What Is Your Sleep Animal?

January 11, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

Dr. Micheal Breus, a sleep specialist, believes there are four types of sleepers—dolphins, lions, bears, and wolves.

You know your spirit animal and you know your favorite animal, but do you know your sleep animal? Sleep specialist Micheal Breus, PhD, explains that humans can be classified into four different types of sleepers—dolphins, lions, bears, and wolves.

Dr. Breus, commonly referred to as The Sleep Doctor, is a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He has been featured on such programs as The Dr. Oz Show and The View and is one of only 163 clinical psychologists with his credentials and distinctions with a specialty in sleep disorders.

Dr. Breus says that our bodies and brains are designed to run on our individual biological clock time, and with a few tweaks to lifestyle and schedules you can get your clock back on schedule. Using his clinical experience, Breus identified four types of sleepers and named them after animals that have similar sleeping patterns and traits.


Dolphins are light sleepers who may suffer from insomnia. Actual dolphins sleep with only half their brain at a time, while the other half is constantly alert so the animal can swim and watch for predators.

Dr. Breus recommends that these types of sleepers wake up around 6:30 am and immediately begin the day with a workout. They should eat breakfast an hour after waking and conduct creative work between 10 am and noon.

The afternoon should include a short walk before working on difficult tasks. Put away technology an hour before bed, says Dr. Breus, which should be around 11:30 pm. Dolphins only need about 6 hours of sleep each day.


Lions are always up at the crack of dawn and energized throughout the morning. Actual lions rise before dawn to hunt while their prey is either asleep or drowsy.

These types of people burn out by early evening, though, which means most of their planning work should be done between 5:30 and 7 am.

Work should be put first in the afternoon, with the best time for a workout at 5 pm. Technology should be put away 30 minutes before sleep, which Dr. Breus says should be around 10:30 pm.

Breus says that most CEOs and entrepreneurs are lions—they’re go-getters throughout the day but crash at night.


Bears need a full 8 hours of sleep per night, and Dr. Breus says these types of people should wake up around 7 am and begin their day with a workout. Real bears are active during the day and restful at night.

Naps are welcome during the afternoon, with most of your difficult work happening between 10 am and noon. Bedtime for bears should be around 11 pm.


Wolves are not particularly morning people, but they do their best work during the evening hours. Real wolves come alive when the sun goes down, and the human wolf type is no different.

Dr. Breus says wolves should wake up between 7 and 7:30 am and should eat breakfast right when they get up, followed by some exercise, planning, and chores.

Dinner should be later for wolves—around 8 pm—than for the other types of animals, and before bed wolves should take a hot shower.

Here’s a snapshot of what your full daily routine should consist of depending on what sleep animal you are:

Credit: Metro UK

So, which sleep animal are you?