On average, people will spend nearly one-third of their life sleeping--that means for someone who has been alive for 75 years, they would have spent almost 25 of them asleep. After looking at those numbers, it becomes easier to see that getting enough sleep is extremely important. In fact, not getting enough sleep can have widespread and detrimental effects on a person's overall health. While many may already know the importance of getting a good night sleep, it is a little less well known fact that there are many different types of sleepers.
For instance, according to early researchers and scientists, there are 4 typical chronotypes, with the possibility of six, that most people fall into. Chronotypes are a general way of classifying your sleep patterns based upon a 24-hour circadian rhythm of sleeping and wakefulness. These early chronotypes, which are still widely supported by mainstream science, are based on a spectrum of morningness to eveningness.
- Morning Larks- These people rise earliest in the day and typically reach their mental peak during 9am - 11am. They gradually get sleepier throughout the day and become tired before all other chronotypes.
- Afternooner- People who fall under this chronotype typically get tired both in the morning and the evening, but are most alert between the hours of 11am - 5pm.
- Napper- Those in the napper category begin the day alert and stay that way until around 11am where they gradually become more tired until they get a second wind in the afternoon, which usually lasts until sometime after 10pm.
- Night Owls- I’m sure many of us have heard the term night owl before, that is most likely because there are actually people who fall within this chronotype. Night owls always start the day tired, never really waking up until later in the morning. However, they get more and more alert as the day goes on, often lasting well until the wee hours of the night.
- Swifts- One of the two possible categories that research points to existing are people known as the swifts. These people have continuous energy from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed.
- Woodcocks- The last possible category for these chronotypes are known as the woodcocks. These people just happen to be sleepy all of the time!
Recently, other sets of researchers, who believe that sleep chronotypes should include more than just circadian rhythm patterns, distinguished another set of 4 chronotypes. However, these chronotypes are based around how different personality types may affect the body's response to certain stimuli that influence our circadian rhythm, and how those differences might affect our sleep patterns:
- The Bear- According to their research, more than 55% of the population fall under this chronotype. Bears usually sleep around 11pm - 7am, with 8 hours being enough. People who fall under this category are usually most productive in the mornings, with their mental peak normally lasting around 10am - 2pm. Most will also struggle with an afternoon slump after lunch. Typically, bears are extroverts and will carry high energy throughout a conversation --with other personality traits such as happy-go-lucky and a continual laid-back energy.
- The Wolf- By their records, 15% of the population are considered to be the wolf chronotype. Just like their real life counterparts, wolves are most productive during the night. Similar to a night owl, this person doesn’t become mentally focused until later on in the evening. Those in the wolf category typically don't consider going to bed until after the clock strikes midnight, and many will have difficulty getting back up when the sun rises. Wolves are known to be more introverted, creative, introspective, and reserved.
- The Lion- Another estimated 15% of the population fall under the lion chronotype. Lions are natural early birds, and may be compared to the morning lark. People in this chronotype feel most alive in the morning and are often able to accomplish a large amount of work before noon. Waking up is a breeze for this chronotype, with that stride normally lasting until noon, where they begin to fade out. The afternoon slump hits this group hard, often leaving them drained by evening time. Lions are almost always “type-A” people, they are natural leaders, charismatic, and early risers.
- The Dolphin- The last category for this set of chronotypes are known as the dolphins. Making up just around 10% of the population, this is the smallest category. In nature, dolphins are insomniacs, only sleeping with one half of their brain at a time. For that reason, people in this category are known to be anxious. They have a hard time falling asleep and getting enough sleep throughout the night. Productivity reaches its peak for this group around mid-morning but there is usually a lingering sense of tiredness all throughout the day. Sometimes people in this category are seen as distant or uninteresting in social situations, and they often appear scatterbrained, but are highly intelligent and have bursts of super creative energy.
If you are curious to find out what kind of sleeper you are, and what chronotype you fall into, there are many quizzes that you can take on various different websites that can help you decide! Knowing what type of sleeper you are can help you determine when it's best for you to go to sleep, when it's best for you to wake up, and even when the most productive time of day for you is.
Regardless of what kind of sleeper you are, we all need a great foundation in order to get a good night’s rest. Here at The Bedding Mart, we have many mattress options available that are sure to fit any type of sleepers needs! Visit our online market or stop in at any one of our 7 locations in Arkansas, Texas or Missouri, to speak with a mattress specialist who can help you figure out which bed is right for you. We have a huge selection and we continually are looking for new ways to offer our customers savings on our high quality and super comfortable mattresses!