We’ve tried all the tips and hacks, but try as we might, there’s one resolution we simply can’t seem to stick to: becoming a morning person. Apparently, it’s a vice that might actually be to our benefit, however, at least according to science.
We already knew that being a night owl might mean we’re more productive, and now we might have a clue as to why. A 2009 study that has resurfaced on the scene entitled “Why Night Owls Are More Intelligent” suggests that those with a penchant for the night life might be the benefactors of some evolutionary brain power. Whoa. According to the study’s authors, the ability to choose our own bedtimes and ignore alarms shows a high level of adaptive intelligence, as we’re able to break from the morning routines set forth by our ancestors who came before us.
What’s more, that same ability also served as an indicator for creativity and independence, with similar studies pointing to the trait as an indicator of wealth.
In 2013, roughly 1,000 teenagers at the University of Madrid were studied based on their sleeping patterns, and those who tended to get to bed past 11pm were found to possess intelligence levels that predicted higher levels of riches and more prestigious job titles.
But fear not, early risers: A 2012 study of two groups (438 adults between the ages of 17-38 and 297 adults between the ages of 59-79) showed evidence that morning types, or “larks,” as they’re called, tended to feel healthier than night owls and also were happier overall. What’s more? The older you get, the more likely you are to become a lark, with only seven percent of the population able to maintain that night owl status.
In short? Enjoy that freethinking brain power while you can, but know your happiest years as a transformed lark may be yet to come.
Are you a morning lark or a night owl? Share with us @BritandCo.
(h/t Cosmopolitan, photos via Jose A. Bernat Bacete + Tara Moore/Getty)