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Tell em’ he’s dreaming: Research shows that night owls are smarter

3 minute read

We’ve long been told that the early bird gets the worm, but research has found that night owls might just be king of the roost.

According to Psychology Today, those who stay up past the witching hour on both weeknights and weekends are likely to be more intelligent.

The 2010 research led by psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa from The London School of Economics and Political Science looked at the sleeping patterns of Americans in their 20s and categorised them by IQ.

Kanazawa started his research analysing the sleep patterns of ancient times and found that humans tended to wake and sleep with the sun; therefore, activities that take place after-dark are largely evolutionary.

Because the idea of staying up late at night is an evolutionary ‘new’ concept, his hypothesis is that if you are a night owl, you’re probably more advanced and, subsequently, more intelligent.

That’s really something to lose sleep over.

Credit: Elite Daily

Using current data on young Americans that showed when they went to sleep, when they woke and their IQ, Kanazawa was able to confirm his prediction, explaining,

“Compared to their less intelligent counterparts, more intelligent individuals go to bed later on weeknights (when they have to get up at a certain time the next day) and on weekends (when they don’t), and they wake up later on weekdays.”

So should you start trying to retrain your sleeping patterns?

Our sleep cycles are generated by our circadian rhythm or ‘body clock’ – a 24-hour cycle which tells us when to eat, sleep and wake. However, our rhythm isn’t all down to genetics; it’s affected by things like sunlight and temperature.

Some of us are just naturally predisposed to be more nocturnal than others and disrupting your body’s natural rhythm is linked to some pretty serious side effects including obesity and depression – so it might not be a good idea to try and fight it when the Land of Nod comes calling.

Want to get healthy? Who better to take inspiration from than Paul ‘The Chief’ Harragon? – find out his 8 health tips.

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