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Are morning people smarter?

Are morning people inherently smarter than night owls? This long-standing debate has intrigued researchers and individuals alike for years. While the answer may not be definitive, a recent study suggests that morning people may have an advantage in one particular aspect of intelligence – verbal intelligence. In this blog post, we will delve into the research on morning people and their verbal intelligence, exploring the background, previous studies, and the implications of these findings.

Background on Morning People and Night Owls

Before we dive into the research, let’s first define what we mean by morning people and night owls. Morning people, as the term suggests, are individuals who naturally wake up early in the morning and feel more alert and productive during these hours. On the other hand, night owls are those who prefer staying awake late into the night, and find themselves most active and productive during this time.

Morning people tend to be early risers, often waking up even before their alarms go off. They embrace the early hours of the day and find that their productivity is at its peak during the morning. They may feel more focused, energized, and ready to tackle tasks head-on.

Night owls, on the contrary, experience a surge of energy and focus during the later hours of the day. They may find it difficult to wake up early and feel more productive, creative, and alert during the evening and night. They often thrive in jobs or activities that allow for nocturnal schedules.

Previous Studies on the Relationship Between Morning People and Intelligence

The relationship between morning people, night owls, and intelligence has been investigated by various studies in the past. However, these studies have yielded inconsistent findings, creating a sense of ambiguity around the topic. Some studies have suggested that morning people have higher intelligence, while others have found no significant difference between morning people and night owls in terms of cognitive abilities.

One possible reason for these inconsistent findings could be the limitations of previous research. Many studies have had relatively small sample sizes or have not accounted for various factors that may influence intelligence, such as socioeconomic status or education level. Additionally, cultural and societal differences in sleep patterns may also contribute to the conflicting results.

New Research on Morning People and Verbal Intelligence

In a recent study, researchers aimed to shed further light on the relationship between morning people, night owls, and intelligence, specifically focusing on verbal intelligence. Verbal intelligence refers to the ability to use language effectively, comprehend complex verbal information, and articulate thoughts and ideas clearly.

The study included a large sample size of individuals ranging from morning people to night owls. Verbal intelligence was assessed using standardized tests designed to measure language skills, vocabulary, and verbal reasoning. The results of the study revealed a significant relationship between being a morning person and higher verbal intelligence.

Compared to night owls, morning people demonstrated greater proficiency in language skills and were able to articulate their thoughts and ideas more effectively. This finding challenges previous studies that found no significant difference in intelligence between morning people and night owls.

Possible Explanations for the Link between Morning People and Verbal Intelligence

Why do morning people tend to excel in verbal intelligence? There are several possible explanations for this connection. One reason could be the impact of sleep patterns on cognitive abilities and mental clarity. Morning people typically get more consistent and restful sleep, which could positively affect their language skills and overall cognitive functioning.

Additionally, genetics and biological factors may also play a role. Some studies have suggested that certain genes related to intelligence and circadian rhythms could influence an individual’s preference for being a morning person or a night owl. These genetic factors may also contribute to differences in verbal abilities among individuals.

Critiques and Limitations of the Research

While the recent study provides valuable insights into the relationship between morning people, night owls, and verbal intelligence, it is important to acknowledge its limitations. One critique is the potential for selection bias in the sample. The study predominantly focused on a specific population, which may not be representative of the overall population.

Furthermore, cultural and societal influences on sleep patterns cannot be ignored. Different cultures may have distinct norms, work schedules, and social expectations that can affect an individual’s sleep habits. These factors may impact not only one’s preference for being a morning person or a night owl but also their access to educational opportunities and resources, which can impact intelligence levels.

Practical Implications and Applications

The findings of this research have practical implications in various domains, including education and the workplace. Educational institutions and employers may consider adapting schedules and creating environments that cater to different sleep preferences. This could result in increased productivity and improved outcomes for individuals with various sleep patterns.

On an individual level, understanding one’s own sleep patterns and optimizing them can be valuable for maximizing cognitive abilities. Incorporating effective sleep hygiene practices, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a conducive sleep environment, and prioritizing quality sleep, can contribute to enhanced verbal intelligence and overall cognitive well-being.


In conclusion, while the debate on whether morning people are smarter continues, recent research has shown a significant link between morning people and higher verbal intelligence. This finding challenges the inconsistency in previous studies and provides insights into the potential advantages of being a morning person in certain cognitive domains.

However, it is important to approach these findings with caution and be mindful of the limitations and potential biases in the research. Further studies are needed to replicate the results and explore other aspects of intelligence beyond verbal abilities.

Ultimately, intelligence is a complex and multifaceted trait that cannot be solely determined by sleep preferences. Instead of focusing on whether morning people are inherently smarter, it is more fruitful to appreciate the diversity in sleep patterns and embrace the unique strengths and abilities that individuals possess, regardless of their preferred time of day.


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