Do You Sleep Like a Bear or a Dolphin?

The answer holds the key to a perfect night's rest says a fascinating new book

Everyone has heard of the sex drive, but few of us know we have a sleep drive, too — our biological need for some shuteye.

And just as some have a stronger sex drive than others, people’s sleep drive varies according to their personality and genetic inheritance or internal biological clock.

Our bodies and brains all run on our individual bio-time. Or at least that’s what they’re designed to do.

During my 15-plus years as a sleep doctor, I’ve seen hundreds of patients struggle with seemingly intractable sleep problems — and all the knock-on effects on relationships, careers, and health — as a direct result of what I call chrono-misalignment, or the disruption of our personal biological clocks.

For 50,000 years we’ve kept perfect bio-time, but in the past 125, all the technological advances of modern life — artificial light, air travel, instant communication, caffeine — have knocked the natural rhythm of our biology horribly out of sync. The Power of When: Dis... Michael Breus PhD Best Price: $6.39 Buy New $12.76 (as of 07:30 UTC - Details)

The good news is it doesn’t take much to get our clocks back on time. All it needs is just a few tweaks to our lifestyle and schedules — changing the hour we drink our first cup of coffee, for example; when we nap; when we have lunch and so on.

And that’s the beauty of it: you don’t have to overhaul your life entirely to reap the enormous benefits of a return to your correct bio-time — benefits that include losing weight, becoming more creative, solving problems, improving mood and, of course, getting a better night’s sleep.

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The key is to know what time your biological clock runs on. Different people fall into different classifications, based on sleep drive, and require different tweaks.

Using all my clinical experience, I’ve identified four ‘Chronotypes’ and called them by the names of the animals that seem to share their sleep traits most closely. Take the quiz on the right to find which one you are and then read on to discover your perfect day.

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