How to Tell If You Have a “Lion” Chronotype Schedule (and and How to Make the Most Of It)
Are you an early riser, often up before the sun?
Do friends describe you as a charismatic optimist?
Are you drawn to positions of strategy and leadership?
Are fitness and healthy eating top priorities in your life?
Do you get a lot of frowns for sharing your early-morning enthusiasm with others before they’ve had their coffee?
If you answered yes to most of these statements, then your sleep chronotype (your body’s natural patterns of sleep/activity) most closely resembles the lion. (As opposed to the highly nocturnal wolf chronotype schedule!)
Congratulations! Thanks to hype-men like Ben Franklin, the “early to bed, early to rise” crowd is the most envied of the chronotypes. 15-20% of the population falls into this category, including Maya Angelou, Richard Branson and Kelly Ripa.
So what does this mean for you? Well, in addition to making you healthy, wealthy and wise, following your chronotype’s schedule will:
Get you the best sleep
Allow you to take advantage of your natural peak productivity times
Help you dodge the associated pitfalls
First, let’s take a look at the lion chronotype schedule.
A Day in the Life of a Lion Chronotype
Due to the scorching daytime heat of the savanna, lions will rise early for the hunt.
After they’ve expended their energy, lions spend late morning through the afternoon taking it easy with their pride. Only 1 in 3 hunts is successful, but that doesn’t dampen their optimism for tomorrow’s adventures.
Nobody questions lions’ authority; they’re quick to run off any creatures foolish enough to enter their territory. They are the unmistakable rulers of their domain, and they make every effort to keep it that way.
Now let’s examine how that translates to your life.
How to Work With Your Chronotype for Optimal Energy
A sleep schedule of 10:00 p.m. - 5:30 a.m. works great for lions (but don’t have too many expectations past 8:00 p.m., when your energy is depleted).
An early-morning meditation during those peaceful hours when everyone’s still asleep will clear your head so you can focus on conquering the world.
Your energy levels peak by midmorning, so maximize this time by scheduling meetings and making important phone calls before 10:00 a.m. Save routine busy work for the afternoon when your stamina is on the wane.
The overachieving lion tends to skip naps — but don’t. A 20- to 30-minute nap at around 1:00 p.m. will give you the vital recharge you need to fully enjoy time with your loved ones in the evening.
Oh, and before we forget, here are a few other ways to take optimal advantage of the lion chronotype schedule.
Bonus Tips for Lion Chronotypes:
Know when to call it a day. Your candle will be nothing but wick by the evening, so best to just extinguish it and turn in early if you’re feeling fatigued. There will be more gazelles to chase in the morning.
We know how seriously you take your workouts (and strategizing!), so here’s how to make the most of them. If you’re looking to burn fat, save breakfast until later and exercise within 30 minutes of waking. For best performance, however, late morning sees you at your physical peak.
Protein is your pal. A high-protein early breakfast will really get you moving (skip the carbs, which will just slow you down). A handful of nuts or a protein bar late morning will help to bolster your fading reserves.
In case you’d like to use your bedroom for something other than sleeping, the best time for sex is 6:00-7:00 a.m. (hormonally speaking).
Don’t fight those natural urges — work with them to get great sleep, maximize your energy and live your best life!
Take our pop quiz and learn about the history of the different animal sleep types, and tips on getting the most out of your particular animal in our comprehensive article on chronotypes.
Michael Breus, Ph.D., “The Power of When.” Mindworks, Inc., 2016.
“How to Find Your Chronotype to Boost Productivity.” Casper, http://casper.com/blog/chronotype/. 4 Nov. 2020.
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