Are you the kind of person who gets up early for a fresh start of the day or do you stay up late at night to finish your work? The Night Owl versus the Early Bird debate is rather an old one. But, new information has come to light with recent studies indicating that night owls tend to be more intelligent and have higher IQs than early birds. However, many people debate the findings and argue that people who stay up late at night have a rather unhealthy lifestyle. Well, in the name of spirited debate, let’s take a look at some important factors to determine which type is the smarter one.
Being an Night Owl
- Night Owls Are Intelligent – For the morning people, this may be a little tough to read. However, after considerable research on the intelligence of late-risers, it has been proved that night owls do have a higher IQ and prove to be more intelligent.
- Night Owls Have More Stamina – Night owls can remain focused on tasks longer than people who wake up early in the morning. While early birds buckle under sleep pressure and leave their tasks for the morning, night owls stay alert long into the night and focus more on completing their tasks.
- Night Owls are More Productive – Night owls require less sleep overall and also tend to have a sudden ‘burst’ of energy, when they hit their rhythm later on at night. This makes them overall more productive, than early birds.
- Night Owls are More Depressed – People who stay up late at night usually lack quality sleep, and suffer from ‘social jetlag’, which means they tend to socialize less, thus leading to depression. In short, you cannot be a night owl in an early bird world and not expect to feel down, tired and depressed.
- Night Owls Are Emotionally Unstable – Night owls have an unhealthy sleeping routine and usually tend to more emotionally unstable than early birds. They are likely to have problems with eating disorders and addictions. Studies show night owls are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol than early birds.
- Night Owls Struggle with Non-Work Activities – When it comes to non-work activities, night owls have to go through great struggle, and usually stay up during the day to do non-work activities, and pull all-nighters’ to do their own work.
Being an Early Bird
- Life Takes Place in the Day – Night owls may be more intelligent, but early birds have a much organized life. Why? Well, this is because everything takes place during the day, from school to college, to university, to work. And this gives early birds an advantage over their late-rising counterparts.
- Early Birds are More Proactive – Recent studies show that morning people anticipate problems and try their best to minimize them, meaning they are proactive. Early birds are practical and are more likely to set goals and accomplish them, and have a clearer mind than night owls.
- Early Birds are Healthier Overall – Early birds have a healthy and organized way of living. They are more likely to exercise, eat healthy, drink lots of water, as compared to night owls. Early birds typically picture a life of good health and energy.
- No Sudden Burst Of Energy – Early birds don’t experience any burst of energy. They just have to go through the whole day with whatever rest or energy they gained. You will start out your morning with full energy but gradually start feeling drained, tired and sleepy.
- Early Birds Need More Sleep – Early birds require lots of sleep. Without it they cannot carry out their daily tasks. This means they tend to take more naps than night owls.
- Early Birds Do Not Complete Their Daily Tasks – Since early birds are likely to get completely drained by nighttime, they are unable to complete their daily tasks and usually leave their work for the next day.
So, who’s smarter? Well, the question still remains unanswered as both types of people have their own built-in advantages and disadvantages. Yes, ‘built-in’ as more and more researchers are stating that the sleep preferences of each person are completely ruled by their genetics.
The Answer Is In Your Genes
Scientists found that variations to particular gene dubbed PER1 which is part of a group that affects circadian rhythms, are also affecting circadian timing.
Research indicates that 60% of today’s population has a variant called Adenine (A). 40% of today’s population houses a variant called Guanine (G). The A variant is responsible for waking up early so to speak. While this G variant, is responsible for preferring to wake up later.
Remember that each human carries a DNA double helix. This means that each of us has two sets of DNA chromosomes. This is what researchers concluded:
- Early Birds: two As will be found in 36% of people
- Night Owls: two Gs will be found in 16% of people
- In Between: both A and G will be found in 48% of people