Advertising
Advertising

Research Reveals Night Owls Are More Intelligent Than People Who Get Up Early

Research Reveals Night Owls Are More Intelligent Than People Who Get Up Early

So you’re a night owl. Have you ever wondered why that is? Because you’re not the only one wondering. Scientists have been wondering too. They believe that going to bed late, like you do, could be a sign of high intelligence.

That’s right, there’s research that shows that intelligent people are more likely to stay up late.

In fact, scientists think that clever people are biologically programmed to be night owls. So if you find yourself staying up later than your friends and family, it may be because you’re smarter than they are. Not convinced?

Advertising

Here’s the low down.

Staying Up Late

Intelligent people are more likely to have different sleep cycles (or circadian rhythms) than people with a lower IQ. In fact, research indicates that there’s a strong correlation between intelligence and bedtime. That is the higher your IQ, the later you’ll stay up. The study of over 20,000 people found that people with high IQ’s were more likely to go to bed about half an hour later than the rest of us. They also got up about half an hour later.

The study found that,

Advertising

“…more intelligent individuals are more likely to be nocturnal, getting up later in the morning and going to bed later in the evening, than less intelligent individuals.”

This was true of both adults and children, as the study found,

“More intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be nocturnal adults who go to bed late and wake up late on both weekdays and weekends”

So if you or your kids have trouble turning in early, it could be biological. Your grey matter could actually be affecting your circadian rhythms.

Looking Back

The theory is that the higher your intelligence, the more likely it is that you’ll challenge evolutionary boundaries. You see, in evolutionary terms, people have a number of limitations. OK, we have opposable thumbs and can walk upright, but we have limitations that other animals don’t. For example, humans have poor night vision compared to other creatures like lions, leopards and wolves. So historically humans had to retire to a safe place at night.

There was little point in staying up late because they couldn’t see well. If they did venture out at night, they were likely to become the victim of a creature with better night vision. But humans are also adaptable, and the one thing they have going for them is their curiosity. Their ability to discover things – like fire. Humans need to develop new behaviors and discover new things. It’s nature’s way of ensuring we evolve.

Advertising

Scientists now think that people with higher IQ’s are part of this evolution. Their intelligence drives them to experiment with these evolutionary limitations. So being a night owl could be a sign of your high intellect.

Harnessing Your Unique Abilities

Here’s the bad news. While smart people are more likely to stay up late, the reverse doesn’t hold true. You can’t increase your IQ by going to bed later.  It just won’t work. So your special talents can’t be copied or replicated. It’s innate. You have it or you don’t – and you’ve got it! You always knew you were special, right? Well, now you know why.

You’re a freak of nature. In the best way. One of a select few highly intelligent night owls, at the cutting edge of human evolution. You’re part of nature’s way of pushing the boundaries. You’ll help us mere mortals improve our problem-solving ability. You’ll provide us with new ways we can improve our lives.

Advertising

So get out there and help us evolve. We’re counting on you.

Featured photo credit: Unexpected nights / Lara Cores via albumarium.com

More by this author

Cate Scolnik

Social media manager and content marketing specialist

Social Media Hacks: Tricks to Gain Strong Presence 8 Books From World-Class Leaders Telling You How To Achieve Phenomenal Success 21 Illustrations Showing Two Kinds Of People In The World That You Can Instantly Relate To 9 Science-Backed Strategies To Boost Your Personal Charisma night owls Research Reveals Night Owls Are More Intelligent Than People Who Get Up Early

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

Advertising

1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

Advertising

3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

Advertising

It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

Advertising

Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next