Beyond the 5 AM Club: Discover Your Chronotype for Optimal Performance

By Victor Macias,

Published on May 10, 2023   —   2 min read

The 5 AM club isn’t for everyone

Much thought is placed on “what” to do and “how” to do it. We believe if we just do what successful people do - wake up at 5 am, meditate, grind, we’ll be successful. However, an often-overlooked question must be answered to radically transform your life. That question is “when.” As Michael Breus, author of The Power of When says, “When is the ultimate lifehack.”

Since you were a baby, an inner clock has been keeping perfect time. This clock regulates everything from your creativity, body temperature, focus, and sleep. Being misaligned with your bio clock can be devastating to one’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

Most of us work against our biological clock. We work when we should rest. We eat when we should fast. We check email when we should be focused on deep work. This misalignment causes us to perform below our full potential. (Related: From Strengths to Superpowers: Unleash Your Full Potential Through Daily Practice)

Understanding “when” allows you to do “what” effectively. Small tweaks like when you have your first cup of coffee or when you check Social Media, can sync the rhythm of your day with that of your biology. Everything will start to flow smoothly and feel easier. You’ll be healthier, happier, and more productive.

From “What” to “When”

alarm clock
Photo by insung yoon / Unsplash

According to Breus, humans fall into one of four chronotypes. A chronotype is a grouping of the general timing of your biological clock. Each chronotype is named after an animal embodying similar characteristics with the main difference being their sleep drive.

The Four Chronotypes

  • Dolphins: Dolphins sleep with half their brain at a time. While one half is resting, the other is alert on the lookout for predators. This aligns with insomniacs: smart, slightly neurotic with a low sleep drive.
  • Lions: Lions are morning-oriented hunters. This animal aligns with early risers with a medium sleep drive.
  • Bears: Bears are great sleepers and hunt anytime. This name is perfect for optimistic, go-with-the-flow, folks who prefer a solar-based rhythm and have a high sleep drive.
  • Wolves: Wolves are nocturnal hunters. This animal aligns with people who are extroverted, get their best ideas at night, and have a medium sleep drive.

Which one are you? Take the Chronotype Quiz

Breus developed a simple test to identify each Chronotype. Take the quiz here and discover yours:


  1. Take the Chronotype Quiz:
  2. View your Chronotype ideal schedule here.
  3. Schedule your day around your ideal chronotype

Embracing your unique chronotype can lead to significant improvements in your productivity, well-being, and overall happiness. By understanding your natural biological rhythms, you can tailor your daily routine to optimize your performance and energy levels. Don't be confined by conventional wisdom—discover your chronotype, make the necessary adjustments, and unlock your true potential.

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