While the early bird may get the worm, research shows there are also benefits to being a night owl and sleeping in late. Some people can’t resist staying up late into the night and insist these those late night hours are the most productive. Now there’s actual research to back up their claims.
Night Owls May Have A Higher Level Of Intelligence
Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary scientist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, found that people who deviated from patterns of their ancestors have a higher IQ. As an example, our ancestors had a much different sleep pattern and rarely stayed up late in night.
This means that people who evolved from this type of sleeping pattern are considered to be more progressive. The study concludes 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.”
Another study from the University of Madrid analyzed the sleep patterns of 1,000 teenagers. The results of the study showed that those that did their work late at night scored higher on inductive reasoning tests (which is a measure associated with general intelligence). However, the study also found that kids that got up earlier received higher grades.
When researchers at the University of Liege in Belgium compared the brain activity of “extreme night owls” and “extreme early birds,” they found that the early birds experienced, “lower activity in brain regions linked to attention and the circadian master clock, compared to night owls.”
People May Be More Creative At Night
Marina Giampietro led a study at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan to look at the differences between people who stay up late at night vs. those who get us early.
They found that night owls are more likely to develop creative solutions to problems than those that get up early. Marina thinks this is because staying up late may encourage a more non-conventional spirit and an ability to discover alternative solutions to problems.
But…Don’t Discount The Early Birds
There’s still good news for those who get up early in the morning too. The Harvard Business Review found those, “whose performance peaks in the morning are better positioned for career success.” This is due to these types of people being more proactive than people who are at their optimal performance in the evening.