Study Shows People Who Stay Up Later Have a Higher IQ

On this episode of “Things I Learned Today,” I’m talking about our sleep schedules, and how a recent study shows evidence of sleep patterns having a correlation to IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Sleep is a fundamental part of our biology as animals, and it is essential that we get enough of it to live a healthy and productive life. But new evidence is confirming that, in humans, the timing in which you take your restful breaks of slumber actually reflect on your intelligence. It shows that the people who stay up later have a higher IQ

The study claims that people with higher IQs tend to be more active nocturnally, going to bed later, whereas those with lower IQs tend to retire to bed sooner after nightfall.

We can all agree that the amount of sleep we get every night is important. Lack of sleep in animals of all kinds can result in obesity, high blood pressure and a reduced life span. Drowsiness also impairs mental performance. The amount of sleep, however, doesn’t have to be affected by when we sleep though. This study is all about the timing, not the quantity.

Extensive research by Satoshi Kanazawa and colleges at the London School of Economics and Political Science have uncovered significant differences in sleep-timing preferences among people with differentiating IQ scores, and the people who like to stay up later, and are more productive and active at night are the ones who are also showing to have the higher IQ scores. Meanwhile, those with lower IQ tend to be the ones who go to bed early, and demonstrated “morningness.”

According to Kanazawa, our ancestors were a bit different from us, and this shift towards more nocturnal activities is an “evolutionarily novel preference” of the type normally found in more intelligent individuals. IT demonstrates  “a higher level of cognitive complexity,” in the practitioners. However, A 2008 study by psychologist Marina Giamnietro and colleagues indicated that evening-types tend to be less reliable, less emotionally stable and more apt to suffer from depression, addictions and eating disorders. I suppose you win some and lose some here.

Now this isn’t definitive proof that all of you early risers are dumber than us nocturnal folks, and I’m sure there are going to be exceptions in every case. But it is interesting to see a correlation was made between human intelligence and sleep patterns. It’s important to note here though, that your sleep practices aren’t what make the intelligence go up or down. It’s the IQ that is making a person practice a particular sleep pattern. Apparently.

Your Turn To Share

Which one are you? Are you the type to go to bed early and wake up early, or are you a night owl, finding yourself more productive at night when all those early-birds are tucked away in the covers already? Do you believe this has anything to do with your level of intelligence? Let me know in the comments down below!

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Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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1 Response

  1. Roseyferg says:

    Nice to know my desire to stay up late could be related to my IQ. HA! I love it. Thx for sharing.

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