Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow an approximate 24-hour cycle and that respond mainly to light and darkness in the environment of an organism. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants, and many tiny microbes. These rhythms are important for many functions of our body, including sleep, food, hormonal activity, brain activity, and cell regeneration. If you know what the chronotype of your biological clock is, you will better understand how your energy is distributed throughout the day and you will be able to make the most of your capacities by adapting your schedule to your peaks of activity.
How to know your most active moment of the day
Regarding sleep and the adjustment of the circadian rhythm with the day-night variation, psychobiology experts have spoken of three chronotypes, that is, three types of people associated with the name of birds as they respond to the adjustment:
Also called larks (20% of the population) they usually wake up fresh, always around the same time and hardly need the alarm clock. Their highest heart rate is reached at 11 in the morning and their lowest is at 3 in the morning. They wake up talkative, prefer exercise in the morning, and rarely need a little sleep during the day. Their mood declines throughout the day and they tend to go to bed at least two hours earlier than a person with an evening cycle or owl. They suffer from increased jet lag and do not adapt well to rotating shifts. They tend to have a more introverted personality, offer confidence, and be diligent. Morning people value reality and interpret it rationally. An advantage is that they obtain better academic results, but as a disadvantage as they get older, especially after 50 years, morning people are more dependent on the environment, so they lose rhythm and suffer more sleep disorders. Women are more prone to this chronotype.
Those recognized as owls (20% of the population), if they can afford it, wake up hours later and need several alarm clocks. They are not saved from being sleepy in the morning, with a tendency to fall asleep and be not very talkative. Their highest heart rate is reached at 17:30 in the afternoon and their lowest at 7 in the morning. Their activity increases throughout the day until they are full of energy at night. Their bedtime is variable since they prefer to be awake and take advantage of their strength. They are better adapted to time changes and rotating shifts. They tend to be more outgoing, emotional, neurotic, and addicted. These types of people prefer abstract and symbolic data, which are associated with creative personalities. They are also more intelligent than morning ones since getting around at night requires greater cognitive complexity. Afternoons are recommended to establish regular time patterns when waking up and going to bed, eating and carrying out their daily activities, so that they tend to a pattern of morning functioning that is required in the labor society. Men are more prone to this chronotype.
Hummingbirds (60% of the population) are those people who oscillate towards either of the two previous chronotypes. Some pull more towards being larks, and others towards being owls, but they are less extreme and more adaptable.
Here is the test to know what kind of bird you are:
-Morning-verpertinity questionnaire by Horne and Otsberg-
1. If you only thought about when you would feel better and you were totally free to plan the day. What time would you get up?
- Between 05:00 and 06:30 = 5
- Between 6:30 and 08:00 = 4
- Between 08:00 and 09:30 = 3
- Between 09:30 and 11 in the morning = 2
- Between 11:00 a.m. and noon = 1
2. If you only thought about when you would feel better and you were totally free to plan the day. What time would you go to bed?
- Between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. = 5
- Between 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. = 4
- Between 10:30 p.m. and 00:30 a.m. = 3
- Between 00:30 and 01:30 = 2
- Between 01:30 and 03:00 = 1
3. To get up in the morning at a specific time. To what extent do you need the alarm clock to warn you?
- I don’t need it = 4
- I need it little = 3
- I need it a lot = 2
- I need it a lot = 1
4. Under normal environmental circumstances. How do you feel about getting up in the morning?
- Not easy = 1
- Not very easy = 2
- Pretty easy = 3
- Very easy = 4
5. Once you get up in the morning. How do you feel during the first half hour?
- Nothing alert = 1
- Little alert = 2
- Fairly alert = 3
- Very alert = 4
6. Once you get up in the morning. How is your appetite during the first half hour?
- Very scarce = 1
- Fairly sparse = 2
- Pretty good = 2
- Very good = 4
7. Once you get up in the morning. How do you feel for the first half hour?
- Very tired = 1
- Pretty tired = 2
- Fairly rested = 3
- Very rested = 4
8. When you have no commitments the next day. What time do you go to bed in relation to your usual time?
- Rarely or never later = 4
- Less than 1 hour later = 3
- 1 to 2 hours later = 2
- More than 2 hours later = 1
9. You have decided to do some physical exercise. A friend proposes you to do it for an hour twice a week and according to him, the best time would be from 7 to 8 in the morning. How do you think you would find yourself?
- I would be in good shape = 4
- It would be in acceptable shape = 3
- I would find it difficult = 2
- It would be very difficult for me = 1
10. At what time of the night do you get tired and as a consequence do you need to sleep?
- From 20:00 to 21:00 = 5
- From 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. = 4
- From 22:30 to 00:30 = 3
- From 00:30 to 02: 00h = 2
- From 02:00 to 03: 00h = 1
11. You want to be at your peak of performance for a two-hour test that is going to be mentally exhausting. Being totally free to plan the day and only thinking about when you would feel better. What hours would you choose?
- From 8 to 10 in the morning = 6
- From 11 a.m. to 1 noon = 4
- From 3 to 5 in the afternoon = 2
- From 7 pm to 9 pm = 1
12. If you went to bed at 11 at night. What level of fatigue would you notice?
- No fatigue = 0
- Some fatigue = 2
- Quite tired = 3
- Very tired = 5
13. For some reason you have gone to bed several hours later than usual, although the next day you do not have to get up at any particular time. When do you think you would wake up?
- At the usual time and I would not sleep anymore = 4
- At the usual time and then doze = 3
- At the usual time and I would go back to sleep = 2
- Later than usual = 1
14. One night you have to stay up from 4 to 6 in the morning because of a guard. Without having any commitment the next day, what would you prefer?
- Do not go to bed until after the guard = 1
- Take a nap before and sleep after = 2
- Get a good sleep before and a little sleep after = 3
- Do all the sleep before the watch = 4
15. You have to do two hours of heavy physical work. You are totally free to plan your day. Thinking only about when you would feel better, what time would you choose?
- From 8 to 10 in the morning = 4
- From 11 a.m. to 1 noon = 3
- From 3 to 5 in the afternoon = 2
- From 7 pm to 9 pm = 1
16. You have decided to do intense physical exercise. A friend suggests you practice for an hour twice a week from 10 to 11 at night. How do you think you would sit?
- I’d be in good shape = 1
- It would be in acceptable shape = 2
- It would be difficult for me = 3
- It would be very difficult for me = 4
17. Imagine that you can choose your work schedule. Suppose that your day is FIVE hours (including breaks) and that your activity is heavily paid according to your performance. What FIVE CONSECUTIVE HOURS would you select? Starting at what time?
Consider the box marked far to the right to choose between the following ranges:
- Between 0:00 and 03:00 = 1
- Between 03:00 and 06:00 = 5
- Between 06:00 and 07:00 = 4
- Between 08:00 and 13:30 = 3
- Between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. = 2
- Between 5:00 p.m. and 0:00 a.m. = 1
18. At what time of the day do you think you reach your maximum level of well-being?
- Between 0:00 and 04:00 = 1
- Between 04:00 and 07:00 = 5
- Between 07:00 and 09:00 = 4
- Between 09:00 and 16:00 = 3
- Between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. = 2
- Between 9:00 p.m. and 0:00 a.m. = 1
19. There is talk of morning and evening people. Which of these guys do you consider yourself to be?
- A clearly morning guy = 6
- A type more morning than evening = 4
- A more evening than morning type = 2
- A clearly evening guy = 0
Add up the points and now check the total score:After the above, it is interesting that we synchronize our lives and daily tasks with our own circadian rhythm in order to better optimize energy and be more productive when it comes to achieving goals. Although sometimes our margin to change work routines is scarce and the agenda is set for us, if we can organize our personal activities around our peaks of activity. In addition, knowing these data, we must be more understanding with those people who have different cycles from ours and understand many behaviors.
We hope you found this classification of chronotypes interesting. If productivity is a goal in your lives, you may also find article 4 Benefits of music for productivity in the company curious.
Little birds to fly 🙂