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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.