.

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To learn more about Dr Breus and your chronotype, follow this link:

Let me know what your chronotype is in the comments below!

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1 opmerking

Lynn Ouellet
Lynn Ouellet
01 jun. 2020

I cannot get the quiz to open

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