While the expression “the early bird gets the worm” has been referred to for decades as the method for success, a recent study suggests the opposite is true as night owls tend to be the ones who make the most money.
In a study by the University of Madrid, night owls proved to have more of the type of intelligence linked to career advancement, coveted jobs and higher incomes.
Early birds performed better in school, however, but researchers think that is because school runs on an early in, early out schedule which is the opposite of a night owl’s schedule.
The research was conducted on about 1,000 teenagers, which included school performance and inductive intelligence tests.
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Around 25 percent of the teens were “morning types,” 32 percent were “night owls” and others did not fit any profile.
Those who tended to stay up late did better on inductive reasoning tests, which is known to be a good predictor of general intelligence and academic performance.
Researchers do not know why night owls seem to have more brain power, but theories suggest it is because they are likely to be raised that way since night activities appeal more to people with inquisitive minds.
There are drawbacks to staying up late, though. One study suggests those who stay up past their bedtime are more susceptible to heart problems.
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The study was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 58th annual Scientific Session in Orlando. It found that men who went to bed after midnight had more arterial stiffening, which is an early sign of heart disease, than men who went to bed before midnight. They also found that it didn’t matter if they had a full night’s sleep or not.