Staying up late faffing around on the internet is a sign of intelligence – knew it..


Are you one of those people who stays up till 2am of a weekday night tinkering with your FTP client, backing up your iPhone or just compulsively watching the Old Spice adverts on Youtube?

Well, you’re probably not very healthy, maybe you’re single and suffer from eyestrain… but you could be more intelligent than those Johnny-go-to-bed-early sorts who go to bed in good time, get up at the crack of dawn and then are all smug about being able to function at 9am in the morning.

Yes, apparently staying up late – being a night owl rather than a lark – is a sign of intelligence. That’s because humans since prehistory have been naturally wired to get up at daybreak and sleep at dusk and being able to override those natural impulses is an evolutionary advantage. In a world where we can just switch a light on, there’s no reason to go to bed at sun-down. Um, in the words of Psychology Today:

“Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at The London School of Economics and Political Science, argues that, while we have specialized mental modules for navigation, social interaction, and other age-old tasks, general intelligence is its own module handling only evolutionarily novel circumstances. And he has data showing that people with higher IQs are more likely to have values and preferences that just didn’t make sense for our ancestors to embrace. One of those is staying up late.”

Here were Kanazawa’s findings:

Bedtimes and wake-up times for Americans in their 20s by IQ.

Very Dull (IQ < 75)
Weekday: 11:41 P.M.-7:20 A.M.
Weekend: 12:35 A.M.-10:09 A.M.

Normal (90 < IQ < 110)
Weekday: 12:10 A.M.-7:32 A.M.
Weekend: 1:13 A.M.-10:14 A.M.

Very Bright (IQ > 125)
Weekday: 12:29 A.M.-7:52 A.M.
Weekend: 1:44 A.M.-11:07 A.M.

Anna Leach


  • How about getting up at 1pm, Going into work for 4pm, working that job till 1230am, then working another 3 to 4 hours at a different job, and then sleeping finally at 6am?

    • Could be . . . but sleeping around is not the best practice in the long run. Especially if your sleep cycle is based upon it . . . Except if your hot girl . . . Are you a hot girl?

  • I stay up pretty much all night either sneaking my way onto the computer or just listening to music.I'm only up until about 1 or 2 am, okay yes, I know I'm pretty smart but…Okay, I typed in the adress bar on my computer “i am staying up late” and discovered I am smarter than I thought I was. By the way, where I am it's 11:59 PM!!!

  • What about going to bed around 5am and waking up at 3pm does that mean im a genius?

  • Think of all the drunk idiot douche bags who stay up all night and drink beer…

    oh my god.

    They are the smartest people in the world.

  • And here I thought I was just being OCD about making sure my iPhone was up to date in the wee hours of the night, but it sounds like I’m just a genius haha. Love this article

  • I regularly stay up past 4… I don’t even register on their scale. Clearly I am a Super Genius.

  • @gerald ;) I’m never getting up anytime before 7.52am again. Now I have an cast-iron reason.

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