Science Says Night Owls Are More Intelligent than the Early Bird

According to “Psychology Today,” intelligent people are more likely to be nocturnal than people with lower IQ scores. In an analysis of a large representative sample of young Americans showed that more intelligent individuals are more likely to be nocturnal than less intelligent individuals. They go to bed later on weeknights and on weekends and wake up later.


Weekday night

Weekend night

Weekday morning

Weekend morning

For example, those with a childhood IQ of less than 75 went to bed around 23:41 on weeknights in early adulthood and those with a childhood IQ of over 125 go to bed around 00:29.

In “Study Magazine,” Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the London School Of Economics And Political Science, reported that IQ average and sleeping patterns are most definitely related.

Bedtimes and wake-up times for Americans in their 20s by IQ.

Very Dull (IQ < 75)
Weekday: 11:41 P.M.-7:20 A.M.
Weekend: 12:35 A.M.-10:09 A.M.

Normal (90 < IQ < 110)
Weekday: 12:10 A.M.-7:32 A.M.
Weekend: 1:13 A.M.-10:14 A.M.

Very Bright (IQ > 125)
Weekday: 12:29 A.M.-7:52 A.M.
Weekend: 1:44 A.M.-11:07 A.M.

Kanazawa theorizes that humans used to rise and fall with the sun, 10,000 years ago. All species in nature exhibit a daily cycle of activity – this is called the circadian rhythm. It is regulated by two clusters of nerve cells called the suprachiasmatic nuclei in the anterior hypothalamus. Humans have the unique ability to consciously override this internal biological rhythm and choose what time they go to bed and get up.

In the academic paper, “Why The Night Owl Is More Intelligent,” published in the journal “Psychology And Individual Differences,” it’s widely assumed that for several millennia, humans are conditioned to be diurnal. However, with electricity and our ability to navigate at night, we are able to stay up later. Below-average and average brains still want a sleep pattern that resembles our ancestors whilst more intelligent brains will ignore that impulse and find stimulation during the later hours.