5 Signs You Might Have a “Wolf” Chronotype Schedule — and What That Means for Your Sleep
Do you hate to go to bed before midnight because you feel like you’re missing out on big fun?
Are you a creative, out-of-the-box thinker?
Do your friends describe you as a bit moody, but loyal to a fault?
Are you an introverted risk-taker who’s motivated by life’s pleasures?
Do you view 9:00 as a p.m.-only hour?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then your sleep chronotype (your body’s natural patterns of sleep/activity) most closely resembles the wolf. (As opposed to the ever-changing and erratic chimera chronotype schedule!)
You’re among the 15-20% of the population sometimes referred to as night owls. Celebrities who share this chronotype include Elon Musk, Jay Leno and Rachel Ray. (Plus the creator of animal chronotypes himself, America’s Sleep Doctor Michael Breus.)
So what does this mean for you? Well, 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 wolf chronotype schedule.
A Day in the Life of a Wolf Chronotype
Wolves are nocturnal, which means they do their hunting and foraging at night and sleep during much of the daytime. These restless spirits spend over ⅓ of their time on the move, patrolling 20-30 miles of their territory every 24 hours.
Though their hunts are only successful around 10% of the time, wolves are clever predators, taking in all sorts of cues to adapt their strategy. They’re not afraid to try new techniques if there’s a fair chance they’ll lead to success.
While they’re comfortable within the social structure of their family pack, wolves aren’t fond of strangers.
They’re most active at dusk, and catch a second wind at dawn.
Now let’s examine how that translates to your life.
How to Work With Your Chronotype for Optimal Energy
It ain’t easy being a nocturnal human living in a diurnal world.
This chronotype is inhabited by a lot of freelancing creatives: writers, artists, musicians, stand-up comedians, coders, etc. If you’re one of them, consider going with your instincts and capitalizing on the quiet nighttime hours rather than forcing yourself to live the schedule of the daytime people.
We get it, though: social and family obligations mean that’s not always feasible. Though your ideal sleep schedule would be 5:00 a.m. until noon, you may need to adjust it to fit in with the 80% of the world who are into crazy things like sunrises and breakfast.
To save yourself some a.m. angst, prepare as much as you can in advance the evening prior when you’re at your peak. Time permitting, go ahead and hit snooze a couple of times for a more gradual start to facing the day.
Once you’re up, pull back the curtains and expose yourself (wait, we’re not done yet) to as much sunlight as possible to kickstart your brain into daytime mode.
Start your day with routine busywork tasks until you hit your stride in the early afternoon. That’s when you can best lend your wolf creativity and problem-solving abilities to strategy planning and major projects.
A late-afternoon nap as your energy starts to fade will provide the fuel for your late-night shenanigans. Just be sure to limit your nap to 30 minutes rather than trying to catch up on lost sleep.
Oh, and before we forget, here are a few other ways to take optimal advantage of your wolf chronotype schedule.
Bonus Tips for Wolf Chronotypes:
An evening workout routine can help you burn off some of that late-in-the-day restlessness.
Since you already have a hard time winding down in the evening, be sure to power down electronicsearly so they don’t keep your mind stimulated.
In case you’d like to use your bedroom for something other than sleeping, the best times for sex are 10:00 a.m. or 10:30 p.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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