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How To Design Your Ideal Workday Based On Your Sleep Habits

Source | FastCompany : BY RICH BELLIS

Chances are you don’t start work in the morning without first having a cup (or several) of coffee.

But as board-certified sleep specialist and The Power of When author Michael Breus sees it, exactly when you should have caffeine depends on your sleep type.

When it comes to falling asleep and waking up, Breus has found there are four types of people in the world–or rather, animals: bears, lions, wolves, and dolphins. Each represents a so-called “chronotype” that describes your body’s natural sleep habits and energy patterns. Knowing not to act like a wolf when you’re really a bear, says Breus, can help you have less painful wake-ups, fewer after-lunch slumps, and more productive workdays overall.


Breus believes that your chronotype can offer a roadmap for taking advantage of your body’s natural energy flows. Here’s what an ideal workday might look like, according to Breus, for bears, lions, wolves, and dolphins:

[Illustration: Muti]

Bears are 50%–55% of the population. “They are the ‘get it done’ group,” Breus says. “They have normal sleep schedules, but may not get quite enough sleep.”MORNING ROUTINE: 7 a.m.–11 a.m.

  • Wake up and get your blood flowing with 10 minutes of stretching.
  • Eat a light breakfast: fruit, yogurt, nuts, and a 16-ounce glass of water.
  • Take 15 minutes or so to plan your day.
  • Then you can grab that coffee.

PEAK WORKING HOURS: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

  • Kick off your first period of high alertness with something that takes a lot of focus.
  • As your caffeine boost wears off, head outside to pick up lunch on the early side–and soak in some sunlight, which reminds your body that it’s time to be alert and active.
  • Lunch, around noon, will give you a second boost of energy for more high-value tasks.
  • Around 2 p.m., your energy will start to ebb, but you’ll be in a great mood. Time for meetings, brainstorms, and a protein-heavy snack to carry you through the afternoon.

AFTER WORK: 6 p.m.–10 p.m.

  • Exercise–knowing that getting started is probably going to be a little tough.
  • After your workout, wind down for a light dinner, and go easy on the carbs.
  • The period after dinner is prime time to socialize.

Read On….

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