Circadian Sleep Cycles
Sleep Tight, dear Lion … zzzz
Welcome, my lil snickerdoodles. Let me guess what you’re about to ask me…”Coach, it’s evening and we are going to talk about sleep, so surely you don’t have coffee in your Unicorn mug, right?!” Wrong…of course, I have coffee – decaf, oh yeah, baby. I LOVE COFFEE; caffeine or not.
This catalog is all about Sleep and is one of my favorite subjects. I have been teaching the importance of sleep since my first corporate wellness job in the 90’s. I knew what everyone else knew in the sense of how quality sleeps equates to a healthier you. So I got it, and for decades my coaching and wellness programs have continued to focus on sleep quality – nothing has changed, but yet everything has changed.
A few years ago, the man in my life excitingly shared with me an article he read about the Power of When written by Dr. Michael Breus regarding his work on circadian sleep cycles and different chronotypes. After much research, I ordered the book, had everyone I know take the test. And launched us into living life as a Lion and a Wolf. Huh. Yup. Here me Roar!
Before we go any further, I want to clarify a few definitions THEN we will chat about why I use sleep cycles with my clients.
- What is does circadian mean? Circadian is a biological process that reoccurs naturally on a twenty-four-hour cycle, even in the absence of light fluctuations.
- What is a Chronotype? Chronotype is a combination of our master biological clock ticking away inside of our brain and dozens of smaller biological clocks throughout our body.
Further, unlike a normal 24-hour (circadian) clock, not everyone’s biological clock keeps the same time or even the same pace. Maybe you have said, “I’m not a morning person” or “I have to eat breakfast as soon as I get up. The reason for these differences, people simply do not function as well at the exact same times of day.
Dr. Breus’ work determined that there are four Chronotypes. And he labeled them animals that he felt best described their sleep cycle and behaviors: Bear, Dolphin, Lion, and Wolf.
I tested this concept on my family and friends, and we started living as a Lion and Wolf. In just a few months, our relationship changed leaps and bounds for the better. I now understood why I wanted to rise with the sun, eat right away, work out, and get 90% of my work day completed all before noon - and why this gentle giant I lived with wanted to rise several hours after I did, hated the heat, wanted to do his most focused work mid-afternoon, eat dinner at 9 p.m. and go to bed at 2:00 am.
Holy *hit. It did – no joke - change our lives. Now, you ask how?
We started to mold our health and wellness into our “best times” of day. The natural times our body wanted to eat, wanted to move, wanted to sleep, wanted to talk, wanted to work. We stopped fighting our own clocks. We stopped trying to fit into what we should do and when society said we “had” to do things. Yes, it required us going solo on a few things, but it also profoundly and positively affected our overall wellness, sleep, fitness and attitude. It almost felt like living was half the battle it used to be.
I then shifted this concept to my clients and now it is simply just part of what I do. Every client takes a simple online test to find out whether they are a Bear, Dolphin, Lion or Wolf.
I then help clients design their very own Wellness Clock. They learn when to get the tough stuff done, and for some, they will never try to work out in the morning again. Like my Wolves. For some, they may decide to get up in the middle of the night, every night rather than ruminate and toss and turn for hours. Right, my Dolphins! Others, may hold off on their second cup of morning coffee and use it for that afternoon pick me up so they can complete their strength training in the early evening. Oh yeah, go Lions. And for my Bears, we balance their macro-nutrients because they love to eat and certainly love their carbs. They get h’angry for sure.
It is so much easier to do what naturally aligns with YOUR very own circadian clock. Your body and mind will do what you want them to do if you just let them do it when it works the best.
Take your personal test at: www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com
And now are you ready to shop? In our 3WellnessPillars store, you will find a catalog called Circadian Sleep Cycles. We have products representing the four chronotype animals: Bears, Dolphins, Lions and Wolves. Get yours now. Maybe you are a Bear like 65% of the population or maybe you are a Dolphin hovering at about 15%. Either way get your phone cover, bracelet, towel, keychain or choose from many other chronotype products. And, if you have would like us to supply another Sleep Circadian Cycle product in our store or if you have a chronotype wellness story to share, send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*disclaimer: some of Coach Peggy and 3WellnessPillars concepts are based on the work of Dr. Michael Breus, M.D., however, not specifically approved by Dr. Breus, his sleep team nor publisher.