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The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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"The Power of When prepares you to take full advantage of our adaptation to the rhythms of nature. After reading this book, your decision-making ability will forever be improved. This is a new horizon in our understanding of human behavior, and Michael Breus masterfully presents the science as a recipe for self-improvement."
―David Perlmutter, MD, author of Grain Brain and Brain Maker
"Dr. Breus has succeeded in making the complex science of chronobiology accessible and engaging for all readers. Whether you're looking to improve your relationships, get a raise at work, or simply lead a more fulfilling life, The Power Of When is the guidebook you've been waiting for."―Mark Hyman, MD, Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine
About the Author
Michael J. Breus, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Breus has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show more than 30 times and writes regularly for The Huffington Post, The Dr. Oz Blog, and Psychology Today. He is the author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan and Beauty Sleep.
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I had hoped buying the book would clear up for me what type I am, but it only further confounded me. And the advice for each type is wildly conflicting. Should I exercise in the morning like a Dolphin, or save it for afternoon, like a Lion, to give me more evening pep? Should I force myself to stay up till midnight (which would probably make me ill, is my guess), or go to bed with the sun? The advice conflicts so much that it only works if you fit neatly into one group or another.
This book clearly seems to be working for lots of people, but I'd recommend taking the online quiz before you buy it, and then reading through the descriptions of each of the types, first. If you find yourself to be a hybrid like me, you might as well skip the purchase and save your money.
EDITED TO ADD:
After finishing the book, there are a few pieces of advice that apply to any chronotype, that I wanted to share for those who feel, like me, that they don't fit into a specific type:
The first is to delay coffee until a couple of hours after awakening. According to the author, drinking caffeine immediately upon waking is a waste. For all types it's better to wait until you get an energy lull closer to mid-morning. On the other hand, no type should drink caffeine within eight hours of wanting to go to sleep, so don't wait too long. And limit yourself to one or two cups a day.
Second, no type should sleep in on the weekends. He's very firm about this. For all types, it's better to lose a bit of sleep on the weekends (if you're staying out late and socializing) then to sleep in and wind up with "social jetlag" which will throw off your entire week. The most anyone should sleep in is an extra 30-45 minutes.
Finally, for all types, use sunshine, exercise, protein, and cold showers when you want to wake yourself up or give yourself some extra pep. Then use warm baths, meditation, stretching, and carbs when you want the opposite, to be winding down and preparing for sleep. So, if you have trouble waking up in the morning, start out with some push ups (or whatever) followed by a cold shower, a walk outside, and a plate of eggs. If you get tired too early in the evenings and want to be able to stay up later, then use those things in the late afternoon. Conversely, if you are too alert in the evenings and have trouble falling asleep, then eat some carbs, stretch, meditate, and have a warm bath at or after dinner time.
That advice all seems pretty sound to me and it's the advice I'm taking from the book and applying, despite feeling like I don't fit neatly into a chronotype. He also has a chapter on adjusting to jet lag that some might find helpful.
Good luck everyone!
The book starts with a simple quiz that helps you determine your Chronotype. Chronotype is the scientific study and classification of your personal biological energy patterns based on circadian rhythms. Everyone has a unique chronotype that determines your peak energy flows throughout the day. The book also helps you understand the positive combination of hormones with your peak energy states in every area of your life. By understanding the critical combination of hormone production and energy you can time the best time of the day to do everything.
After taking the quiz, I found out I was a bear chronotype. I've begun using the timing suggestions for when to sleep and wake up and when to be most effective in my work and so far, I've woken up more refreshed every day. It did require that I make a change to when I went to bed and got up. There is a formula for determining your best time to sleep based on your chronotype. I also moved as much of my work as I could that required strong problem solving into different areas of the day and it has made a significant difference in my ability to focus.
Each chapter focuses on a specific topic like when to exercise, when to have sex, when to focus on creative efforts, or when to sleep and breaks the chapter down for your chronotype. I like the specificity of each section for the chronotype. After a brief introduction to the topic of each chapter you can dig into what is relevant to you. It is important to read your spouse or partner's chronotype as well to better understand their daily patterns so that you can maximize or improve your interactions with them. I was surprised to find out that my chronotype should have sex on Saturday mornings!
I like this book because it is supported by evidence based studies. The title might make you think that it is based on pop psychology or made up idees, it is not. While very easy and fun to read, it brings serious science to bear and provides you with a great jumping off point if you want to dig into the research. I also like all the additional resources and video explanations on the authors website, he gives you more examples, details and exercises that you can do to become more efficient at maximizing your personal chronotype.
While I got an early review copy of the book, I found it so intriguing that I bought it for my employees and close family members. I really feel like this is a book that everyone needs to read to finally understand how and when to sleep and how to properly time their day to reach maximum effectiveness throughout the day.