According to this study, previous research has indicated that people who are more active in the evening (known as “night owls”) have better verbal intelligence. This study wanted to dig deeper into these findings, and examine how people’s temporal pattern relates to different cognitive abilities.
To do this, they discovered the temporal patterns of 61 adults by monitoring them with a device that measures their daily activity levels, including, among other things, bed timewake-up time, total sleep time, daily stability (aka individual strength circadian rhythmor how consistent their sleep schedule is each day).
After 10 days of observation, participants’ cognitive abilities were tested, with researchers specifically looking for verbalization, inference, and short-term memory capabilities.
Ultimately, the findings suggested that previous evidence that night owls are more verbally intelligent may not hold up.
As co-author of the study and director of the University of Ottawa Sleep Research Laboratory, Stuart Vogel, Ph.D., explains in press release“Once you factor in key factors including bedtime and age, we find that the opposite is true, with morning types tending to have superior verbal ability,” adding that this finding was “surprising” and “indicating that this is more complex than No one has ever believed.”