Which chronotype are you?

This question is related to the past. Specifically, how did grandma eat? Moderately and infrequently. If you’re eating the right kinds of food, you should be able to eat a small meal and go five hours without getting hungry again.

If you want to generate and conserve energy for your mind and body, there are other physical needs you need to attend to beyond eating. One of them is getting a good night’s sleep. This was the fifth most common performance-enhancing habit of the high achievers the author interviewed. The key to biohacking your sleep is to identify your natural sleep pattern and adjust your sleep schedule accordingly.

This pattern is set by your body’s natural circadian rhythm, a cycle of biological processes that provide your body with an internal clock. These rhythms come in four types of patterns, which are called chronotypes.

Second, there are lions that roar with rage before even the sun has risen, and then peter out at night. There are wolves on the opposite end of the continuum, which are usually inclined to wake up later in the day and have two peaks of energy: one from midday to 2:00 pm, the other occurring after sunset. Between these two extremes are wolves, who have a normal cycle of sleep with the sun’s rise and fall. Finally, there are dolphins that are susceptible to insomnia, and who appear to work best from mid-morning to early evening.

Your chronotype is genetically determined, so there’s no point trying to resist it. The sooner you embrace it, the sooner you’ll improve your sleep. That, in turn, will boost your alertness, which will enhance your overall productivity and performance.

Certainly that was the experience of the speaker. He has spent several years pretending to be a lion when he is really a wolf. He would push himself to wake up at 5:00 a.m. every morning, even if it hadn’t come to him naturally. Why? Why? Well, he was trying to adapt to the traditional conceptions of success in society. “The bird gets the worm early,” as the old saying goes.

But if it’s too exhausted to think straight it may not get the worm! The author has found himself less imaginative with a foggy mind than he used to be. He became happier and more productive when he changed his sleep routine to make it align with his circadian wolf-style rhythm.

So, which chronotype are you? One way to find out which chronotype you are is to take advantage of your next holiday week as an opportunity to do some experiment. Just let yourself go to bed and wake up when it feels like it. Your chronotype would most likely be the trend you are gravitating towards. You should then change your sleep schedule to your chronotype, as the author does.

In addition to eating and sleeping, there’s something else your body needs to do to be energized – walk. This is one of the key things that it was built to do, after all. Unfortunately, today’s sedentary lifestyle means most of us don’t shift our bodies around as much as we could. Whether it’s in the office doing work or on the couch watching TV, we spend a lot of time being stationary. And all that sitting takes its toll on our bodies, leading to stiff muscles and back pain.

So the obvious solution is exercise – right? Well, actually, that can be part of the problem, unless it’s approached in the right way. There are a few reasons for this.

First, if you think all you need to do is exercise a little every day without making any other changes to the lifestyle, you could end up becoming a mostly sedentary individual who happens to make vigorous movements from time to time. A six-hour sitting bout will in turn counteract the advantages of a one-hour workout.

Second, high-risk sports can cause harm to our bodies, which defeats the whole purpose of exercise. Now, maybe you don’t play American football, so it doesn’t sound interesting to you, but one of the most common types of exercise is a high-risk activity-running.

The problem isn’t running per se. Rather, it’s running the wrong way. Because of our sedentary lifestyles, most of us don’t have the motor control and range of movement that we need to have mastered to be able to run safely. Without such mastery, we push our bodies past their limits and move them in unnatural ways, which puts too much stress on them. That adds danger to any form of exercise, including yoga, Pilates and CrossFit.

Third, aerobic exercise is causing our bodies to produce cortisol, the stress hormone. In turn , this causes the development of oxidative substances that make us age more rapidly and induce inflammation.

Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to alleviate those issues. Invest in a standing desk for example to prevent sitting too long. Consider training with a practical movement instructor, to learn how to move the body properly. And, eventually, add strength training to the fitness routine to combat the detrimental effects of aerobic exercise. This will cause anabolic hormones to be developed in your body which will fight oxidation. To further counteract the aging effects of oxidation, you can also supplement your aerobic exercise with antioxidants and probiotics.

If you increase your energy through better sleep, diet and exercise, the last thing you’ll want to do is waste it. Unfortunately, there are many ways your energy can be hijacked. Chief among them is an activity that is practically an obsession for many people – sex.

When we’re not doing it, we’re often thinking about it. And even when we don’t think we’re thinking about it, we’re frequently still thinking about it. For example, when we spend time trying to improve our physical appearance, it’s sexual attractiveness that’s often our underlying, albeit unconscious, motivation.

It makes sense from an evolutionary point of view that we will be putting so much energy into sex. After all the human race would have been nipped in the bud without sex. However, there are two issues with expending too much energy on sex from an individual perspective. The first comes from the sheer fact that the energy is a finite resource. The more you commit to sex, the less you’ll have to commit to other facets of your life.

Conversely, if you can sublimate – that is, re-channel – your sex-bound energy into higher pursuits, like creative projects, you’ll have more energy to devote to them. That’s why boxers and even whole World Cup teams abstain from sex prior to competitions. Muhammad Ali is even said to have avoided having sex for six weeks prior to a boxing match!

The second issue is unique to men and comes down to the male body having biochemical effects of sex. Their bodies produce the hormone prolactin after men ejaculate which makes them sleepy. It also counteracts dopamine, another hormone, which makes them feel good. This is why after sex, they sometimes feel exhausted and even depressed.

Women often develop prolactin after experiencing orgasms but to a far lesser extent. Orgasms also contain a variety of beneficial biochemical responses to them. Next, the amount of the stress- and inflammation-causing hormone cortisol released by the body is decreased. Second, orgasms increase the body’s production of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin, the emotion-mellowing hormone oxytocin and the oxytocin-enhancing hormone estrogen.

The author suggests that men restrict themselves to one orgasm per week and that women pursue more regular orgasms – at least two a week – to reduce the impact of orgasms on men and to increase their effects on women. Some of the author’s podcast male listeners, Bulletproof Radio, have taken the advice. They registered tremendous success. One listener found the drive to launch a business he ‘d dreamed of for years, and another listener, who was in his late 20s, earned a $60,000 raise 60 days after he began taking the advice.

Finally, we come to the third F – fear. Unfortunately, we need to start with some bad news. Thanks to evolution, your subconscious doesn’t want you to feel safe, generally speaking. That’s because when you feel safe, you let down your guard – and if you do that, you might get eaten by a saber-toothed tiger. Of course, that’s not going to happen. Saber-toothed tigers have long been extinct, and we live in a much safer world than our prehistoric ancestors did. But your subconscious doesn’t know that. It evolved to meet the demands of their world, not ours.

Unfortunately for us, that means we feel a lot more anxiety than our present circumstances warrant. Fear is a helpful emotion to experience when our lives are in real danger-but in modern times there are not many cases where this is really the case.

Not only is anxiety pointless, but it is also profoundly harmful to our performance and happiness outside of those circumstances. Why? Why? Ok, first of all, anxiety induces tension, which in turn drains our energy and ultimately makes us feel burnt out.

Second, fear takes us out of the present moment. That’s because fear is usually about something negative that might happen in the future, such as an upcoming presentation that you fear will go poorly. By focusing on this hypothetical future, you lose sight of what you’re doing in the present moment. That’s especially problematic when you could be working on preventing what you fear from happening – by, for instance, preparing for that presentation!

Third, we are discouraged by fear from taking the risks which lead to success. After all, fear is simply an emotional warning that tells us to be vigilant, and risk-taking is the opposite of playing it safe. A danger is a gamble – and you’ll suffer disappointment if it goes the wrong way. Failure in prehistoric times may possibly signify death. If you had not found a source of food, you would have starved to death. If you have failed in your tribe’s social practices, you may get banished. As a consequence, we are hardwired to be incredibly unwilling to fail.

Of course, you can overcome fear through courage – but being courageous takes a lot of energy, which takes us back to the first problem! Again, you only have so much energy, which means courage can only take you so far before it runs out. If you add up the three problems that come with fear, it leaves you with an exhausted, unfocused and risk-averse mind – hardly a recipe for success. We’ll look at how to overcome this in the next and final blink.

Imagine you’re one of your prehistoric ancestors. You’re standing in a clearing surrounded by bushes. There’s no saber-toothed tiger in sight. So, you can kick back and relax, right?

Oh, no – a herd of tigers might be hiding right behind the trees, after all. Your subconscious doesn’t just want you to find an absence of threats to let go of anxiety, and feel safe. It needs you to obtain confirmation. And to that end, you ‘re waiting to perceive a safety signal – something that tells you the coast is clear, and you can let your guard down.

Here are three tips to try. The first is listening to a calming voice – one that resembles the gentle sound that parents use while trying to relax their kids. Peaceful music can do the trick, too. So, you should speak tenderly to yourself.

Better yet, fight your fear in two ways at once by doing a guided meditation. The calm voice of the instructor will send a signal to your subconscious that everything’s okay, while the meditation itself will bring your mind back into the present – away from worries of the future, where fears tend to lurk.

Another cue to try is to make yourself picture in a happier spot. This is a comfortable, tranquil atmosphere in which you are truly at ease. Imagine this, using all the senses in as much detail as possible. The more the imaginary scenario is real, the more convincing it would be to your subconscious. Know, essentially you ‘re trying to trick your subconscious into believing you ‘re really in your happy spot, so just pull out all the stops when you imagine! The author notes that his “can look like the Bat Cave, or may not.”

Finally, strive to feel grateful for as many objects , people and activities as possible in your life – including your mistakes, which you may reinterpret as valuable learning experiences. You ‘re essentially telling your subconscious by feeling happiness that things’ going well. After all, if a tiger is about to pounce upon you, you wouldn’t feel grateful!

In order to strengthen this habit, keep a diary in which you write down three things that you are thankful for every morning, every night or both. In doing so, you are going to follow the lead of the entrepreneur UJ Ramdas, who co-created the Five Minute Journal, an app for journal of gratitude. He believes you can enhance your sleep quality, your sense of closeness to friends and family and your ability to do kind deeds for others by keeping such a journal. Now that sounds like a thank you for something!

Our bodies and minds are held back by unhelpful patterns of thoughts and behaviors, which revolve around food, fear and sex. By understanding how our bodies and minds work, we can overcome these patterns and enhance our ability to generate, preserve and deploy our time and energy. With a clear conception of our goals and by carefully setting our priorities, we’ll be in an optimal position to succeed.

Here’s a tip. Stop using the word “can’t.”

As you discovered in the post, your subconscious is not that strong – in some ways at least not. One such appreciation is recognizing the context and the non-literal sense of the words you use when you refer to yourself. If you say you can’t do anything, your subconscious can simply perceive this and it will give up, as there’s no point in trying to do anything you can’t.

But actually, you probably do not mean this. What you really mean when you say you can’t do something is you don’t have the money, the experience, the confidence or any other requirement for doing it. And they can resolve the condition. For example, if you lack the ability or resource, how can you improve it or acquire it? Can’t, by comparison, is an impervious state that ends conversation. Offer a break to your simple-minded subconscious by ignoring the word can’t.

Check out my related post: Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People – Business Book Summary 7

Interested reads


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