The Best Time Of Day To Exercise, Have Sex, Take Supplements, Read A Book, Take A Nap & More!

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Podcast, Sleep

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Do you know your chronotype?

Until two weeks ago, I didn't.

Turns out, I'm a “lion” chronotype (with a strong tendency to delve into “bear” chrono-typedness).

You might be a wolf, in which case you should try working out at 6:00pm and not 6:00am. An early morning run for you might feel like punishment, while an early evening run will provide an enjoyable pick-me-up.

Or maybe you're a lion, in which case having a wine, beer or cocktail between 5:30pm and 7:30pm will minimize the chances of sleep disruption from alcohol.

Or perhaps you're a dolphin, which means you should schedule any big presentations or work tasks for around 4:00pm, when you're most awake, most alert, and even most confident.

You could also be a bear, in which case shifting dinner from 6:00pm to 7:30pm can actually accelerate fat loss and stave off late-night snacking.

Interesting, eh?

You'll find all the science, the studies, and the facts behind this type of new chronotyping research in the new book “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“.

A growing body of research actually proves there is a right time to do just about everything, specifically based on your biology and hormones. As Dr. Michael Breus – the author and today's podcast guest – presents in his groundbreaking new book The Power of When, working with your body's inner clock for maximum health, happiness, and productivity can be easy, exciting, fun and pay off big dividends.

For example, since reading this book, I've even cut out caffeinated morning coffee and replaced it with decaf, started prioritizing morning and afternoon sex instead of evening sex, and shifted my fiction-based creative writing from 8:00pm to 8:00am. The Power of When presents a unique program for getting back in sync with your natural rhythm by making minor changes to your daily routine based on your unique “chronotype”.

In the book, after you've taken Dr. Breus's “Bio-Time Quiz” to figure out your chronotype (e.g. are you a Bear, Lion, Dolphin or Wolf?), you then find out the best time to do over 50 different activities, from when to exercise to have sex to take supplements to ask for a raise to eat breakfast to take a nap and much more.

So you can consider this book the ultimate “lifehack”.

Dr. Breus, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist, a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. With a specialty in Sleep Disorders, Dr. Breus he is one of only 163 psychologists in the world with his credentials and distinction.

In addition to his private practice, where he treats athletes and celebrities alike, Dr. Breus also trains other sleep doctors and consults with major airlines, hotel chains, mattress manufacturers and retailers to provide the optimum sleep experience for their customers. For example, an audio relaxation CD he designed for the Crowne Plaza Hotels helps millions of people fall asleep each year, and for over 14 years Dr. Breus has served as the Sleep Expert for WebMD and frequently pens “Sleep Matters” a column in WebMD magazine. He also writes The Insomnia Blog, which appears regularly on WebMD, The Huffington Post, The Dr. Oz Blog, Psychology Today, MedPedia, Organized Wisdom, Travora Travel, and Furniture Today, and has been interviewed on CNN, Oprah, The View, Anderson, and The Doctors and The Dr. OZ Show.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

Why I'm now having sex in the morning and coffee in the afternoon…[10:35]

-The fascinating history of chronotyping and chronobiology…[11:50]

-Why it is that guys like Tim Ferriss and Tai Lopez operate extremely well in the wee hours of the night…[18:30]

-Why Thomas Edison created the most disruptive event in the history of bio-time…[32:10]

-Whether chronotyping is based on scientific research or simply cute, easy-to-remember animals…[30:25]

-When the best time of day is to drink alcohol and to drink coffee based on your chronotype…[25:40 & 27:20]

-A simple, scientific, biological way to determine chronotype based on a seven dollar piece of home health equipment…[31:35]

-When the best time to have sex is, why and how to “sync up” sex times with your partner based on their chronobiology…[35:35]

-When the best time of day is for cardiovascular exercise vs. yoga vs. weight training…[39:25 & 47:20]

-How your chronobiology can affect when you should take supplements or medications…[22:00]

-Dr. Breus's most potent and effective jet lag tips…[51:00]

-Why Daylight Savings Time day is the #1 day that traffic accidents occur…[59:50]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Dr. Breus's hybrid pillow

The Power of When book

The Power of When quiz

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Breus or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!


Also published on Medium.

Ask Ben a Podcast Question




20 thoughts on “The Best Time Of Day To Exercise, Have Sex, Take Supplements, Read A Book, Take A Nap & More!

  1. John Huddart says:

    Ben! Any update on that JetLag app mentioned in this episode? PS. I’ve adopted 3 timing shifts on account of my bear chronotype: caffeine, afternoon power nap & sex – all of which have lead to great results. Thanks for the great podcast!

  2. josh fitzgerald says:

    Hi,

    I am a dolphin.. 10pm seems very late for yoga and I was just wondering if it is safe to do it at that time and if it interferes with sleep. Would be great to know ! ;)

    Josh

    1. I have an upcoming podcast on best time of day to exercise. Stay tuned.

      1. Joshua Fitzgerald says:

        Hi, that was a great podcast! I did not hear anything in regards to this issue though ;( oh well maybe it will be discussed some time soon. thanks anyway

  3. Brett Pickup says:

    Hi Ben,

    I’ve had an ongoing issue with sleep and I was wondering if you’d come across it before:

    I will sweat profusely when I’m asleep. I don’t sweat every night but i suppose once a week on average. Sometimes it will wake me up but usually it just wakes up my wife because I’m drenched.

    I’m not wearing clothes to bed and sometimes the sheets aren’t on me.

    I have had inconclusive tests related to an overactive thyroid and cancer but it still happens.

    I drink little alcohol or caffeine and I’m fairly active.

    Have you seen or talked to anyone about a condition similar to this before?

    Thanks,

    Brett

    1. Check out the part on Hyperhydrosis here https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/09/episode-… and if you want to go into detail book a consult at <a href="https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben” target=”_blank”>www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and choose 20 or 60 minutes and we'll get you scheduled.

  4. John-T says:

    Dr. Breus has been doing the rounds on the podcast circuit (2 others I subscribe to) and I can safely say that your’s, Ben, is the best. Thanks as ever.

  5. ted bennet says:

    Ben

    this is called “Chrono biotic nutrition”…discovered By Swami Nitty Gritty…(now deceased ) His “follower” has books written about it years ago … .http://www.sunsyncnutrition.com/ http://www.solartiming.com/ ….. .http://oneradionetwork.com/atom-bergstrom/

    Good luck. Ted

  6. Canaan Dorian says:

    Unfortunately the Quiz is pretty off, is there a more objective to figure out your Chronotype. It basically described the exact opposite of my type and my answers. I even had my husband watch while I took the quiz to make sure I was answering honestly. Just want this to be good info for people and not misleading.

    Thanks!

  7. Trent says:

    Hey Ben,

    What is your opinion on Dr. Breus’ recommendations regarding meal size? He advocates eating the majority of your calories early in the day (this opinion coincides with other experts such as Jack Kruse) as opposed to others such as Ori Hofmekler who believe that majority of daily calories should be eaten in the evening?

    1. I am a bigger fan of customizing to your activity…meaning if you are an early morning workout person, your larger meal might indeed be earlier in day, and vice versa if you are evening workout person. That affects insulin sensitivity, etc.

  8. Rich says:

    Hi Ben, great podcast.

    Is there an optimal time to have your blood pressure taken?

    As a Lion, I had mine taken at 4:00PM and it came up a little high,

    now I’m thinking that earlier in the day would provide me with a different reading.

    thank you!

    1. Yes! And the answer is in the book!

  9. Connie says:

    I wake up at 5:30am, take the Natural Force Raw Tea pre-workout, and off I go to complete my workout.

    Dr.Breus talked about waiting 2.5hrs after waking up to have coffee.

    I like to have the pre-workout before my actual work out because it does give me a boost, I push harder, and I feel like I get a better workout.

    If you were in my shoes, would you stop taking the pre-work out upon waking, and not have any caffeine until 2 1/2 hours after waking up?

    My intention is to maintain the most balances cortisol levels possible, so if that means giving up my pre-workout, I’m willing to do that. I’m just wondering if the pre-workout caffeine (100mg) affects cortisol levels in a negative manner.

    1. If it's a hard workout it's a total moot point because that going to surge cortisol anyways. Ultimately, the pros outweight the cons of having caffeine in your system for a workout, especially the fat mobilization.

  10. Bill says:

    Great Podcast! I do have one caution that others may have noticed. Having listened to the descriptions in the Podcast, I was convinced I am a dolphin, having been a life-long, text-book Type-A personality. I first took the quiz on my iPhone and was scored as a Bear and listened to the description that was 180 degrees different than the way I am and have been all of my life. I re-took the quiz on my laptop and providing almost identical responses (except for one or two questions) and then was rated as a dolphin, as I expected. The dolphin description is right on for me! Anyway, my comment/query is that perhaps the questionnaire is overly sensitive to certain responses and/or there is some sort of problem related to entry from an iPhone?

    1. Response from Dr Breus: The first 10 questions determine dolphin status. If you answer true to 7 then the quiz stops. If you don't then you go on to see the other types and dolphin is eliminated. If you take it in the book, it is easy to see, but online it was almost impossible to show! Also in the book, if you disagree with the first quiz there are 2 other methods that are a little more complicated but more accurate. Again impossible to reproduce online (one involves tracking your body temp)!

  11. Trent says:

    Hey Ben,

    You and Dr. Breus mention during the podcast that your chronotype is dependent on the PER3 gene and that 23andme doesn’t offer any information on that. I just imported my 23andme data to a website called SelfDecode (developed by Joel Cohen who runs the website Selfhacked, saw that you did a podcast with him) and it gave me a comprehensive analysis of this gene. Is there any way to figure out what chronotype you are with this genetic information rather than taking the quiz? Does Dr. Breus know what specific genetic information correlates with each chronotype? Thanks for the great podcast.

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