Mon, 25 Mar 2013 01:25:42 GMT

Night owls brighter than early-risers: study

London, Mar 24 (PTI) Early to bed and early to rise may neither make you wealthy nor wise, according to a new study.

Research on teenagers by the University of Madrid, found that night owls, who like to work at night and can''t get up in the morning, may be brighter than the much better-regarded early risers.

In scientific tests, evening types showed more of the kind of intelligence that has been linked to prestigious jobs and higher incomes.

Larks or morning types, however, tend to get better school grades, possibly because lessons were at the wrong time of the day for night owls, The Independent reported.

Researchers carried out tests comparing larks and night owls. The body clocks of some people make them evening types, night owls who stay up late and sleep in later in the morning.
Others, the larks, are at their peak in the morning, going to bed and getting up early.

Nearly 1,000 teenagers took part in the research at the which involved a battery of tests that included measures of school performance and inductive intelligence. Academic performance was checked using final grades in the major subjects.

Around one in four of the teenagers were classed as morning types, and 32 per cent as night owls, with the remainder fitting neither profile.

The results showed that evening types scored higher than morning types on inductive reasoning, which has been shown to be a good estimate of general intelligence and one of the strongest predictors of academic performance.

A further piece of good news for the owls is that inductive reasoning is linked to innovative thinking and more prestigious occupations, and tends to earn higher incomes.

Famous night owls include US President Obama, Charles Darwin, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Keith Richards and Elvis Presley.

One theory to explain the extra brain power of night owls is that intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be nocturnal because in ancestral times any activities at night would have been novel and would, therefore, have been more likely to attract people with inquisitive minds.

Other research with adults has similarly found night owls to be brighter. One study showed that evening types among US Air Force recruits were significantly more able to think laterally than morning types, even when they were evaluated in the morning.

A University of Southampton study found that night owls had larger mean incomes and were more likely to have a comfortable home, a non-manual job and access to a car. PTI RCL AKJ

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