The Rachael Pontillo Show

Trying to Decide When to Set Your Alarm? Ask the Sleep Doctor, Michael Breus, PhD

October 15, 2016

Have you ever noticed how you feel more productive at a certain time of day? Are you one of those people who wakes up raring to go? (I am insanely jealous of those people.) Or do you feel more engaged and focused later in the day, maybe even working on projects late into the night?

Guess what? That’s genetic.

I talked to sleep specialist, Dr. Michael Breus who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and whose work centers around the genetic differences that account for our tendencies to feel most energized at certain times of the day.

He argues that by understanding when you’re most energized and harnessing that power, you can become a more effective and engaging person (and even lose weight).

Dr. Breus simplifies it into four categories that most people fit into. He describes each of them in our interview (Michael and I are both Wolf types). You may know which one you are based on his descriptions in the interview but if not, I’m linking to his quiz below!

Knowing your type and understanding how your hormones fluctuate throughout the day can help you immensely in ways that you might not expect. In our interview, Michael even touches on the best time of day to be intimate with a partner.

Read more and watch the video HERE.

Your chronotype describes your tendency to sleep to sleep at a particular time within a 24-hour period. It’s based off our natural circadian rhythm, which it turns out is related to our genes (one gene in particular).

Knowing how your body prefers to sleep can change your life, from helping you decide when to eat dinner to when is the best time of day to ask your boss for a raise. Living according to your natural circadian rhythm can, quite simply, help you be your best self.

Michael makes it fun by describing the four circadian ‘types’ with mammal mascots: a wolf, bear, lion, or dolphin. You can find out which you are and what that means for your life and your habits by taking The Power of When Quiz. It’s short but thorough, and you might be surprised to find out which category you fit into.

Click here to take Dr. Breus’ sleep quiz

About Dr. Michael Breus

51qe7on8xul-_sx322_bo1204203200_He calls himself the sleep doctor, and let me tell you that he has earned this title! He has had his practice for 16 years and uses a technique called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia to help both children and adults deal with sleep problems without the use of medication. Learn more about Dr. Michael Breus at

His most recent book The Power of When teaches you the best time to do everything–from drink your coffee to have sex or go for a run–according to your body’s chronotype.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App