Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise – but wait, does it really?
Science says, not necessarily so. There are countless among us who identify with the struggle of waking up early every day. Alarm clocks, buzzers, calls from your girlfriend and the most potent weapon of all, parents turning the fan off, all seem to be ploys designed to keep you away from your one true love – those five minutes of extra sleep.
Never mind that you possibly spent all of the last night researching a cure for cancer or creating the next Mona Lisa, the whole world and its mother, even your mother, will lecture about how sleeping late is harmful to health and an obstruction in achieving your fullest potential.
It isn’t hard to see why. Societal constructs are often biased against those who like staying up late and sleeping in. After all, the world pretty much functions on a 9 to 5 schedule. Schools, colleges, offices, for that matter, even the time that people socialize in, are all organized around this clock.
So, is the adage ‘the early bird catches the worm’ gospel truth or mere urban legend? This is where science comes in, to the rescue of us night owls. Recent research suggests that while sleeping early definitely has some very real health benefits, sleeping late has its own advantages too.
1. Creativity Calls
The idea of musicians and artists who sleep through the day and work late into the night isn’t just a stereotype peddled by movies and literature; it has an actual basis in fact. Various studies have reported that people who sleep late almost always outshine their brethren, the early birds, in multiple standardized creativity tests.
2. Sleeping In Is A Good Idea
No, really. Research by the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders Centre has found that sleeping even two hours more than the accepted average of eight helps in being more efficient and mentally alert.
This makes sense because before the invention of modern lighting, our forebears depended on daylight hours for work. In its absence, they slept, thus establishing a sleep cycle significantly longer than what we’re used to now.
In fact, according to tests carried out by The Scientific Fundamental, night owls might just be more intelligent than the early risers. They noted that participants with an IQ lower than 75 went to bed early while those with a higher IQ, 225 and above, stayed up considerably late.
3. Procrastination Is A Good Idea Too
Yes, you may tell your mother I said that.
You might think that an early bird has tremendous energy at the beginning of the day, but that is not the case. In fact, their energy levels begin to dip by mid-day and come night time, they’re utterly exhausted. Conversely, night owls feel refreshed as the night approaches, enabling them to be more productive through it.
Studies too have shown that an hour after waking up, both groups of people perform equally well. Ten hours later, however, night owls perform significantly better than their counterparts who sleep early.
4. No Fuss, No Muss
Along with being highly creative and intelligent, night owls are also generally seen to be more laid-back than those who sleep early. And now, science may have an actual explanation for this.
It has been noted that the stress hormone cortisol peaks in the bloodstream at around 7 am. Meaning that if you were to wake up early, you would actually be giving yourself additional tension. Don’t!
P.S.- You may tell your mother I said that too.
Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what time of the day you choose to wake up or sleep at, your coffee is sure to smell the same anyway!
– Daphne Rose