There are two main camps of people – those who prefer to get up early, bright and bushy eyed, ready to face the day, and those who are most active by the light of the moon, staying up until the wee hours. For a long time, we have been sold the idea that in order to succeed we need to set our alarms and get moving first thing in the morning, seizing the day. After all, ‘the early bird gets the worm,’ right?
A study by Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist from London School of Economics (LSE) revealed a surprising truth – Night owls are actually more intelligent than early birds! That’s right! If you prefer to burn the midnight oil it may actually be a sign of higher intelligence.
The research focused on the circadian rhythm, a biological cycle that is exhibited by nearly every species present in nature. Also called the ‘body clock,’ it regulates a number of the day to day processes in our life such as telling us when to go to sleep, when to wake up, or when we should eat. This cycle is influenced by a number of environmental triggers. For example, the time that the sun rises each day can affect your natural wakeup time. The human population, however, possess an ability that isn’t seen in other species – we can consciously choose to override this internal clock, choosing our own sleeping patterns.
If you often start your morning by hitting the snooze button, rolling over, and then going back to sleep, you are demonstrating a level of independence. You are choosing to ignore your biological responses in favor of your own chosen schedule. After collecting data from his study group, Kanazawa noted a pattern of similarities between the IQ level of the participants and the time that they regularly went to bed and woke up the following morning.
IQ Less Than 75 – Went to bed around 11:41 PM, woke up at approximately 7:20 AM
IQ of 125 or Higher – Went to bed around 12:29 PM, woke up at approximately 7:52 AM
While the reason for why some people prefer to stay up later at night is still up for debate, one thing is clear – Intelligent people statistically stay awake later and sleep in longer than the early birds in their lives. Next time you’re hitting the snooze button for the third time, don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty for wanting to catch another 30-min sleep. It’s just a sign of your intelligence!