Dr. Michael Breus, a.k.a. The Sleep Doctor, wrote the book, The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype – and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More.
I first heard of The Sleep Doctor when he was giving a talk during one of the health summits I routinely attend. I was so fascinated with his talk! He mentioned a word I had never heard before that peeked my interest – chronotype. I learned that there are four chronotypes; Dolphin, Lion, Bear, and Wolf. Finding out your chronotype can teach a lot about yourself. It can help you figure out when you operate best in just about every area of your life – including whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. I bought the book because I was eager to learn all of this. I share my greatest takeaways in this book review of The Power of When.
Before you read any further, I’d recommend you take this simple 45-second quiz to find out your chronotype.
So, what chronotype are you?
My choronotype is Lion which I was thrilled about because they tend to be leaders and great entrepreneurs! Although, I’ve almost been a little proud of my ability to jump out of bed in the morning and be super productive without having to rely on coffee. Then, I learned that Lions naturally have the ability to get up early at the same time every day and are most productive in the mornings. That kind of deflated my ego since I thought I was doing something right, but that’s a good thing. 🙂
I learned that Bear is the most common chronotype and that’s what our society’s average schedule is based around. Bears enjoy hanging out in the evening which is why we have Primetime television starting at eight o’clock. I found out that my husband is a Bear which is why he likes to stay up later than me.
My teenage daughter, like babies and most teenagers, is a Wolf. Wolfs like to stay up late into the night and are most talkative in the late night hours. I have picked up on that with my teenage daughter even before I read the book. She gets really talkative and wants to hang out when I am begging to go to sleep. In the morning, Wolfs tend to lay in bed for a while to adjust to getting up before they start their day. Wolfs would stay in bed until noon if you let them!
I don’t have a Dolphin in my family, but Dr. Michael Breus describes them as “wired and tired” and “neurotic and private”. They have the most energy in the afternoon and into the evening with insomnia at night. Their cortisol level is upside down – low in the morning and high at night.
Do I recommend The Power of When?
Yes, I recommend The Power of When, to understand yourself and the people you interact with. The book covers everything you can think of and more; from best times to wake up, when to eat each meal, when to exercise, when to go to bed, and even best times to work. It is amazingly accurate too! My family has been implementing some of the advice for our chronotypes. It has made a positive difference for us and our relationship with each other. I feel that this book has helped me to be more understanding of myself and my family members.
Alcohol consumption is a hot topic, so, if you are one to drink alcohol, this book will cover how much is recommended and safe for health reasons. Also, the best times to drink will be addressed based on your chronotype so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.
I have a word of caution for people with children around listening to this book on Audible without headphones.
Like I said, Dr. Michael Breus, covers pretty much everything you can think of for how to operate best for your chronotype. In the first half of the book, he mentions sex a lot and best times for it for each chronotype. I was listening to this book on Audible in the car during my recent road trip. My teenage daughter was in the car and was really turned off. She put on her headphones to avoid hearing that section of the book. The author also mentions the best time to masturbate. I am giving full disclosure to anyone that finds that offensive and it can easily be skipped over.
Overall, I give The Power of When a thumbs up. Finding out your chronotype and best practices for it can make such a difference to your quality of life. It can also help your family dynamic to understand your family’s needs as well!