The Bear Chronotype: Your Ultimate Guide


Written by Dr. Michael Breus

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This page is part of a series on chronotypes — your natural disposition to feel alert or sleepy at certain times. Read more about chronotypes here.

Are you frequently looking to catch some extra Z’s or hunt for an afternoon snack? You just might be a bear! Making up about 55% of the population, it’s safe to say that the world is brimming with bears.

As the most prevalent of the four chronotypes, a standard 9-5 schedule tends to suit a bear’s energy levels pretty well. But this doesn’t mean it’s pawsitively breezy to get through the workday, manage relationships, and get the sleep you need.

For all the bears out there, we’ve come up with a guide that suits your steady nature and helps you plan for and power through your day.

Key Traits: Cautiousness, Extroversion, Friendly, Easy to Talk to, Open-Minded

Key Behaviors: Avoids Conflict, Aspires to be Healthy, Prioritizes Happiness, Takes Comfort in the Familiar

Your Best Sleep-Wake Schedule

As a bear, your sleep-wake patterns match up nicely with the solar cycle. Bears often wake in a daze after hitting the snooze button once or twice and start to feel tired in the early evening. Your ideal wake up time is with the sun, around 7 a.m. Sleep in no later than 8 a.m. to avoid any impacts on your sleep schedule. 

Wake up (7 a.m.)
Sleep in (8 a.m.)
Take a nap (2 p.m.)
Go to bed (11 p.m.)

Many bears experience a sharp energy decline around 2 p.m., making it the perfect time for a nap. With high sleep drives, bears tend to catch up on extra sleep via napping. 

The ideal bedtime for a bear is 11 p.m., after spending an hour or so winding down.

Strategize Your Workday

The average workday was practically designed with the bear chronotype in mind. Bears are most alert in the mid-morning and early afternoon and most productive in the late morning. Because bears make up more than half of the population, it’s safe to say that today’s workforce is brimming with bears.

Graph showing Bear energy levels rise midday

Plan and organize your day while you’re waiting for your energy levels to peak at 10 a.m. Your cognitive impact is highest between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., which is when you should go into focus mode and tackle your toughest tasks. An active lunch hour will help you stave off the afternoon energy dip and prolong your peak analytical powers. 

Prioritize busy work or administrative tasks between 2 and 3 p.m., when you’ll feel at your lowest. Squeezing in a short nap will help your productivity in the afternoon. Your mood will peak around 3 to 6 p.m., making it the perfect time to attend meetings, interact with clients, or present an idea to your boss.

Brainstorming (8 – 9 a.m.)
Organization and planning (9 – 10 a.m.)
Job Interviews (10 a.m.)
Creative thinking and problem-solving tasks (10 a.m. and 12 p.m.)
Work lunches (12 – 1 p.m.)
Busy work (2 – 3 p.m.)
Important meetings, calls, and emails (3 – 6 p.m.)

Better Manage Your Relationships

Bears enjoy being around people and can grow restless and bored when they’re alone for too long. Easygoing almost to a fault, bears don’t often cause drama. 

See your therapist (9 – 10 a.m.)
Spend time with your kids (2 – 4 p.m.)
Have an important conversation with your partner (4 – 6 p.m.)
Call family or friends (8 – 10 p.m.)
Have sex (7 a.m. or 9 p.m.)

You’ll be in a good mood starting in mid-afternoon and continuing into the early evening. A bear’s patience peaks around 4 p.m, making it the ideal time to have a hard conversation with your partner, family, or kids. 

Bears have two optimal times for sex—either 7 a.m. or 9 p.m.—when you’re waking up or winding down for the day.

When to Sip, Snack, and Splurge

Because bears are often hungry upon waking, you should opt for a high-protein breakfast early in the morning. This should be your biggest meal of the day. Hold off on drinking coffee until 9:30 a.m., when your cortisol levels drop and you need an extra boost. 

Eat a high-protein breakfast (7:30 a.m.)
Have coffee (9:30 – 11 a.m. )
Eat a balanced lunch (12:30 p.m.)
Snack time (4 p.m.)
Have a drink (6:30 – 8:30 p.m.)
Eat a carb-heavy dinner (7:30 p.m.)

A balanced lunch and a small snack at 4 p.m. will push you through until happy hour. Your alcohol tolerance will be high in the early evening, allowing you to indulge in a couple drinks and get the alcohol out of your system before it threatens to interfere with sleep. 

Your smallest meal of the day should be dinner around 7:30 p.m. The fast between dinner and breakfast will help you speed up your metabolism and increase your energy the following day. Have your last bite no later than 8:30 p.m., as eating within three hours of bedtime sends blood and heat to your core, which signals to your body to stay awake.

Streamline Your Fitness Goals

Bears reach their peak energy levels midday and will typically hit a stamina wall around 2 p.m. They’ll rebound in the early evening, making it the perfect time for a team sport. Between 6 and 8 p.m. is when a bear’s strength, mood, and coordination will be at their highest. 

Go for a run (7:30 a.m. or 12 p.m.)
Practice yoga (12 p.m. or sunset)
Strength train (4 – 7 p.m.)
Play a team sport (6 – 8 p.m.)

Looking to go for a run? Aim for 7:30 a.m. as a pre-breakfast fat burn or try a jog during your lunch break to keep energized throughout the day.

About The Author

Dr. Michael Breus

Clinical Psychologist, Sleep Medicine Expert

Michael Breus, Ph.D is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and one of only 168 psychologists to pass the Sleep Medical Specialty Board without going to medical school. He holds a BA in Psychology from Skidmore College, and PhD in Clinical Psychology from The University of Georgia. Dr. Breus has been in private practice as a sleep doctor for nearly 25 years. Dr. Breus is a sought after lecturer and his knowledge is shared daily in major national media worldwide including Today, Dr. Oz, Oprah, and for fourteen years as the sleep expert on WebMD. Dr. Breus is also the bestselling author of The Power of When, The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, Good Night!, and Energize!

  • POSITION: Combination Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper

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