The Health Benefits Of Being A Night Owl

A night owl is a person who tends to stay up late at night. Most individuals define “late at night” as past midnight, and some extreme night owls remain awake all night and don’t go to bed until dawn. A tendency towards being a night owl runs in some families, and teenagers and young adults are more likely to be night owls than any other age groups.

Scientists call an individual’s waking and sleeping pattern their chronotype. Morning people enjoy the large advantage of having a chronotype that meshes with most work and school schedules – which could explain why they often enjoy better overall health compared to night owls. A night owl who has to follow the usual 9-to-5 work schedule is going to be under a great deal of stress, which doesn’t do their health any favors.

The news isn’t all bad for night owls, though. Night owls, such as former President Barack Obama, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Fran Lebowitz, can enjoy the following benefits of their chronotype. Keep reading to discover why the early bird doesn’t always get the worm now.

Higher Intelligence


Some researchers have found that night owls have higher IQs compared to their counterpart, early birds. In 2006, researchers worked with 420 recruits at the United States Air Force. The recruits had to fill out questionnaires about their sleep patterns and then take IQ tests. The researchers found that the night owls tended to outscore their peers.

The science journal Personality and Individual Differences published a 2009 study in which scientists interviewed over 20,000 teenagers about their sleep patterns. Since most youngsters have to go to school in the morning, the scientists made a point of asking them about their habits during non-school days. Researchers then had the participants take a series of IQ tests and found that the night owls generally got higher results than other participants. The researchers noted that people with higher intelligence were more likely to embrace unconventional lifestyles and philosophies than individuals with a lower IQ.

Continue reading to discover how night owls tend to be more creative than early birds.