Good news everyone, you’re allowed to hit that snooze button just one more time. The old maxim “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” has been challenged and it seems as though it proves false.
In a joint study from Satoshi Kanazawa of London and Kaja Perina in New York, the idea that humans need to be more like their ancestors and rise early with the sun proves false. In fact, the idea that night owls are even more intelligent than their sun-rising contemporaries shows strong evidence. The study shows that more intelligent individuals are “more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values and preferences than less intelligent individuals” meaning that those of us who have adapted to a snooze alarm or late-night hangouts may in fact be pretty smart.
The idea is that human beings that can take easily to things that are not biologically installed in us through evolution, actually have a higher intelligence than those who find those things hard. It’s backed up with the research done by Catharine Gale and Christopher Martyn in the late 90s, who found that those who stayed up past 11pm and woke after 8pm actually had, on average, greater incomes.
While this is obviously swayed by many factors, including ones that may directly affect wake and sleep times, it is encouraging for people who sleep in on the regular. Health and intelligence were also unaffected in the Gale/Martyn study by those living the “lark” lifestyle – that is, waking before 8am.
If nothing else, these studies go in the face of long standing aphorisms like “early bird gets the worm”. It is perhaps even the opposite, with those staying up late being more likely to find wealth, health and intelligence.
It’s not, and has never been, laziness that kept some people up at night and in bed during the day. The next time someone refers to it as that, show them these studies that at least provide some evidence to the contrary.
If you were a minute (or nine) late for work this morning, don’t feel bad. It’s likely that you’re more intelligent than your on-time co-workers. Or at least that’s what you can tell them now, especially after that all-night trivia tournament at the local pub (that you also won).