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10 Reasons Why Night Owls Are Smarter People

10 Reasons Why Night Owls Are Smarter People

Are you a night owl? Most people have heard the phrase ‘the early bird gets the worm’, but various studies have actually shown that night owls may be smarter.

As everyone else is nodding off, the night owls start to become productive, resulting in all kinds of benefits.

Check out 10 reasons why night owls are smarter people.

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1. They Have ‘Evening Strength’

There may be a physical advantage to being a night owl: researchers at the University of Alberta tested the leg strength of nine early birds and nine night owls and found that the leg strength of an early bird remained consistent throughout the day. However, the leg strength of the people who stayed up later actually peaked to higher levels during the evening!

Olle Lagerquist, the co-author of the study, said the reason for this may be because night owls “show increased motor cortex and spinal cord excitability.”

2. They Tend To Be More Relaxed

Early birds often have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which stay high all day. However, night owls are often much more relaxed, as they don’t receive the same amount of cortisol in the morning.

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3. They Score Higher On General Intelligence Tests

A study conducted at the University of Madrid looked at the sleeping patterns of roughly a thousand teenagers. The study came away with two pretty different results; while early risers are more likely to get better grades, the night owls actually scored higher on tests related to general intelligence.

4. They May Need Less Sleep

Researchers from Belgium and Switzerland have discovered that night owls may not actually need as much sleep to function as everyone else. The study noted that after sleeping seven hours a night, early birds started to get wearier. However, this didn’t happen with the people who stayed up later, suggesting to the researchers that they required less sleep.

5. They Can Remain Alert For Longer

A study at the University of Liege, Belgium, monitored 15 extreme night owls and 16 extreme early birds. The participants continued with their normal sleeping patterns, and the researchers measured their brain activity when they first woke up, and then again just over 10 hours later.

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While the scores were similar in the morning, they noted that unlike the night owls, the early birds had lower brain activity in various areas relating to their attention span.

6. They Are More Flexible With Work

Although there are many people who prefer to stay up later, many of them have no choice but to adjust to an early morning schedule for work. Not only do night owls still regularly thrive in these situations, they also easily adapt to the extended hours in their day. This means night owls can often work effectively first thing in the morning, as well as last thing at night!

7. They May Have A Higher IQ

An interesting study conducted at the London School of Economics and Political Science by Satoshi Kanazawa, found a connection between adaptive behaviors and intelligence. The study discovered that “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.”

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8. They Have Productive Evenings

Night owls always have the option of socializing or working in the evening, because they have the energy to do so. As they go to bed so late, they also still have some wind down time before bed.

9. They Have Time To Prepare For The Following Day

Night owls normally have a long time between finishing work and going to bed, so they often have time to prepare themselves for the following day. From mentally planning the next day to setting out their work clothes, night owls often have their next day planned before it even starts.

10. They Have Strategic Thinking Abilities

Night owls often struggle to sleep, and the dark brings them peace and solitude. During this time night owls contemplate their lives and the world around them, making them more strategic thinkers and helping them to effectively deal with their issues and problems.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on June 29, 2020

How Does Setting Goals Lead to Success?

How Does Setting Goals Lead to Success?

As well as being the founder of Lifehack, I also help people on a one-to-one basis through life coaching.

I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years now and have helped hundreds of clients reevaluate their lives and turn inertia into progress and failure into success.

A common theme I’ve noticed with many of my clients is that they don’t have any definite goals to aim towards.

This has always surprised me, as goal setting is frequently recommended by self-improvement gurus, performance coaches, and business leaders. It’s also something that I learned at university and have implemented successfully in my life ever since.

If you’re similar to the majority of my life coaching clients and you don’t have any definite goals to aim for, then you’re missing out on what is probably the most powerful personal success technique on the planet.

The good news is—you’ve come to the right place for help with this.

In this article, I’ll explain exactly what goal-setting is and how you can put it into action in your life. As you’ll discover, it’s a key that can open many doors for you.

An Introduction to Goal Setting

Goals can be big, small, short-term, long-term, essential, or desirable. But they all share one thing: They will give you something to aim for.

This is important. As just like a ship without a destination, if you have no goals, you’ll end drifting aimlessly.

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Goals give you purpose. They also give you drive and enthusiasm. In other words—they make you feel alive!

If you’ve never spent time setting goals before, then here’s what I recommend you to do:

  1. Take some time to evaluate all areas of your life (health, career, family, etc.).
  2. Determine which of these areas need a boost.
  3. Think of ways in which to achieve this (for example, if you want to boost your health, you could eat less and exercise more).
  4. Set some definite goals that you would like to achieve.
  5. Write down these goals, including the date you want to accomplish them by.

Now, before you get started on the above, I want to make one thing clear: Goals are not wishful thinking!

By this, I mean that while your goals should be ambitious, they shouldn’t be unrealistic or verging into fantasy land.

For example, wanting to be promoted at work would be a realistic goal while wanting to be President of the United States might not be. (Of course, feel free to prove me wrong!)

If you’re new to the world of goal setting, then I’d recommend you start with easy-to-achieve goals. These could be things such as eating a healthy breakfast, walking more, taking regular breaks from your screen, and sleeping early.

These simple goals might take you a month or so to achieve, including making the daily practices a habit.

Once you’ve successfully accomplished these goals, you’ll find your self-confidence grows, and you’ll be ready to set yourself some bigger goals.

Here are a few examples that you might want to choose or adapt to your personal circumstances:

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  • Run a marathon
  • Buy a new car
  • Learn a new language
  • Travel around the world
  • Change career
  • Retire early
  • Write a book

I’m sure you can think of many more things that you would like to achieve. As the famous Shakespeare line neatly states: “The world is your oyster!”

Now, the trick with big goals (as I’ll show in an example shortly) is to break them down into small, bite-sized chunks. This means you’ll have a big end goal, with smaller goals (sometimes referred to as objectives) helping you to gradually achieve your main aim.

When you do this, you’ll make big goals more achievable. Plus, you’ll have an easy way to track how far along the road to your goal you are at any given point in time.

Let’s see this in action…

Going from an Idea to a Global Success

Everything starts with an idea.

And there appears to be no shortage of good ideas in the world. But there is a shortage of people willing to put these ideas into action!

This is the essential step that will move you from being a dreamer to an achiever.

Back in 2005, when I first had the idea for Lifehack, I really only considered it to be a platform to record some of my productivity and self-improvement techniques. I’d developed these during my time at university and as a Software Engineer at Redhat.

However, based on the number of views and positive feedback I received on the first few articles, I quickly realized that Lifehack had the potential to be a popular and successful website—a site that could help transform the lives of people from all across the world.

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It was at that point that I decided to set some goals in place for Lifehack.

The way I did this was to set specific targets for different areas of the business:

  1. Number of articles published
  2. Amount of time spent writing and promoting the articles
  3. Number of new readers
  4. Number of new email subscribers
  5. Revenue generated from ads

For each of the above, I set weekly, monthly, and yearly targets. These targets were realistic but were also ambitious. In addition, I wrote down the necessary steps to take to achieve each target within the specified time frame.

This goal setting had a powerful impact on my motivation and energy levels. Because I could clearly see what needed to be done to achieve each goal, I found a purpose to my tasks that made them exciting to complete. Each small target achieved took me closer to accomplishing the bigger goals.

For example, my initial goals for writing articles were for just five a week, which equated to 20 per month and just over 100 per year. However, as I dedicated more and more time to Lifehack, I found I was able to exceed my initial goals.

This led me to increase the numbers. Of course, there’s a limit to how many articles one person can write. So when the readership began to exponentially increase, I started to hire other writers to help me out with the site’s content.

From my initial goal of just over 100 articles per year, I’ve used goal setting to help Lifehack publish more than 35,000 articles to date. This is now the largest collection of original self-development articles in the world.

And in terms of readership—this has skyrocketed from a few dozen in 2005 to several million in 2020.

And of course, I have many new goals for Lifehack, including expanding our range of online courses.

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My original goal has always remained the same though: To change people’s lives for the better.

Goal Setting Can Transform Your Life

If you haven’t yet experienced the incredible power of goal setting, then now’s the time to get started.

Build a definite picture of what you want to accomplish, break it down into small, achievable steps, and then start taking action!

You’ll be able to change all areas of your life using this method, including boosting your health, improving your relationships, and transforming your career. You may also want to use goal setting to start a new hobby or plot a path to a prosperous and peaceful retirement.

So please don’t wait for success to drop in your lap (which it is highly unlikely to do). Instead, decide on exactly what you want, then make a plan to get it. This is the secret to lifelong success.

Legendary motivational speaker and author Paul J. Meyer said it well:

“Goal setting is the most important aspect of all improvement and personal development plans. It is the key to all fulfillment and achievement.”

Final Thoughts

Now, let me leave you with five questions that will help you think about your future:

  1. What would you like to be doing in 3, 5, and 7 years?
  2. What things make you happiest?
  3. How can you share your knowledge and experience?
  4. Who can help you achieve your goals?
  5. What would you like to be your legacy?

Take plenty of time to think about these questions. When the answers come, you’ll be able to start building a picture of how you’d like your life to be—and what goals you need to set to make this picture a reality.

More Tips on Setting Goals

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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