Are you getting enough sleep at night yet find yourself dragging the next afternoon or, worse, as you get out of bed in the morning? Getting restorative sleep revolves around being true to your chronotype, whether you’re a morning person, a night owl or somewhere in between. And being energized revolves around your body type so you know when to move, when to rest, when to eat and how to boost your mood in ways that match your metabolism. ­Bottom Line Personal asked sleep expert Dr. Michael J. Breus how we can wake up energized. His most recent book, Energize!, is based on data from 5,000 people who served as part of his research.

Determine Your Chronotype

The number-one cause of exhaustion is going against your chronotype. Example: Forcing yourself to stay up late when your body really wants you in bed at
9 pm. Ignoring your chronotype can cause a cascade of negative events, including sleep deprivation, chronic stress, mood disorders and compromised health.

In addition to practicing good sleep hygiene—consistent sleep and wake-up times (even on weekends)…unplugging from blue-light–emitting devices an hour or two before bed…and stopping any alcohol three hours before bed—you should identify your chronotype and set your sleep schedule accordingly. Which chronotype do you fit into?

Lions are early risers—5:30 to 6 am. Your body starts secreting the sleep-­promoting hormone melatonin in mid-evening, which explains why you crave a 9 pm bedtime. Ideally you want at least seven-and-a-half hours of sleep. Also: Lions tend to be introverts, so if you’re exhausted by social situations, schedule alone time to recharge. If you enjoy naps: 1 pm is the optimal nap time for you, and no more than 20 minutes.

Bears are in-betweeners. Your wake-up time is about 7 am. Your body starts secreting melatonin around 10 pm, so you’re ready to sleep at 11 pm. Aim for at least seven-and-a-half hours of sleep. Bears gain energy in social situations, so schedule three fun interactions each week. Keep naps under 20 minutes, starting at 2 pm.

Wolves are up at 8 am and don’t climb into bed until 12:30 am for their seven-hour sleep minimum. Self-care—being active and adequately rested—will help you stay on an even keel. Nap only if you can keep it between 10 and 20 minutes—and only before 2:15 pm.

Dolphins are insomniacs, often up at 7 am. Put off getting into bed until midnight and only if you’re sleepy. If you’re wired when you go to bed, you could set off an anxiety/insomnia cycle that will keep you up all night. Naps are counterproductive for dolphins, no matter how sleepy you feel during the day.

Determine Your Body Type

Your body shape is a good indicator of your metabolic rate and helps you schedule when to exercise and eat.

Endomorphs are pear-shaped or curvy and have a slow metabolism. You tire quickly, so an effective exercise and weight-loss strategy is to do spurts of activity rather than long workouts.

Mesomorphs are athletic and muscular with a medium metabolism. You gain energy when you push your limits but experience burnout or injury if you work too hard. Your best weight-loss strategy is a to do a combination of cardio and strength training.

Ectomorphs are lanky with a fast metabolism. You don’t usually need a weight-loss strategy, but focus on building muscle for better endurance.

If you’re not sure about your chronograph and body type, get help at

Your Power Profile

Add your metabolic speed —slow, medium or fast—to your chronotype to get your “power profile,” a portrait of your body, habits and personality. Once you know if you’re a Slow Lion or a Fast Wolf, for instance, you can follow your “power protocol”—a schedule that includes optimal times to eat, exercise and sleep.

When to move—the daily 5×5: To create flexibility, stamina, strength and balance, everyone benefits from five different kinds of movement for five minutes each at a particular time during the day—upon waking, mid-morning, afternoon, mid-evening and before bed.

Stretch when you wake up to lift your mood, improve brain function and increase energy.

Shake, with movements such as neck stretches, arm circles, leg swings and trunk twists.

Bounce with jumping jacks, burpees (an exercise that uses body weight for resistance) and skipping for a jolt of the feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin and energizing adrenaline.

Build to grow muscle for faster calorie burn and reduce risk for injury and age-related diseases. You can go ­equipment-free with squats, crunches, dips, kicks and wall sits.

Balance for improved coordination. Paired with deep breathing, you’ll also get a calming effect from yoga moves such as tree pose and dancer—but avoid an inversion pose before bed because it will raise your heart rate.

How timing varies: Stretching in the morning and balance exercises before bed bookend the day for all chronotypes, but when to shake, bounce and build varies by power profile…

Lions, who are laser-focused early in the day, should shake it out midmorning…build in the afternoon…and bounce into a second wind when energy falls off in the evening.

Bears should shake it out midmorning…bounce to reset in the afternoon…and build muscle in the evening.

Wolves should bounce midmorning to clear away any brain fog…shake in the afternoon (usually after forgetting to move for hours)…and build in the evening when they are most energetic.

Dolphins can bounce midmorning to wake the half of the brain that’s still sleeping…build during peak energy in the afternoon…and shake off an evening spike in nervous energy.

Best times if you do set workouts…

Lions: 6 am, when your adrenaline is flowing…or wait until 5 pm.

Bears: Before lunch or dinner to burn calories and prevent post-meal snacking.

Wolves: Before dinner—your peak performance time is 6 pm.

Dolphins: 7 am for a wake-up jolt. To improve sleep, weight train at 5 pm or do restorative yoga at 10 pm.

When and What to Eat

Limiting the number of hours during which you eat—known as intermittent fasting—can make a difference in both energy levels and weight loss. Your body type determines your best fasting time frame—in all cases, stop eating at least three hours before lights out.

Ectomorph: Eat for 12 hours, and fast for 12 hours for optimal energy.

Mesomorph: Eat for 10 hours, and fast for 14 hours to be thinner and trimmer.

Endomorph: Eat for eight hours, and fast for 16 hours to help lose the pounds you’re struggling with.

Caution: Anyone with an eating disorder should never practice intermittent fasting…and everyone else should check with their doctors before starting.

What you eat also influences sleep and energy…

Sleep-promoting foods: High-fiber vegetables, such as kale and broccoli, are great sources of tryptophan, a chemical that helps regulate melatonin. Mushrooms are rich in vitamin D as well as the B vitamins riboflavin and ­niacin. Leafy greens, fatty fish, quinoa, buckwheat, flax, chia and pumpkin seeds, legumes, nuts, avocado and dark chocolate all have magnesium to help you maintain healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes better sleep.

Sleep-disrupting foods: Beware of sugar—high intake is linked to lighter, less restorative sleep. The more sugar you eat, the more you crave, especially at night, and you’ll wake up ravenous because poor sleep sends the hunger hormone ghrelin into overdrive.

Water–coffee conundrum: We lose about a liter of water every night while sleeping (more if you snore and have sleep apnea) as fluid is expelled with every breath. Start each day by drinking 16 ounces of water. Avoid anything with caffeine—tea or coffee—for the first 90 minutes after waking. Even decaf coffee and tea should be avoided. One or two cups of coffee a day, timed correctly, won’t impact your sleep. But wait 90 minutes after waking—your cortisol and adrenaline levels are ramping up after you get up, and having caffeine immediately will make you jittery. Cut off caffeine after 3 pm so your body has time to clear it by evening.

Your Emotional Energy

Don’t overlook drags on your emotional energy. Grappling with difficult people or situations or trying to force a feeling on yourself is draining. Instead: Try to go with life’s emotional ebbs and flows. Accepting your emotional fluctuations and those of others helps you gain energy from relationships. Do uplifting activities—laugh, listen to music, etc.

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