Early Birds vs. Night Owls - Who's More Intelligent, Higher Achieving and Healthier?

Kaleigh M January 15th 2016 Lifestyle
Everyone has heard the age-old term “the early bird gets the worm”, but is that the truth? Does making you a night owl vs. early bird make you more intelligent, higher achieving, and healthier? Contrary to popular belief, bedtime preference is all predetermined passed down from generations. Individuals actually have little say in their bedtime preference and sleep cycle. In fact, varying sleeping patterns make evolutionary sense. In prehistoric and ancient times, it would be in people’s best interest to have varying sleep patterns. With a variety of sleep patterns, there would always be someone awake and ready to protect others in case of danger. Although it is common to have a different sleep cycle than say, your friends or family, the true question is if one leaves us at a disadvantage over the other.
According to society’s common behaviors, night owls seem to be placed at a disadvantage. The general population is most effective during the hours of 9 am to 5pm, otherwise known as a common work day. As a result of this, scientists have coined the term “social jet lag.” Social Jet Lag is referred to the amount of sleep deprivation as a result of an individuals accommodation to social norms. On the other hand, scientific studies show that early birds tested more focused, and energetic earlier in the morning. In addition, they have been tested to have a lower chance of addition and depression. Although it is true that early birds may have more energy and be more focused in the morning, they do tend to lose steam throughout the day (unlike night owls). It is not uncommon that teenagers are primarily night owls, due to the changes in the body’s hormones during puberty.
These phenomenons are actually represented physically in the brain. The brain contains something called white matter, which helps help neurons communicate between one another. Science actually proves that night owls have significantly less white matter in the brain, reducing the transportation for “feel good hormones” such as Serotonin and Dopamine. Don’t get discouraged night owls, because studies prove that they are actually more creative and higher cog abilities and take greater risks. This results from the increased levels of cortisol in the brains of night owls. The brain is incredibly sensate to the body’s internal clock. Regulated by proteins regulation by DNA, only a single change in Period 1 gene can alter an hour in waking time. After all of the scientific evidence presented in the video, it is most important to under stand that although placed at a social disadvantage, night owls not lagging behind in life - just time.

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