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Research Says Late Sleepers Are More Intelligent

Research Says Late Sleepers Are More Intelligent

The early bird may get the worm, but the night owl may be smarter – according some research.

Recent studies suggest that those who deviate from their preordained sleeping patterns may do so because they are more intelligent than those who go to bed early.  Not only are they smarter but they are often more creative. Evolutionary scientists say that this is because sleeping in is “evolutionarily novel.” It did not make sense for our ancestors to stay up working late through the night. This is because night time was dangerous. Until recently, there were no Taco Bells at 2 AM, only predators you could not see. The study shows that staying up late has almost nothing to do with heritability. Instead, it has more to do with an individual’s choices. Essentially, it takes a smart person to think to deviate from these evolutionary norms and choose to stay up all night.

Late sleepers may be making the decision to stay up all night instead of sleeping. But why does this make them smart?

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Late Sleepers Are More Creative

In a study performed by the Catholic University of the Sacred heart in Milan, 120 men and women completed a self-reporting questionnaire. The questionnaire asked them about whether they were a morning or an evening person. The groups were then divided up according to their answers. They were then subjected to further tests designed to test their creative ability. The subjects first drew pictures based on images shown to them. They were then told to complete incomplete shapes and give them a title. In the final test, the participants were given a piece of paper with 30 pairs of lines and told to create and title another picture.

The researchers then looked at the results. They judged each picture on flexibility, fluidity originality and elaboration. The results showed that those who identified as night owls scored significantly higher than early risers.

Late sleepers tend to do their best work at night and often find they are more creative after the sun sets. Scientists are not yet sure why this is the case. They think that it goes back to bucking against their evolutionary trends. According to the researchers, these late sleepers showed a “non-conventional spirit and the ability to find alternative and original solutions.”

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Late Sleepers Take Better Advantage of Their Waking Hours

Early risers have a sleeping pattern that sees them awake early in the morning and asleep early at night. However, early risers are more likely to be tired by the mid-afternoon. This means that these people are losing a good part of their day. It turns out that there is a reason for this that has less to do with productivity and more to do with brain chemistry.

A study at the University of Liege looked at the contrasts in brain activity between early risers and night owls. Both groups had similar levels of productivity upon waking. However, after 10 hours, the early risers had significantly lower brain activity. They also had a decreased attention span compared to the night owls.

This means that even though early risers are technically awake for more hours of the day, they are less productive than night owls. This makes the night owls smarter because they take full advance of their sleep cycle. Thus, the night owls are able to do more with their day.

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Late Sleepers Are Less Stressed

In theory, those who wake up late should be less stressed. However, extreme late sleepers have a more relaxing schedule than early risers as a whole.

Another study performed by scientists in Westminster tested the saliva of 42 men and women for two days. The goal was to analyze the level of the stress hormone called cortisol in the body. The results showed that those who woke up early had far higher levels of cortisol than the late sleepers. The results of this study may be of a more environmental nature that the previous studies. Early risers tend to be busier during the day and have no time to read a gold IRA rollover guide to try to make some extra cash. The number of problems they have to solve and the number of times they are hassled is also greater. Thus, early risers have less energy by the time they go back to sleep anyway.

On the other hand, late sleepers generally have the time to live life at more leisurely pace. Thus, they could work longer and not suffer the after lunch slump.

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It turns out that your day is not ruled by what side of the bed you wake up on. It is all what time you wake up. Instead of chastising your favorite night owl for staying up all night, they should be applauded for choosing to kick their evolutionary habits and make the most of their circadian rhythm.

Featured photo credit: Paul Oakenfold At Sutra/Tony Nungaray via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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