CBD & Sleep Chronotypes

CBD 101
CBD & Sleep Chronotypes

Read Time: 9 minutes

What makes a person an early bird or a night owl? It all boils down to something called a "chronotype”—which is your body's natural inclination to sleep and rise at a certain time. It's kind of like your biological clock and syncs up with your natural circadian rhythm. If you’re curious as to what the different chronotypes are, or how can you lean into yours for more productive days and restful nights, read on. We dive into the science, as well, to see what role CBD may play.

What Are Chronotypes? 

Your chronotype is the time of day your body wakes up and goes to sleep. There are four main chronotype categories—each describing the different periods of the day people naturally wake up, as well as how they sleep. More or less, your chronotype helps make sense of why you're an early bird, a night owl, or caught somewhere in between. It's why you feel more active and alert at certain times of the day (and sleepier at other times).

Your chronotype is a genetic inclination to sleep or wake at certain times of the day regardless of environmental factors and is in sync with your biological clock. It also influences things like body temperature, energy, appetite, and behaviors like exercise. As it's an inherent part of who you are, there's nothing you can or should do to change it. In fact, you should learn more about your chronotype to find ways to work with it according to your lifestyle to achieve better sleep in addition to more productive days.

What Determines Your Chronotype? 

Your sleep chronotype differs from your circadian rhythm—which controls your sleep-wake cycle by releasing melatonin when it gets dark or cold.¹ You can train your circadian rhythm if you have yourself on a strict schedule, but your underlying chronotype is permanent. With that in mind—if you're naturally a night owl, you can still wake up for your 7 AM shifts but may struggle to really be productive until later in the day (and then may struggle with sleep). 

Many factors determine your chronotype, including age, genetics, and geographical location. For example, children typically have an early chronotype—but that’s likely to shift as they get older. Middle-aged people tend to go to bed around 11 PM or 12 AM and wake up between 7 AM and 8 AM. The older people get, the more likely they are to wake up earlier. 

Some evidence indicates chronotypes are inherently genetic. Specific genetic variances may be tied to causing people to be more prone to be morning people or night owls—stemming back to our hunter-gatherer days.²

Characteristics of Each Chronotype

Now that you know what chronotypes are, let's dive into some of the characteristics of the four main sleep chronotypes. To determine your chronotype, it helps to think about what you do on your days off. When do you naturally go to bed and wake up? You can take the most popular sleep chronotype quiz developed by Dr. Michael Breus, as well, who describes the chronotypes based on sleep-wake patterns of animals.³

The four chronotypes are described as bears, lions, wolves, or dolphins. 

  • Bears: Bears make up over half of the population. People with the bear chronotype tend to rise and fall with the sun, making them versatile in both traditional and non-traditional work hours. This allows them to maintain their social life in the evening or run errands in the morning. They tend to wake up around 7 AM, fall asleep around midnight, and reach peak productivity around noon.

  • Lions: People with the lion chronotype are the early birds. They tend to wake up super early, but can become sleepy by early afternoon. Lions consist of 15% of the population and might have trouble keeping up with social obligations in the evenings. Lions tend to be in bed by 10 PM, but are then up bright and early by 6 AM. A lion may feel the most productive between either 8 AM and 10 AM or 1 PM and 3 PM. 

  • Wolves: People with the wolf chronotype account for 15% of the population. They’re the classic night owls who perform best in the evenings and hit their productivity stride in the afternoon—though they may have difficulty waking up in the morning. A wolf tends to get to bed around 2 AM and hits their productivity stride between 4 PM and 8 PM. 

  • Dolphins: People with this chronotype tend to be hyper-aware of their surroundings and more likely to struggle with insomnia. They tend to feel most productive right before bed, which can be unfortunate since they usually wake up early. Dolphins may get up around 8 AM and go to bed around 1 AM. Dolphins make up about 10% of the population.

Using chronotypes as a glimpse into your sleep schedule may give you a better understanding of how you’re wired internally—which could help improve your sleep and overall quality of life. 

How Chronotypes May Affect Your Sleep & Overall Health

A handful of studies have found a correlation between your chronotype and health, personality, and quality of life.⁴ For example, early birds tend to be agreeable and conscientious; while night owls tend to err on the side of openness to experience and neuroticism. Morning people might be better at school, while night owls may be more creative.

Alternatively, morning people are less likely to be stressed out—while night people may be more impulsive or anxious, due to their flexible sleep schedules. People who are more active at night may experience things like increased stress responses, a higher resting heart rate, and higher levels of cortisol—which can contribute to sleep apnea or other severe conditions like mental disorders, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.⁵

However, it's essential to keep in mind that many different factors may contribute to certain personality traits associated with the different sleep chronotypes—including irregular sleep schedules, poor sleep hygiene, genetics, or having to adapt to work schedules that don't exactly mesh with your natural chronotype.⁶

Matching a chronotype to a specific working schedule isn’t always viable, but for those who stick to a routine there are things they can do to help shift their circadian rhythm—which may combat insomnia and burnout. Melatonin or CBD supplements, light therapies, good sleep hygiene, and other factors can help make it easier to work with chronotypes to be as productive as needed.⁷

Can CBD Help? 

CBD is the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp that may help with sleep-related issues. Evidence indicates that CBD may help your body find balance, due to how it interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The relationship it shares with the ECS makes it possible for CBD to play a minor role in various aspects of one’s overall wellness. Research suggest that it could help with alleviating inflammation, balancing immune functions, improving our mood and memory, as well as play a role in regulating natural sleep-wake cycles. 

While CBD isn't like a sleeping pill, it could enhance your nightly routine and help your body stay balanced—so you can lean into your natural sleep chronotype more easily. There are numerous reasons one might have trouble sleeping—like anxiety, pain, PTSD, depression, or other mental health struggles.⁸ The side effects of certain medications, having caffeine too late, uncomfortable mattresses, or sleeping through loud noises can all impact quality of sleep—leaving you feeling groggy and grumpy in the morning.

Aside from improving your evening routine and sleep hygiene, evidence suggests that CBD may be able to help with the stress, anxiety, physical discomfort, and poor circadian rhythms that can contribute to insomnia.⁹⁻¹¹

Unlock Your Chronotype To Maximize Productivity 

Knowing your natural behaviors regarding sleep and when you'll feel most productive is a great way to honor your internal wiring and make the most out of your days. If you desire to find new ways to boost productivity and live your best lifes, follow a few tips based on your chronotype below.

  • Bears: For bears, getting a consistent eight hours of sleep every night is paramount to success. Bears can work on smaller, more manageable tasks in the morning and save significant projects for the afternoon—when they reach peak productivity. As bears tend to work in pretty balanced schedules, they might want to incorporate CBD Softgels into their daily wellness routine to help with energy levels and focus during the day and unwinding at night. 
  • Lions: With the quietness of early mornings on their side, lions often wake and get challenging projects or strenuous tasks out of the way first thing in the day. However, lions are often prone to burnout by early evening or even insomnia at night. To counter this, they may benefit from CBD Relax Capsules to help them balance their sleep schedule and keep their moods leveled out the whole day through.
  • Wolves: While wolves wake up a little later than others, they get the solitude of late nights to be focused and be productive. Wolves may work on easy tasks during the day and save difficult or time-consuming tasks for the late afternoon or early evening. However, they may struggle with having to wake up early and get to work. CBD Energy Gummies may help promote productivity earlier in the day, so it’s easier to unwind when it's time to get to sleep. 
  • Dolphins: Last but not least, dolphins are a different breed. As dolphins have an erratic sleep schedule and a different type of energy burst in the later hours of the night, they do their best work when they accept their tired-but-wired lifestyle. Sleep Capsules with melatonin could help make it easier for them to finish work, unwind, and sleep through the night. Better sleep makes for better days, so ensuring that they get a good night's sleep is imperative to their success.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, looking into sleep chronotypes can help you better understand your body and its natural patterns—making it a little bit easier to be productive, energized, and well-rested. Regardless of your chronotype, CBD may support you in reaching the balance you need to both honor your chronotype and take care of business. You may also want to incorporate good sleep hygiene, melatonin supplements, and/or stress-relief techniques to help you sleep well and feel your best. Count on Lazarus Naturals for support at every step on the life-long journey towards wellness.