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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 March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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