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sleep smartSleep and intelligence (intellectual, emotional and social)

Are you the kind of person who likes to curl up with a good book at night and stay up a little later to engage with your story?  Do you like burn the midnight oil doing all sorts of things? Or are you the type to hit the bed at 9pm and fall asleep within a short time?  There are certainly those who hit the hay early and others that are simply more nocturnal in nature.

Studies have been done with such questions in mind and the results indicate that there is a correlation between the time people go to bed and the IQs. It has been stated that those who have higher IQs tend to stay up later than those who go to sleep shortly after nightfall, whether they are reading watching television, talking, or just about anything.

Whether you go to bed early or late, it is still important to get between 7 and 8 hours sleep, as that is good for your overall mental and physical health. Sleep experts assert that those who do not get adequate sleep tend to struggle more with stress, fatigue, negative emotions, obesity, and possibly a reduced life span. Granted, we can probably all agree that adequate sleep makes us feel a whole lot better the next day.  How many times have you tried to function on a few hours of sleep, only to find yourself edgy and exhausted the next day?

The recent findings that the later bedtime is related to higher IQ is controversial, but much research is holding to its claims.  In fact, Sataoshi Kanazawa and colleagues from the London School of Economics and Political Science have found that there is definitely a difference in “sleep-timing preferences among people, depending on their IQ scores.”  It seems that smarter people just like to stay up later, with those with lower IQs heading to bed early.

An interesting study done by psychologist Marina Giamnietro in 2008 reported that those that like to stay up late may have a higher IQ, but they also tend to be more likely to struggle with depression, be less emotionally stable, and struggle with addictions. Unless you can stay up late and sleep in, you’re probably going to be running on empty much of the time during the day, so sleep experts still encourage people get to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep 7 to 8 hours. Burning the midnight oil might get you a few more IQ points, but it may also cause you more grief than you’d like to contend with.

More research is needed to sway many health experts, but others believe it to be so.

What do you think?

Does sleep make us smarter, or do you think the night owls are smarter than those who call it a night early?

What bedtime do you prefer?



– Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep.

– Some scientists believe we dream to fix experiences in long-term memory, that is, we dream about things worth remembering. Others reckon we dream about things worth forgetting – to eliminate overlapping memories that would otherwise clog up our brains.


Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 4.32.13 PMIt is my continued desire to share knowledge about all things that help us thrive, flourish, create, maintain and share happiness. I can’t emphasize enough what a good night of restorative sleep does for our bodies, minds and emotions. In my experience as health and wellness editor at Sleep and Wellness Magazine I have been called upon to weave a user-friendly true story about the nature of our inner garden and the impact of “sleep-fulness” and sleeplessness upon our overall health and wellbeing. Modern life has made many aspects of the daily routine easier and at the same time, added volumes of stress that make the simple pleasures, such as a great sleep, somewhat illusive. When we learn to slow down and “be” with life, in life and immersed with presence and attention wonderful things can happen. Enjoy this series on the Magic of Sleep!


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