Cultivating wellness wisdom is a life long journey and commitment. We are so lucky to be living in an age where science has advanced so much to help us understand how our human bodies work and how we can take care of it for optimal health. There is no-one easy fix to live life well. But there is one thing you can definitely do to get yourself on the right path to wellness. It’s going to sound kind of simple. But here it goes…get to know yourself! Looking around at other people won’t get you very far. You are unique and understanding your bio-individuality is the key to unlocking what works best for your mind, body, and spirit. All the books I feature at World Wise Beauty have been about this central core idea. The part can never be well, unless the whole is well. So let’s learn to love all the parts and embrace our holistic nature.
This month the Wise Guru series features a returning author and expert to World Wise Beauty, Dr. Michael Breus. He is known as The Sleep Doctor and now has a new book titled Energize! It will be officially released December 14th so you’ll want to pre-order now! The tagline of the book is ‘go from dragging ass to kicking it in 30 days’ Now that’s a call to action we can all get on board with it! The Wise Gurus I select for World Wise Beauty offer inspiration, wisdom, and tools to help us with our wellness journey and Dr. Breus fits this bill perfectly. I hope you enjoy the Q&A and learn more about your bio-individuality! You’ll be surprised to discover just how unique you really are. Energize! is available in hardcover, ebook, and audio! Have a fun and energetic holiday and remember ‘no-one can live your life as well as you”!
Laura Connolly, Founder & Producer of World Wise Beauty
Lauroly Q- Welcome back Dr. Breus. It’s been a couple of years since I featured your first book “The Power of When’ and I am excited about sharing your latest book ‘ENERGIZE’. Why don’t we refresh and review what chronotypes are and why you teamed up with co-author Stacey Griffith to write this book. I would have never made the connection between body-type and chronotype, so please help us to connect the dots.
in review, your chronotype is your genetic predetermined circadian rhythm schedule. Many people have heard of this concept in reference to being called an early bird (someone who wakes naturally at sunrise or earlier) or a night owl (someone who tends to go to bed after midnight). My contribution to the literature was that we learned about the three chronotypes back in the 70’s (early bird, hummingbird -people in the middle, and night owl) and I added a 4th type, a specific type of genetic insomnia. I renamed all the birds to mammals. Early Birds are now Lions, Hummingbirds are now Bears, Night Owls are now Wolves, and Insomniac are now Dolphins. You can learn what your chronotype is by going to www.chronoquiz.com
. I teamed up with Stacey because we both found we had similar problems with our clients. Both of us had people who were sleeping well or working out well but felt EXHAUSTED. When we started looking at how to get people motivated to move, sleep, and eat on a schedule, we realized that we needed the system to be more personalized. Body type is one way that we can choose types of exercise for people so that they stay motivated to move. If you are an endomorph (a bit on the bigger side with a slower metabolism) then cardio is not something you enjoy- telling this person to get on a bike a spin is never going to work BUT knowing that their body type will respond better to stretching or strength exercises, helps them find their “movement groove”. We also discovered that body type can inform us on how long to intermittent fast!
Lauroly Q- What I found so interesting is you even have a section on emotional compatibility for the types in relationships. It is hard to imagine how a Lion and a Wolf manage to get along, but I am sure they are a more common union than I might think. How do people honor their personal wellness needs when their chronotypes are so different?
Dr. Breus: We have discovered that many couples have both different chronotype and body types, and it’s a point of friction without them even knowing it. We learned early on with Power of When that this book acts like a communication tool for couples, especially if you are two different types. One of the most important chapters talks through the issue of intimacy and when to find a time where both chronotypes are “in the mood”. Another chapter looks at when to fall in love, and when to have a difficult discussion. But in truth it’s all about educating yourself about your type, and your partners type, and then looking for times of similarity. In the new book, we also ask people to notice the power profile in their partner and see the similarities there as well.
Lauroly Q- We can’t really change our body types but is our chronotype a fixed genetic trait too? I ask this because half the world is comprised of women, and all women go through perimenopause and menopause. In this life stage fluctuating hormones can affect our sleep patterns. How much of our chronotype is shaped by life circumstance, life changes, and conditioning?
Dr. Breus: Chronotype is 100% genetic, it’s not something that you can willingly change. That said it does change over the course of your lifetime. When you are an infant, you are a Lion (up early to bed early), as a toddler and middle schooler, you are a Bear, when you hit teenage world, you are a Wolf. Then at about age 18-20 your Chronotype seems to set. The it changes again in your 50’s. This usually coincides with the onset of menopause, where hormones effect your sleep cycle. You can of course try to force yourself into another type, but that will never work 100% and you will constantly need to re-adjust your schedule. Body type is roughly the same. Once you have it established, its locked in. One interesting way to look at Body Type is through the lens of metabolism. Ectomorph is a fast metabolism, Mesomorph is a medium metabolism and endomorph is a slower metabolism. Once you understand this, it’s easier to apply the knowledge we have on body type and movement, eating and sleeping.
Lauroly Q- Why is it important to understand the concepts of resting energy and moving energy? I love how you unpack the causes of exhaustion and energy drains in the book. I don’t think people realize how so many lifestyle factors contribute to or deteriorate the quality of our energy and sleep.
Conceptually speaking it was a lot more difficult to think about a concept like energy than it was about sleep. Sleep is kind of easy since it is broken down into stages, and cycles, and can be measured. Energy is much different. I believe that there are 4 types of energy that are easily identifiable and that we can all learn from:
- Resting energy
- Moving energy
- Emotional Energy
- Eating Energy
Resting energy is not what you think. It’s not just about sleep, but also about learning how to take time out of your day for PRODUCTIVE REST, this is a quick break in your day, where you remove all stimulus for 15-25 min, and having this break, actually gives you energy (change of focus, stand up, stretch, and use different energy). Some people meditate, some nap, some just zone out, but resting does provide a break to recharge.
Moving energy was also interesting. A body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. When you push hard on a bike pedal, for a few rounds, it begins to use its own momentum to then get faster and faster. Your body is the same way, we get you to move by doing the 5 x 5 movements, and it prevents you from staying in a seated (stagnant) position for too long. Sitting for extended periods of time seems to zap energy, not conserve it.
Emotional Energy is one of my favorites because once you identify your emotional UPS, you can deploy them anytime you want in almost any situation. As an example, if you are feeling energetically low, or you know a particular time of day is tough for you, you can schedule in a laugh, act of kindness, or listen to a favorite tune and recharge! Eating energy, is all about intermittent fasting, and keeping ourselves from getting too de-energized with foods that don’t help us (high sugar, caffeine, alcohol, high fat, high carbs), or eating at times when eating takes energy (knowing your chronotype can teach you WHEN to fast), not gives it.
Lauroly Closing- Thank you so much for joining me here at World Wise Beauty. I am so appreciative of your work and research. I will leave it up to the readers to decide what their chronobiology is. Lots of good quizzes in the book to help them discover! I believe even if you don’t fit the descriptions of one type exactly my readers will learn so much about holistic wellness and they’re bound to energize their life with all the great guidance you share in this book.
Dr. Breus Closing: I could not agree more, ENERGIZE! is about how to create a balanced lifestyle by personalizing your routine based on your genetics (chronotype and body type). Its literally the blueprint to consistent, positive, focused, daily energy. Thank you, Laura for the opportunity to address your audience once again and your support of my work. It means the world to me.