What’s your kid’s sleep chronotype ?

Published : 08-07-2020 14:44:13
Categories : Child Sleep

What’s your kid’s sleep chronotype ?

Does your child sleep like a lion or a bear? This question may seem strange to you, but perhaps the solution for a balanced and healthy child lies behind it. From an early age, each child has their unique sleep profile and there is a clear distinction between early risers and late-night sleepers. At the age between 3 and 5, the sleep-wake rhythm gradually adapts to that of the sun. However, our internal biological clock only rarely sticks perfectly to this 24-hour system. Two individuals can thus have a completely different rhythm of life. And believe me, some profiles can emerge very early! These sleep profiles are called “chronotypes” and by knowing the specifics of your chronotype, you can optimally plan your day. Do you want to know your child's? Take our test and find out how to adapt their daily routine to your needs!

The 4 chronotypes listed below correspond to the archetypes defined by the sleep doctor Michael Breus. The information, therefore, represents general trends! Your child may very well be 60% Lion Cub and 40% Bear Cub. If your child suffers from a significant sleep disorder, the advice listed below should be taken with hindsight and an appointment with a specialist may be necessary.

Chronotype 1: The Lion Cub

→ The lion cubs represent 15 % of the population

The lion cub is the little king of the jungle. He wakes up very early, in great shape, and ready to start the day! He is most active very early in the morning. Whether on weekdays or weekends, the lion cub is likely to get out of bed at around 5:00 AM - 6:00 AM. That’s bad news for parents who would like to sleep a little longer on Sundays! However, lion cubs do not mind getting up early and leaving for school on time.

The lion cubs are at their best at around 10 -11 A.M which helps them to pay attention in class and stay focused. Their very early morning rhythm usually allows them to get ahead and make the most of their day.

It’s not until around 3:00 p.m. / 4:00 p.m. that the lion cubs' energy begins to drop significantly. Although they are more energetic in the morning, it is preferable to offer them some physical exercises in the late afternoon to help them stay in shape until the evening.

From 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the lion’s eyelids get heavy, the body temperature drops, and the yawns are incessant. It is better to stop any intellectual or physical activity by 6:00 p.m. Finish any left homework quickly, get a light dinner and it’s time to go to bed.

OUR ADVICE :

Lion cubs adapt quite well to the school pace. Their biological clock allows them to have a fresh start of the day. When they get enough sleep, they are generally energetic and upbeat. But their need to get up early can contradict the parents' pace as they tend to sleep later. Similarly, it can be an inconvenience if they sleep with their siblings in the same room and have different sleep needs. Here are some tips to adapt to the chronotype of your little lion cub:

In the morning : If the lion cub gets up early but mum and dad are still in bed, he/she should be able to take care of himself. The lion cub, therefore, needs autonomy in the morning! Teach him to read a comic book in the morning, to plan his things for the day if he/she is old enough to do it alone. Some alarm clocks allow you to schedule stories to keep him busy in the morning before you get up. For breakfast, eat light to take advantage of the excess energy, even if it means planning a small snack for 10 A.M.

During the day : The lion cub is very sociable before noon but gets tired quickly in the evening. Take advantage of Saturday and Sunday mornings to plan some family time or compulsory outings (doctor, etc.). You can, for example, suggest preparing the breakfast together or go to the bakery with you for croissants to surprise mom!

In the evening : Make your lion cub do a little sport at 4:00 p.m. to boost him/ her before the evening begins. Avoid important activities like homework after 6:00 p.m. As the lion cub gets up early, he needs a good night's sleep to be in good shape the next morning!

Chronotype Lionceau Sommeil Enfant

Chronotype 2: The Wolf Pup

→ The wolf pups represent 15 % of the population

The wolf pups are nocturnal and prefer to stay up late unfortunately for their parents who would like to see them go to bed a bit earlier. Very active after 3 - 4 p.m., wolf pups are very creative. They are often passionate about artistic activities that satisfy their curiosity. So it’s no surprise if your kid asks for crayons and a sheet of paper to draw just before bedtime!

Rather introverted, they enjoy having some alone time and love being active. In the morning wolf pups are exactly the opposite. It is often difficult to get them out of bed, and when they do get up, it takes them a while to get ready for the day. While there is no question of compromising the bedtime hour, the Wolf Pup needs an activity before bed, early in the evening. You can let your kid stay with you for a while when you have family or friends over! The wolf pups are very sociable in the evening, and they would love participating in the discussion until 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at the latest!

OUR ADVICE :

You probably already know that it is better to schedule any activities in the evening with the wolf pups. Accompany Mum or Dad in the morning to jogging or shopping could be quite challenging. Here are some tips to help you adapt to this particular chronotype:

In the morning : Your kid needs a little help to wake up. Getting up is a real ordeal for them! Set up the alarm clock 20 minutes in advance and give your wolf pup a little time in bed and wake up slowly. Although they will rarely get up feeling energetic, a good shower and a high-carb breakfast can give them a little boost. If possible, a little physical activity in the morning (a walk before going to school) can also help the wolf pup regain energy quickly.

During the day : At around 1 p.m. wolf pups start feeling good. A light lunch is very important to maintain this energy gain. The peak of energy can be observed from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. If possible, do some physical activities with them around 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. to tire them out and help them fall asleep more easily.

In the evening : Wolf pups are very active in the evening. Take the opportunity to do the homework and catch up on any delays due to the late waking up. After dinner, offer fun activities such as drawing or reading a story. Let your kid have some alone time to play in his room before going to bed when he feels tired. Be careful not to go overboard by letting your child stay up too late. He needs you to regulate his rhythm: no screens and no physical activities after 7:30 p.m.

Chronotype Louveteau Sommeil Enfant

Chronotype 3: The Bear Cub

→ Bear cubs represent 50 % of the population

Bear cubs usually follow the rhythm of the sun. Very sociable, they love to talk and quickly make friends at school. They are often hungry and need a good breakfast to start the day. Although they usually get up quickly, they tend to gripe a bit in the morning. They enjoy naps and need a restful sleep! If it’s been a tiring week, they don’t hesitate to make up for missing hours of sleep on the weekends. Their energy peak is between 11 am and 2 pm.

Bear cubs’ need for sleep translates into one word: REGULARITY. Indeed, the sleep rhythm of the cubs hardly accepts changes. Some changes in the bedtime and wake up hours could exceptionally occur, but a healthy bear cub is a kid with a well-regulated bedtime routine. They need parents to create a reassuring and warm environment for them.

Their biological clock follows that of the sun, and they easily adapt to the school rhythm. Getting up relatively early can be a bit difficult and the late afternoons can be challenging in terms of concentration. Very intuitive, they thrive with their friends and family!

OUR ADVICE :

In the morning : The bear can wake up quickly but tends to remain in bed a bit longer. If your bear cub went to bed early the night before, the morning should more than fine. Prepare them a full breakfast and spend time with them at the table. For bear cubs, this is the most important meal of the day! A light physical activity (such as walking to school) can help energize them in the morning.

During the day : The peak of energy for the bear cub is between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Very sociable, they need to be surrounded by people. Better eat light at lunch. A heavy meal could have an impact at the end of the afternoon which is already a low energy period for this chronotype.

In the evening : Bear cubs need to go to bed relatively early. Pay attention to sleep clues to notice the time your child feels the need to get to bed. Your child yawns at 8:15 p.m.? Does their body temperature drop and their eyes close? It’s time for bed! Once you've found the right time, be regular. Create a bedtime ritual that works for you and stick to it! Your little bear will only get better!

Chronotype Ourson Sommeil Enfant

Chronotype 4: The Dolphin

→ Dolphins represent 12% of the population

The dolphins are hypersensitive, they often have a hard time falling asleep and can wake up at the slightest noise. The little dolphin has a fragile sleep as if to protect himself from predators and problems! Perfectionists, lively and intelligent, dolphins are also light sleepers. Once in bed, they often mull over their day: do my mom and dad love me? Did I do well in school today? All of these questions disturb them and often prevent them from enjoying a night of restful sleep. They can, therefore, feel stressed or anxious at times.

The sleep of your little dolphin is easily disturbed by nighttime awakenings or nightmares. In the morning, waking up could be a bit difficult if the night has been hectic, but the dolphin regains his energy quickly. During the day, the dolphin shines with its intelligence. Its hypersensitivity could be a source of new opportunities as well as a prerequisite for difficulties.

The evening's goal is simple: to help your kid have a deep and restful sleep. Even though dolphins don’t need to sleep for long hours, their incessant awakenings prevent them from getting proper rest. There is no point putting your child in bed too early, that would be an opportunity to mull over his problems and worry. Teaching your child to go back to sleep on their own will also be a big challenge but it will help them gain independence and improve their sleep.

OUR ADVICE :

In the morning : Dolphins don't need a lot of sleep, but the morning can be difficult if the night has been rough. They usually wake up quickly. A good breakfast can help them avoid tiredness strokes in the late morning.

During the day : The dolphins' biological clock easily adapts to the school rhythm. It is important to eat light in the early afternoon to avoid feeling too heavy in the evening. Pay close attention to naps: they should not interfere with the quality of sleep at night!

In the evening : Your little dolphin asks a lot of questions. Don't hesitate to talk to him about their day and reassure the to help to prepare them for a good night's sleep. Planning an hour of relaxation with meditation/breathing exercises can be a lifesaver. Finally, a reassuring family environment and a regular bedtime routine can only help your dolphin overcome his anxieties!

WARNING : The Dolphin chronotype is the most sensitive to sleep disorders and insomnia. If the quality of your kid’s sleep interferes too much with his days or if he wakes up too often, it may be necessary to consult an expert.

Chronotype Dauphin Sommeil Enfant

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