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PodcastEarly Birds vs. Night Owls

Early Birds vs. Night Owls

Cognitive neuroscientist Lucas Miller is guest-hosting Radio Headspace all week. Today, he's discussing the concept of chronotypes, and how knowing yours can help you make the best use of your energy throughout the day.

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(mouse clicks) (upbeat musical tones) Headspace Studios. (gentle upbeat music) Hi everyone, it's Lucas Miller here. Welcome to Radio Headspace and to Monday morning. I'll be guest hosting "Radio Headspace" this week and I'm super excited to be here. I am a cognitive neuroscientist, a human performance researcher and a lecturer at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. At Berkeley, I teach an MBA course called Becoming Superhuman and my work is all about using science to help you get your most important work done in less time with less stress. Today we'll talk about chronotypes, which is just the scientific word for when our bodies naturally want to rest and what our daily energy rhythms look like. I'll be breaking down the three different chronotypes, why they're so important and how knowing your chronotype can dramatically increase both your productivity and your happiness throughout the day. A chronotype is really the scientific equivalent of all the different terms you may have heard out there in the popular psychology world such as, morning bird or night owl. There are actually three different chronotypes that dictates what are your energy peaks, what are your energy dips, and it's really important to know this, otherwise you may be operating on a schedule that does not align with your biology. So on that note, let's do a quick walkthrough of all three chronotypes. So first we have type one. These are AM-shifted individuals. That's really the scientific term for those who are often called morning birds. It's about 20 to 25% of the population. These are folks who genetically prefer to go to bed early, wake up early. They really rise and fall with the sun. And then over the course of the day they slowly lose energy. Type two, this is actually the majority of the population, they are known as by biphasics. It's more than 50% of people out there. I'm actually in this camp, I'm biphasic. We prefer to go to bed and wake up on the earlier end. Biphasic comes from the Latin for two phases or two peaks. So you wake up and you're a little bit groggy and gradually you ramp up to hit your peak around mid, late morning. Then after lunch, you will come down for an afternoon dip and then you'll come back again in the evening for a second peak. Now the last chronotype, these are PM-shifted individuals. It's about 15 to 20% of the population. These are your classic night owls. These are the people who genetically their bodies prefer to go to bed later, wake up later, and by 4, 5, 6:00 PM when we're coming down, these PM-shifted people are gradually getting more focused, more energized and coming awake as the night progresses. Once you know your chronotype, a couple best practices and rules to keep in mind. For AM-shifted people, first recognize that you are the best right after you wake up. I recommend you carve out that time...


Duration7 min

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