Night Owls Have Higher IQs

Who needs sleep? According to research, dumb people do

In the battle of the sexes, today is a great day for my husband Ryan. Why? Because a new study suggests he is smarter than I am.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been going to bed at 11 p.m. and getting up at 7 a.m. As a kid, I hated sleeping over friends’ houses because they would bully me into staying up until 2 a.m., under the auspices that it was fun to be sleep-deprived. No matter what hour we stayed up until, I would be wide-eyed and ready to spring out of bed as soon as the sun came up.

My husband, on the other hand, has no idea what a bedtime even is. For him, going to sleep is punishment. “It feels like an opportunity to get something done is lost, and I don’t like it,” he says. That’s not to say he doesn’t enjoy sleep. Once he’s escaped to dreamland, he’ll stay there. A sleep-through-morning champion, he had no problem skipping daylight altogether when we met. It was almost like dating a vampire.

Why do I bring up our sleeping habits? Because this research that has my husband jumping for joy suggests that night owls have higher IQs than early birds. And just in case you couldn’t tell from previous posts, Ryan loves to be better than everyone else at just about everything. As he often says when he finishes his food/gets dressed/goes to the bathroom before me, “It’s not a competition, but I’m winning.” The fact that I can fall asleep before him has been, up until this moment, very troubling proof that I can do something better than he can. So to have this apparent shortcoming now work in his favor? Well, let’s just say he’s doing his victory dance as I write this.

According to London School of Economics researcher Satoshi Kanazawa, it’s people’s intelligence that makes them stay up late. The internal clocks of super-smart people aren’t necessarily different than everyone else’s, he says. Intelligent people are just more likely to veto their body’s decision to sleep (doesn’t sound very smart to me). I guess we everyday Joes like to do what we’re told, while geniuses prefer to challenge the status quo.

That could in part explain why a 2006 study found that night owls also tend to be more creative thinkers than us morning types. Hmph. I’ll grant Ryan the higher IQ, but I’ll fight him at least until bedtime for the Most Creative Award. And if that’s not enough for us morning larks to handle, the same study suggests they’re more extroverted, too. Um, seriously, why even bother getting up in the morning? Is there anything that we morning people are better at? Besides, as my lovely husband just pointed out, being overly chipper (read: annoying) before the rest of the world has had their morning coffee.

What’s your take -- what are morning people are better at? Chime in below!

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