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Lions and Bears, Wolves and Dolphins. Wednesday August 9, 2017

[To listen to an audio version of this blog please click here:]

I sometimes think that every bad decision I have ever made has been after 10pm.

It's as if a switch has been clicked. Before ten o'clock I am (mostly) reasonable and level-headed, disciplined and responsible. At one minute past, that all changes.

I have sent far too many long and emotional texts to friends after midnight. I have drunk too much wine and eaten junk food by the cartload. True, I have written reams, but in the clear light of morning much of it needed heavy editing.

But just recently, I have discovered why this is. It is because I am a lion.

The Power of When, by Dr Michael Breus, has been an illumination. He is a "sleep doctor" and he divides people into the four types in the title of this blog. Lions wake up early and switch off early. Bears are the lucky ones who follow a normal sleep pattern. Wolves sleep late (very late) but are at their most productive after midnight. Dolphins are the hardcore insomniacs who will swear they have not slept a wink all night.

Discovering I am a lion has been a revelation. The need for a snooze function on the alarm always used to puzzle me. I've never understood this "waking up slow" business: lions come instantly awake, usually before 6am, raring to go and hungry for a big cooked breakfast. Lions do their best work before lunch, and certainly all their left brain work then. So, I am now making sure my day reflects this: analytical business work in the morning, writing in the afternoon, bed at ten sharp. It's helping my weight, saving my liver and I'm sleeping better too.

It's otherwise for Wolves. My son Tom is an extreme wolf. He likes to go to bed at 6am and get up at 4pm. When he lived with us recently, it was not unusual for him to share breakfast with us at 6.30am. Only for him, it was a snack before bedtime. It drove my poor husband (a very disciplined bear) crazy! Wolves work best in jobs where they don't have to clock in earlier than noon.

A close friend of mine is a dolphin. Dr Breus calls these people dolphins because (apparently) real dolphins only sleep with half their brain at once. The other half stays alert to watch out for danger and to deal with all that business of swimming and coming up into the air to breathe. Celia has never slept well, even when I knew her as a child, and now she understands why, and more importantly, has some techniques which help.

Lack of sleep or sleep dysfunction is a large part of depression, so anything which helps us understand it and to get more restful sleep is to be embraced.

You can take the test online here to find out which animal you are, and you can find the book in all good bookshops. I'd recommend it.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Jane SG Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 2:00am

Good morning Mary. I seem to have beaten Molly to it! Dear Molly where are you?! It's only because I'm in the US so six hours behind! It's 8pm in the evening here! Anyway, I'm a lion Mary like you! I agree, decisions after 10pm are dangerous! Thanks for the interesting blog. X

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:58am

Hello Jane. We should have a pact: the only decision after 10pm should be cocoa or chamomile tea!

Jane SG Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 1:14am

Good idea Mary! Mine's a bit chocolate:) xx

Molly Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 3:53am

:-) I am glad you beat me to it Jane, it became a bit boring to be the first to comment !! Not sure what animal I am, probably a bit of a mixture of wolf and a lion at the moment. I grab sleep when it allows me to do so. I hope that I will get back into some routine at some point. Mary - I listened to your audio version today, which I think I have only done once before. I recommend it to other moodscopers, it comes across much differently than reading the text and it was a pleasure to listen to. I really liked the song that came on afterwards, it did make me smile 'the lion sleeps tonight'. Thanks Mary xx

Jane SG Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 4:02am

I love that song! :) x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:00am

Thank you Molly. I enjoy recording the blogs and finding an appropriate song. That particular song is also a favourite. It always makes me smile.

David Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 5:55am

Hello Moodscopers,

I have informed Caroline of Administration I would refrain from commentating, as I do not want to upset any one in sickness and good health.

Some of you seem to have formed a form of social media networking together, which is not what I need, so this will be my last comment and I wish you all the Best of Luck in your endeavours Of living with the capricious condition of Bi-Polar.

David Gosling.


Eva Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 7:39am

Hi David, I'm sorry to hear that you feel you should depart. I enjoyed your early often cryptic (to me) comments, they gave me some food for thought. There aren't really groups on here just some long-term commenters and some lovely new ones. It's natural to build up relationships over time, but hopefully they aren't cliques. FYI, there are peeps with many different mood disorders on here, not just bipolar, I have anxiety related depression and am currently recovering from bereavement and fatigue, Moodscope has been such a valued resource for me. If you feel you must go, go well and if you fancy sticking around maybe we'll hear from you again.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:04am

David, I too am sorry that you feel you should go. Your comments, while sometimes robust, have often given me to think. You are a valued member of Moodscope. I hope to hear from you again.

Marmaladegirl Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 6:54am

ANOTHER SALLY - You asked for hugs today. I am sending hugs (there are no words). My thoughts and prayers are with you and all who loved or knew your child. MG xxxx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:06am

I am sending hugs and prayers. I am sure we all are. As MG says, there are no words, just the hugs.

the room above the garage Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 12:01am

Dear Another Sally, goodness I'm sorry, I've missed this...sending a tight clasp of a hug, the one where there is no time limit to leave it. Please say how we might support you. Love to you, love ratg xxx.

Annette Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 7:04am

Mary I really enjoyed your post.This is the first time in ages that I have sat calmly and quietly reading Moodscope post. I have had a recent bereavement and my mind has been all over the place. In the past week I have felt a lot better and stronger. So enjoyed doing the Quiz and listening to David. I am sure a Bear probably a mixture of Baloo, Winning the Pooh and Paddington Bear. All characters just like me. Thank you Mary you have made my day. Now I am off to look for some Honey.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:07am

Annette, I am sorry for your loss. Lovely characters to be like. I wish you well in your quest for honey.

Eva Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 7:11am

A fascinating blog Mary, I'm definitely a lion, we should have enough for a decent pride soon! I'll look out that book, thanks for the recommendation.

Another Sally, I'm sending you hugs and strength today, remember to breath.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:09am

Another song I could have picked for my audio blog then, would have been U2's Pride (in the name of love)! :)

Orangeblossom Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 7:29am

Hi Mary, thanks for a very gripping blog. I was thrilled to read your blog & afterwards I shall do the quiz which I enjoy doing. I did the 16 Personalities quiz based on the Myers-Briggs personality test three times to be sure of the outcome. The results were the same each time. Is it possible to change from a bear or wolf to a lion during the course of your life I wonder? Have a great day.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:13am

I think it is possible to change. Dr Breus comments that most small children are lions and many teenagers distinctly wolfish. When I do the Meyers Briggs I sometimes get a different result as I am a bit borderline, but nearly always come out like Marilyn Monroe - the self destructive entertainer. I don't really like Meyers Briggs - as that's not really who I want to be!(probably true though)

Orangeblossom Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 7:52am

Hi Mary, just done the quiz and discovered that I am a bear. Just been telling my other half about it. He is a very analytical chap and doesn't hesitate to fire me with questions. I often say, in a partially jesting way, that he subjects people to a Spanish Inquisition.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:14am

Nobody expects the Spanish Inqui..... oops sorry! Wrong sketch! Happy Bear day OB!

Marmaladegirl Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:23am

Dear Mary - Great blog! I was intrigued when you previously mentioned you had a blog about lions, bears, wolves and dolphins - now I understand! Done test - I am a bear. Orangeblossom wonders whether it is possible to change from one to another during the course of your life and I would say definitely Yes. When I was ill I would have given very different answers to the ones I gave today. I sleep very well nowadays. I wonder whether I feel healthy & good because I sleep well or whether I sleep well because I am healthy and feel good? Big hugs to you Mary, and to my fellow Moodscopers (if they would like one), MG xx

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:55am

Marmaladegirl...I wonder too: did the depression come before the sleep deprivation or did the sleep deprivation 'promote' the depression....think, think, think! Too long ago and can't remember! Bear x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:18am

I am now working on ways to sleep through the night. I drop off very easily, but then wake up and cannot get back to sleep for hours, which results in me then sleeping beyond my natural time of waking, so I feel cross and out of sorts all day - even if other people think its normal to sleep until 8am when you're on holiday (as this morning). I hate it!

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:53am

Another heart is weeping for you and has been since I read your reply to Lex.
I don't think any of us will have the right words for you, but know that many of us will be thinking of you - and not just today.
Bear x

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:03am

Mary...hope you don't mind me diverting your blog to Another Sally today. Bear hugs xxxx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:25am

If this blog were only for we who comment, I would have written this for Sally. Your comment (and all others) are entirely appropriate.

Orangeblossom Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:54am

Thanks for letting us know that you are a bear Marmaladegirl. My other half did the quiz as a result of strong encouragement and he is also a bear.

Marmaladegirl Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 2:14pm

Hi Orangeblossom - We are the three bears then (your hubby, yourself and me)! And Annette manages to be three bears all in one (Baloo, Winnie the Pooh & Paddington). I like bears - especially ones called Bearofliddlebrain (who is not actually a bear!) We all sound like we are losing the plot (not necessarily a bad thing). ;-)

Ach UK Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:14pm

Of course you are a bear Marmalade Girl, you love Marmalade. ;)

Marmaladegirl Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:44pm

Oh Ach UK - thanks for making me laugh out loud. Why haven't I thought of that before?! XX

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:02am

In the words of Victor Meldrew....' I don't believe it!'
I had thought I was a Bear....but no, alas I am a Dolohin disguised as a Bear!!
What a great blog Mary, Mary.....I actually thought I would be a lion cos I am up early and get the bestest work done in the mornings....but I think that was probably when I was younger so I do believe we change...especially we females...hormones, keeping an ear out for waking babies, waiting for teenagers to come home late at night, husband snoring!! Lol!...and now a puppy wakes me early - but he is definitely forgiven as he is scrummy!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:26am

Oh Bear, you do make me laugh! Happy swimming with your puppy!

Leah Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 11:01am

Thanks for your blog.
I didn't finish the quiz as on my screen it would not give the results unless I gave out my email. I didn't want to do that. Is there any way around that?

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 5:34pm

The lovely Lex has sorted out the links for you below!

The Gardener Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 2:49pm

I think I was firmly lion - now cannot be anything because it is impossible to live my life as I would like or as my body rhythm demands. And, always, lack of sleep warps everything. A grand-daughter is just leaving me - recommending yoga - her mother mindfulness - because despite all efforts Mr G 'where are you' every two minutes (he wants me permanently sitting 2 metres away from me bores into my brain - I tense up against it

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 5:36pm

Oh yes - being frustrated in the your natural rhythms makes one feel constantly like a cat rubbed the wrong way!

Dolphin Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 4:06pm

Thanks for this useful information, which I am going to follow up. I turned out to be a wolf, but I am not going to change my Moodscope name!!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 5:36pm

And our lovely bear turned out to be a dolphin!

Lex Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 4:12pm

So GREAT to have the Audio too. Thank you, Mary Wednesday. xx

Lex Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 4:18pm

...the dude himself is a horrible funnel marketer. Got me completely wrong and recorded his video in the bathroom. I wish these people would just give value without pushing for a sale all the time. I'm so glad you're not pushy! [There you go folks, I can be critical too!]

Lex Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 4:22pm

Shortcuts to his content without the sales pitch. Wolf: Dolphin: Bear: Lion:

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 5:39pm

I got frustrated with my audio recording I did yesterday (not this blog - another one). Even with all the windows closed and the gain turned down you can still hear, in the background, children playing on the beach. I suppose it is a nice problem to have though....

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 5:39pm

And thank you for the links. I hadn't got that far.

Leah Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 2:48am

Lex, thanks for doing that. What is a funnel marketer?? I found the links- I suppose what I wanted was which animal he thought I was without giving my email. Doesn't matter. Lex let me know if he replies to your comment on his video. Thanks again, Lex

Leah Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 2:50am

I just looked up funnel marketing, I suppose I call that pressure marketing!

Orangeblossom Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 6:39pm

Thanks for this fun-filled day. I love bears, certainly pictures of them. I also like Winnie the Pooh, Paddington being my favourites.

LH Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 7:25pm

Hi Mary,
Interesting blog and I liked the quote about 3am not being the best time to sort out your life!
As MG said my sleep pattern definitely changed when I became severely anxious and depressed a few years ago-for me it was all wrapped up together and as medication kicked in I started feeling better and sleeping better - chicken egg chicken egg!.
Think I'm usually a bear but sometimes a wolf. Take care LH x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:29pm

Nothing is in proportion at 3am!

dancing hippo Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:18pm

Hi Mary ,

Great blog , great audio , great subject but I do not think that I will be buying the book . I did the test and listened to all descriptions. I was sure that I am a Wolf and since I do not have to get up early in the morning and do not use an alarm clock I am staying up longer and longer and waking up later and later after at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep . It works for us very well because my husband needs much more sleep than me and even though he goes to bed earlier than me sleeps in most days. He is a very light sleeper so in the past I used to wake him up in the morning. Even our dog adjusted quickly to going out much later at night and in the morning.

My test however gave the result as a Bear . I do not agree with this at all .

I did listen to the previous blog too and you are an amazing reader Mary as both blogs are read in a completely different way with great dramatic accents - very professional , and although I am a reader and a written word is my first choice of delivery I will listen to audios in the future too now for sheer pleasure and emphases.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:32pm

Oh, thank you, Dancing Hippo. You have no idea of the glow your kind words have given me.

Ach UK Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:26pm

Thank you for this post, made me smile. Always thought I was "Lark" and this new test makes me a Lion . . . Both of which will do as I love to sing (or these days twitter) and sometimes I can roar . . .and I am always an early bird - with the exception of when dopy on medication.
Thinking of you this evening Another Sally.X.

Molly Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:31pm

I would like to add my love and thoughts to Another Sally today xx

dancing hippo Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 8:32pm

3 am is a very good time for me to work quietly . I love the silence - even the birds are still asleep and I am able to concentrate fully without interruptions. I do not like 4 am as much after reading that this the dying hour ( most vulnerable succumb usually at this hour ) . I do not like staying up later than 5 am but when I go away I stay up all night preceding my flight regardless of the time of departure as I am then able to sort out loads following the principle that I work most efficiently under pressure of last minute. Sorry to be a bore .

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:36pm

Sorry - my reply came out as another comment below. And - never a bore...

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:35pm

Although a lion I understand completely the intense and concentrated silence of 3am - it is utterly seductive. But for me, the price is too high as I hate not being awake and alert at 6am.

Lexi Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 2:53am

Hello Mary! I loved the post today and took the quiz - I am a bear. So interesting. I never thought of myself as having "normal" sleep patterns. I too like to be in bed by 10pm but oftentimes I need to take melatonin to help me nudge into sleep, or else I'll be up till 2am. No matter what time I go to sleep I'm wide awake in about 4-5 hours. And then of course I need my naps during the day. Lucky for me I work for myself and can structure a mid to late afternoon nap. I panic if I have slept past 7am. The day is half over! xo Lexi

Salt Water Mum Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 9:51am

HI Mary, I did the test and am completely shocked to find out I am a Dolphin! I mean I like the thought of being a dolphin - I love the sea and I swim most days (in the summer) and it's my happy place but..... to be a sleep dolphin, the most dysfunctional sleeper of all it seems, is a bit of a shock. And yet... the video where he explains about dolphins is shockingly true ! ahhhhhggghhhh!

Dear Another Sally,
I too do not know what to say but I am thinking of you and wishing strength, comfort and peace for you xxx

Anna Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 9:24pm

Sorry in advance for the negativity but isn't this a bit unscientific and tantamount to "click bait" on the moodsxope blog? We are all tempted to do the quiz and then tempted further by entering our precious email addrssses for results. Having some evidence based knowledge in this area it's a gross over simplification. I think we should have some warnings in place on blogs that encourage us to click please. I am not in a good place and extra vulnerable and this made me feel a bit cheated.

Molly Fri, Aug 11th 2017 @ 12:46am

Hi Anna, Leah questioned this as well, about having to give the email address, so I didn't bother with it, I just guessed the animal myself (and came up with two!) but I get so much junk mail, I am also reluctant to give my email address out. I don't believe Mary meant any harm by it though, as you have acknowledged. I didn't find your comment upsetting personally, just a good point made really as we all struggle with the overwhelming forces of this internet and of course our own vulnerable selves - hope you are ok - Molly xx

Mary Wednesday Fri, Aug 11th 2017 @ 12:54pm

Anna - that's a really good point. When I gave out the address for the test I totally forgot that it asked for an email address.i actually have a "spam" email address which I give out on these occasions. That way, I totally ignore everything in it. I just go through and delete everything every month or so. But yes, as Caroline says below, I will check next time.

Caroline the Moodscope Team Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 9:49pm

Hi Anna, Sorry, you have made a good point and we will do that in future. Caroline

Anna Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 10:30pm

Thanks Caroline :-) and sorry if my comment was upsetting or hurtful to anyone. I know it was intended to be kind and helpful.

Anna Thu, Aug 10th 2017 @ 10:31pm

The original post, I mean

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