From finding your ideal sleep schedule to a diet that will boost energy levels throughout the day, learn all about the Bear Chronotype.
What Is a Chronotype?
You’ve heard of night owls and early birds—but what about bears or wolves?
These are known as chronotypes. Chronotypes represent a person’s ideal sleep schedule according to their unique internal clock.
A chronotype is the body’s natural inclination to be awake or asleep at certain times. While chronotype may sound similar to circadian rhythm, it’s actually quite different.
A circadian rhythm controls our body’s sleep-wake cycle and melatonin production. This is largely affected by light exposure—meaning our circadian rhythms are set to the setting and rising of the sun.
Chronotypes, on the other hand, are believed to be based on genetics. Age may also have an influence, meaning your chronotype may change during certain periods of your life.
Because chronotypes are thought to be unaffected by any outside influence, knowing what your unique chronotype is can help you be as rested and productive as possible. If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough quality or quantity of sleep, you may not be sleeping according to your ideal chronotype schedule.
Understanding how your internal clock works can help you schedule and approach your daily activities and to-do lists more efficiently, allowing you to reserve more energy and feel more awake throughout the day.
The four chronotypes are dolphin, lion, bear, and wolf. Each chronotype is broken down by what an ideal schedule is for maximum energy, productivity, and quality of life. While this schedule does indeed include optimum windows for sleep, it also includes ideal times for work, exercise, and even what type of foods will suit a chronotype best.
Let’s take a closer look at the bear chronotype.
What Is the Bear Chronotype?
The bear chronotype is the most common chronotype according to “The Sleep Doctor” Michael Breus and accounts for about 55% of people.
The bear chronotype has the schedule that is most aligned with the sun—meaning their sleep-wake cycle is synced with the sun rising and setting. Bear chronotypes will begin to get sleepy as the sun sets in the early evening, and they rise with the sun in the morning.
Following this solar cycle means that bear chronotypes will not generally have any problem falling asleep or waking up in the mornings. Bears typically get 8 hours of sleep, and will generally sleep between 11PM and 7AM.
Their most productive hours are before noon, and they often experience a dip in energy after lunch between 2 and 4PM. Because of this, the most important tasks should be done before this slump each day.
Getting enough sleep is very important for bear chronotypes. If they don’t reach their optimum 8 hours, they may feel lethargic throughout the day and struggle to accomplish what they need to do.
Bear chronotypes are thought to be extroverts. They are social and can easily maintain energy throughout conversations.
The Best Schedule for The Bear Chronotype
Chronotypes don’t just influence sleep schedule—they also have an influence on exercise, appetite, core body temperature, and other variables. Because of this, certain chronotypes will feel more awake during certain periods of the day, and sluggish during others.
Ideal Schedule for The Bear
7AM–8AM: Wake up
10AM–2PM: Focus on deep work
2PM–4PM: Work on lighter tasks and/or reset (nap, light walk)
10PM–11PM: Prepare for bed - Journaling has been proven to help people unwind and relax before bed.
11PM–7AM: Sleep - For bears that still have trouble falling asleep, we recommend Sleep Magic.
For the bear, it’s best to begin the day with exercise to get the cortisol going. This will help the sleepy bear wake up. Bonus points if the movement is outside in nature. This movement should be followed by a protein-rich breakfast light on carbs.
Because this is the bear’s most productive time of day, it’s best to schedule any demanding or high-focus tasks during this period. Bears will do best getting their deep work done between 10AM-2PM, so they should take advantage of this productivity window.
After lunch, bears will experience a slump in energy. They should schedule any low-intensity tasks during this time. If they find they need a nap and can fit one in, this is the perfect time to do so. Alternatively, a brief walk outside may help reenergize to get through the rest of the workday.
While they unwind for the day, bears should have a light dinner. When it comes to sleep, as a rule of thumb, bears should avoid sleeping longer than 8 hours. This holds true even for weekends, where they may struggle to keep their usual schedule.
Bears can stay up late, but this will make them feel groggy in the morning. Bears will do best by starting to unwind around 10PM and sticking with a lights-out rule around 11PM. For bears that still have trouble falling asleep, we recommend Sleep Magic, it's an all-natural sleep aid specially designed to ease you into sleep and won't leave you feeling groggy in the morning.
Best Diet for Bear Chronotype
Because bear chronotypes tend to feel sleepy easily, their diet should focus on protein while limiting carbohydrate intake. This includes foods such as eggs, fish, non-starchy vegetables, and seeds.
Foods containing carbohydrates help produce serotonin and tryptophan amino acids found in the brain, which can cause sleepiness. Because simple carbohydrates digest quickly, they can make blood sugar levels spike and crash in a short amount of time, causing a fleeting burst of energy that may leave bears more tired than before. This is why they should avoid incorporating many carbohydrates into their diet.
Upon waking, it’s advised for the bear chronotype to eat a hearty breakfast with protein to fuel their energy. Bears will benefit from avoiding high-carb choices like bagels or cereal, as these won’t provide the energy they need to get up and moving.
At lunch, bears should eat a smaller meal. As a snack, they should opt for something that is 25% protein. This will give them a little boost of energy to move through the rest of their day.
For dinner, bears should eat a light dinner that’s easy on the carbs, and close their eating window by 8pm.
Other Lifestyle Tips for The Bear Chronotype
In order to maximize productivity, increase energy levels, and enhance quality of life, there are some other tips bear chronotypes may want to consider.
Bears may opt for intermittent fasting to optimize energy levels. They can do this by eating a light breakfast around 8am, and finishing dinner by 8pm. This offers a reasonable 12 hour window to fast.
Bears do great with an early burst of exercise first thing in the morning. This allows bears to wake up and get some healthy cortisol in their system. They will benefit by working out outside, as the sun exposure will also help balance their energy levels and get their body and mind working for the day.
During the late afternoon slump, bears should not try to push through the day. Instead, bears should regularly check in with their energy levels and rest accordingly. This may look like a brief afternoon yoga session or even an afternoon nap. They can then return to their work once they feel like their energy levels are returning for the late afternoon. Bear chronotypes may also find that being around people gives them a boost of energy.