If you find yourself struggling to get out of bed and hitting the snooze button to prolong the inevitable preparation for your 9-5, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lazy – in fact, it could be a sign of your intelligence.
New research shows those who struggle to get up in the morning are potentially more intelligent, creative and happy compared to their early bird counterparts.
This theory is expanded upon in a study by London School of Economics (LSE) psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, titled Why Night Owls Are More Intelligent.
Along with Psychology Today editor Kaja Perina, who co-wrote the study, they make the case how being in control of when you sleep and wake up is a sign of intelligence.
While the snooze option has been around for awhile, the concept is said to be a relatively new one for our bodies to adapt to.
Hitting the snooze button and readjusting to this new style of sleeping condition means you have a higher intelligence compared to your contemporaries, according to Kanazawa and Perina.
Virtually all species in nature, from single-cell organisms to mammals – including humans – exhibit a daily cycle of activity called circadian rhythm.
However, humans, unlike other mammalian species, have the unique ability – consciously and cognitively – to override their internal biological clock and its rhythmic outputs. In other words, at least for humans, circadian rhythm is not entirely a matter of genetics.
Within broad genetic constraints, humans can choose what time to go to bed and get up – choosing to be night owls or morning larks.
Ignoring your initial alarm settings and waking up from your heavenly slumber on your own terms means you’re more likely to follow your ambitions and find solutions to problems yourself.
According to Kanazawa and Perina this kind of initiative ‘makes you more creative and independent’.
Kanazawa points towards ethnographical studies, in particular, the people of Maasai in Kenya, Yanomamö village in Japan and Ache in Paraguay:
There’s no indication in any of the ethnographic evidence that any sustained nocturnal activities occur in traditional societies, other than occasional conversations and singing, in these tribes.
He goes onto say:
It’s therefore reasonable to infer, our ancestors must have also limited their daily activities to daylight and sustained nocturnal activities are largely evolutionarily novel.
The Hypothesis would therefore predict more intelligent individuals are more likely to be nocturnal than less intelligent individuals.
The research is backed by a similar study which was conducted at the University of Southampton, where they looked at the ‘socioeconomic situations’ of 1,229 participants and compared it to their sleeping patterns.
The university found those who went to bed by 11pm and didn’t wake until 8am had a much happier lifestyle and earned more money.
However, this research shouldn’t be used as an excuse for you to lounge in bed all morning – unless it’s the weekend.
Even though your mind may be developing new and creative ideas – as well as nurturing your intelligence – while you dip into the land of nod, it’s advised you don’t take liberties with your sleep patterns either.
The National Sleep Foundation claim the human body only needs seven to nine hours sleep per night to maintain a healthy lifestyle.