Dolphin, Bear, Wolf Or Lion — How These Mammals Determine Your Personality Type & Influence Your Sleep Habits

Which chronotype represents you?

four chronotype personalities Pexels, Life on White, pixabay, tatyanakorenugina via Canva

It used to be that when it came to our sleep patterns, people either identified as Early Birds or Night Owls.

Predictably, Early Birds are up with the sun, are super-productive, and go to bed relatively early. Night Owls, however, sleep in, are more productive in the later hours, and go to bed much later.

It turns out that these general stereotypes don’t do our internal biological clocks much justice.


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What is a chronotype?

A chronotype is the body's natural inclination to sleep at certain times. Your chronotype (also referred to as diurnal preference) is "a part of circadian rhythmicity and is typically defined as individual variation in the preferred timing of the sleep-wake cycle."


According to the Sleep Foundation, chronotypes not only regulate sleep but also influence appetite, exercise, and core body temperature.

It’s true that some of us “need” more sleep than others, and that different people are more productive at different times of the day. But human beings need more than two categories where our biological clocks are concerned, according to specialist Dr. Michael Breus.

Breus developed a way of determining what time of day suits each person best by developing 4 personality types known as chronotypes. And each chronotype personality tells us a lot more about ourselves and our sleep patterns.

Knowing your chronotype personality can help you determine the best time of day to work, sleep, learn something new, wake up, or go to the gym.


Instead of using birds, Breus selected four mammals that best represent these different personality types: the dolphin chronotype personality, the wolf chronotype personality, the bear chronotype personality, and the lion chronotype personality.

So, which one represents you?

What are the four chronotypes?

Like we mentioned above, Dr. Michael Breus ended up developing four chronotypes to describe a person's personality and sleep schedule:

  • Dolphin: no set sleep schedule; fall asleep when their body tells them to
  • Lion: fall asleep around 9 PM; usually wake up early
  • Bear: strict 8 hours of sleep; coincides with the sun
  • Wolf: fall asleep at midnight or well beyond it

The 4 Chronotypes, Explained

1. Dolphin Chronotype Personality

dolphin chronotype personalityPhoto: Drawcee, Rolling Stones, Pixabay via Canva


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The Dolphin chronotype personality tends to be cautious, introverted, neurotic, and intelligent. They avoid risky situations and constantly strive for perfection. They are completely obsessed with details.

Dolphins tend to wake up feeling tired and go on that way until the end of the day when they feel wide awake. They are the most productive in spurts throughout the day.

They can't really have a set sleep schedule and should only fall asleep when their body's natural response tells them to. They are also extremely light sleepers and any noise or light can disturb them. Dolphin chronotypes are more likely to develop insomnia than the other types.


Best time for dolphins to:

Sleep: 11:30 PM

Wake up: 6:30 AM

Work out: 7:30 AM

Have sex: 8 PM

Learn something new: 3 PM-9 PM

2. Lion Chronotype Personality

lion chronotype personalityPhoto: Drawcee, Pixabay, shutterlightdigital via Canva

The Lion chronotype personality tends to be stable, practical, and optimistic. Pretty good for such a major predator! Lions tend to focus on their health and they love positive social interactions.


Lions are most alert at noon. They enjoy tackling their to-do list immediately when they wake up and feel more productive throughout the day. They embody the idea of “Early to bed, early to rise.” They get up early and can fall asleep without much bother. It’s nice to be the king of the jungle!

Best time for lions to:

Sleep: 10 PM

Wake up: 5:30 AM

Work out: 5:30 PM

Have sex: 6 AM-7 AM

Learn something new: 8 AM-12 PM

3. Bear Chronotype Personality

bear chronotype personalityPhoto: Drawcee, Pixabay, Instastudio via Canva


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The Bear chronotype personality tends to be cautious. That said, they are also open-minded and very friendly. They avoid conflict and prioritize happiness. There’s nothing a bear loves more than that which is familiar.

Most Bears wake up after hitting the snooze button in a bit of a daze. They feel tired by mid-to-late evening and sleep very deeply, but not for as long as they wish they could. Bear chronotypes are synched with the sun, thus their sleep-wake cycle is determined by it.

They are the most alert from mid-morning to early afternoon, and most productive before lunchtime. These are busy bears indeed! It is also the most common chronotype with about 55% of the population having it.


Best time for bears to:

Sleep: 11 PM

Wake up: 7 AM

Work out: 12 PM

Have sex: 7 AM or 9 PM

Learn something new: 10 AM-2 PM


4. Wolf Chronotype Personality

wolf chronotype personalityPhoto: Drawcee, Pixabay, ninasitkevich via Canva

The Wolf chronotype personality can be pessimistic and impulsive, but also creative if a little moody. They take risks and seek out pleasure and new things. They react with great emotional intensity.

Wolves are not morning people and hate getting out of bed before noon. Wolves go to bed late and wake up late. They don’t feel tired until midnight or later.


They are at their most alert at 7 PM and are most productive in the later morning hours and the later evening. They are more likely to take naps throughout the day.

Best time for wolves to:

Sleep: Midnight

Wake up: 7:30 AM

Work out: 6 PM

Have sex: 10 AM or 10:30 PM

Learn something new: 5 PM-12 AM

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer and the Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, and true crime.