Calling All Lion Chronotypes: Here's How To Thrive + An Optimized Daily Schedule
Sleep is an integral part of our overall health, and we all have to approach it individually to ensure we're getting the most out of it. That's where the four chronotypes come in, and in the case of the lion chronotype, we're breaking down what these people need for quality sleep, the best time for them to go to bed and wake up, and more.
The four sleep chronotypes.
The four sleep chronotypes relate to how the body's biological clock, aka circadian rhythm, operates, including when we're most energized during the day—and when we're not.
The lion and bear chronotypes of the world are your classic early risers, while the wolf and dolphin chronotypes tend toward waking later in the day. And when you know which of the four you are, you can suit your schedule and lifestyle to the needs of your type and, moreover, your circadian rhythm.
Here's a quick look at the four chronotypes:
- Lions: Morning people who wake up early and are most productive in the morning
- Bears: Sleep schedule is synced with the sun, most productive in the morning
- Wolves: Wake up later in the day, most productive in the afternoon/evening
- Dolphins: Trouble waking up and falling asleep, most productive around midday
If you're curious to know for sure which sleep chronotype you are, you can take this quiz to find out.
Characteristics of a lion chronotype.
According to board-certified sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D., lions make up about 15% of the general population.
And lucky for these folks, Breus tells mbg, "They usually do not report sleep problems—in fact they rarely report many problems at all."
Lions tend to be leaders, or chief operating officer types, he notes, adding that they also like to make daily lists, going from step one, to two, to three, in order. "They are natural early risers, driven and focused, and highly productive in their careers," Breus explains.
Socially, however, the lion chronotype can have some difficulties. According to Breus, they tend to be "intense," and because they like to go to bed early, they're not much for the party scene. "It is very difficult for them to change their schedules successfully," he adds.
Lion chronotype ideal schedule:
- 5:30 a.m.: Wake up, don't hit snooze
- 5:45 a.m.: Have a high-protein, low-carb breakfast
- 6:15 to 7 a.m.: Morning meditation and/or big-picture conceptualizing and organization
- 7 to 7:30 a.m.: Chores and/or sexual activity
- 7:30 to 9 a.m.: Take a cool shower, interact with people, and go to work
- 9 a.m.: Have a small snack around 250 calories
- 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Your most productive time for interactions, focused events, and problem-solving
- 12 to 1 p.m.: Eat a balanced lunch, go outside, and get some sunlight
- 1 to 5 p.m.: Creative thinking, lead brainstorming sessions, or read
- 5 to 6 p.m.: Exercise, ideally outdoors, and take a cool shower
- 6 to 7 p.m.: Have a light dinner
- 7:30 p.m.: This is your cutoff time for alcohol
- 7 to 10 p.m.: Socialize, chat with friends/family, etc.
- 10 p.m.: Relax at home without screens
- 10:30 p.m.: Lights out and it's time for bed
Tips for thriving as a lion chronotype:
Know when to work out.
According to Breus, the question of when to work out as a lion depends on the kind of exercise you're looking to do. If you wanted to go for a run or do other cardio, for example, Breus says around 5:30 p.m. is best. If you're playing a team sport, on the other hand, aim for a window between 2 and 4 p.m.
If you're doing something more mindful, like yoga, 8 a.m. or 5 p.m. would be good times for that. And strength training, Breus says, is best for lions from 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Be mindful about when (and what) you eat.
Breus recommends a high-protein breakfast first thing at 5:45 a.m. for the lion chronotype. Around 9 a.m., you'll want a light snack. Lunch between noon and one is great, and ideally, it will be something healthy and balanced (here are some ideas if you're in a rut!). And for dinner, lions will do best with a light meal between 6 and 7 p.m., with no more alcohol past 7:30.
Plan when to have sex (yes, really!).
For the lion chronotype, morning sex between 6 and 7 a.m. "seems to be best," according to Breus. Though, this also depends on what your partner's chronotype is, so here's a quick breakdown:
- Female lion & male lion: 6 p.m., 6 a.m.
- Female lion & male dolphin: 7 p.m., 7 a.m.
- Female lion & male bear: 8 p.m., 7 a.m.
- Female lion & male wolf: 7 p.m., 8 a.m.
- Female bear & male lion: 9 p.m., 7:30 a.m.
- Female wolf & male lion: 9 p.m., 9 a.m.
- Female dolphin & male lion: 8 p.m., 7 a.m.
- Female lion & female lion: 6 p.m., 6 a.m.
- Female lion & female bear: 9 p.m., 7 a.m.
- Female lion & female wolf: 9 p.m., 9 a.m.
- Female lion & female dolphin: 8 p.m., 8 a.m.
- Male lion & male lion: 6 a.m., 6 p.m.
- Male lion & male bear: 7 a.m., 9 p.m.
- Male lion & male wolf: 9 a.m., 9 p.m.
- Male lion & male dolphin: 7 a.m., 8 p.m.
Optimizing sleep as a lion chronotype.
The good news is, lions don't tend to have too many sleeping difficulties, according to Breus. The most important thing for them to do, he says, is to simply follow the chrono-typical sleep and wake-up times for lions: 10:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., respectively.
In addition to that, of course, it never hurts to lean on good sleep hygiene practices like maintaining a bedroom that's conducive to sleep (i.e., cool, dark, and quiet), getting lots of natural light during the day and keeping the lights dim into the evening, and taking a sleep supplement, like mbg's sleep support+, if you could use a little extra help falling or staying asleep.* Check out our full guide to getting high-quality sleep for more tips.
We know sleep is important, but we don't always understand our bodies' natural rhythms. So if you're a lion, give catering to your chronotype a try, and watch how it transforms and regulates your sleep—and energy levels.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.