Is Sleeping Late a Sign of Laziness or Intelligence?

By Ryan Leclaire
  1 Min Read
Sleeping in Late

Sleeping in late could be a sign you’re brainy.

If you have a tough time pulling your head off the pillow in the morning or settling into bed at night, it could be a sign you’re brainy.

Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at The London School of Economics and Political Science has done extensive research on the connection between sleep patterns and intelligence.

His findings indicate that people with higher IQs tend to stay up later, and subsequently wake up later in the day.

Sleep & Smarts Stats:

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.

Kanazawa theorizes that humans used to rise and fall with the sun, 10,000 years ago. Now that electricity enables a more nocturnal lifestyle, below-average and average brains still want a sleep pattern that resembles our ancestors’. Whereas above average brains will ignore that impulse and find stimulation during the later hours.

20 responses to “Is Sleeping Late a Sign of Laziness or Intelligence?”

  1. Rockysima says:

    That must be why all the teenagers sleep so late, they are so smart. Give me a break.

  2. Rockysima says:

    That must be why all the teenagers sleep so late, they are so smart. Give me a break.

  3. Castle in Spain says:

    Actually, Rockysima, that’s a different thing all together. Teenagers sleep late into the day because their bodies require it. The processes that rampage a teenager’s body are not to be compared with those of developed adults.

  4. Manonearth says:

    The IQ in Kanazawa’s article wasn’t determined by a proper test. It was based on discussions with the children, something they call verbal intelligence. This is not very relevant I would say …

  5. Anonymous says:

    I rarely sleep at all, I must be a mad genius! LOL.

  6. Kenji says:

    My sleep time is a mess… what category am I in? I usually woke up about 2 hours later than the previous day, it takes me two weeks to be 1 day late than other people.

    I don’t have jobs, school or a girlfriend. I’m something you call a NEET (and a shut-in) that’s why i can lived with this lifestyle.

    However, money is the only thing I’m comfortable with.

  7. Wow says:

    Funny how it’s determined by less than an hour.  This study is stupid and meaningless.

  8. Peter says:

    Where are the standard deviations?

  9. Andy says:

    Time zone, please. Thank you!

  10. Rob says:

    Give me a break, by these measures I am apparently too dumb to even read (based on figures that had the standard deviation, I am even an outlier), and yet I am a university professor.

  11. Cort says:


    Evidently you are the nutty professor! :) Just kidding… This “study” is complete garbage, and the complete opposite can be demonstrated as well, depending where your data stop and start points are located.

    But realistically, to infer that people who are preforming behaviors that may have been relevant 10,000 years ago behaviors that lead to success in today world where electricity actually does exist…

    Seriously, I must not even have a pulse… I go down at about 9:30PM and get up about 6:00 AM and I get more work accomplished before the late sleepers get up, than a late sleeper performs all freaking day! Plus I can spike the coffee pot while they slumber…

  12. David Moss says:


    No, that’s because during adolescence there is a delay in the release of melatonin by a couple of hours relative to the adult norm.

    Carskadon MA, Acebo C, Richardson GS, Tate BA, Seifer R. An approach to studying circadian rhythms of adolescent humans. J Biol Rhythms. 1997;12(3):278-289.

  13. Kelly says:

    Like everything else, this too should be taken “with a grain of salt,” “in moderation,” etc. etc. I happen to be a nocturnal non-genius although I’m proud of my better than average IQ that is almost laughable when you think of IQ tests in general. And I swear it’s only better than avenge because I entered kindergarten in 1971 having already kicked my paste-eating habit and successfully passed the coloring inside the lines test on the first day of school. Today however, those feats of superiority my parents were so proud of me for in the ’70s would make me the dumbest kid in the entire school. We all know every newborn in the country is now expected to solve for “x” upon exiting the womb. But I digress…(see where a slightly above average IQ takes you at 12:30am!).

    For what it’s worth, I do believe that those of us with entrepreneurial interests tend to be night owls. This is likely to be the case often times (I know it was for me and many of my start-up junky colleagues) because we don’t have time while working hard at our “high-paying corporate gigs” from 7am till 6pm to chase our entrepreneurial dreams. My daughter – now a junior in college – has always known me (mom) to be the night-owl while her dad has always been more of the early bird gets the worm guy. She’s seen us both be successful in our own rights so in our case we were fortunate enough to have been good examples for her when it comes to work ethic and commitment, etc. regardless of what time we went to bed or got up in the morning. (As an aside, my husband has been snoring away since 10:30 but he’ll be at his desk no later than 7:15am. I on the other hand, have another hour or two in me – pushing me out till around 2:30am before I’m asleep – and there’s no way I’ll be at my desk before 10:00. I can guarantee you that my husband would never be awake in the middle of the night answering emails or working on marketing plans any more than I would schedule an 8am client meeting. But the way we manage our professional lives works exceedingly well for each of us!!)

    I love articles like this because they spark conversation and those conversations make people think about things that perhaps they might never have considered before. I hope those with the desire to take the bull by the horns and do their own thing will take some initiative to stay up a little later at night to chase their dreams – I did and my efforts have paid off 1000x over!! Then there’s my husband whose days are much more structured and he’s happy as a clam. Successful too! For those, however that are thinking they can stay up until 2am watching reruns of the Kardashians in an attempt to raise their IQ levels, do us all a favor and go to bed. I hate to be the one to break it to you but…you can’t fix stupid!!

    On that note, it’s time for me to rejoin my fellow night owls in our quest for success and greatness!! Oh, who am I kidding – I just hope to start my week off with an email inbox that’s current and slacks that aren’t wrinkled

  14. Allan says:

    Is there a link to the actual study? Thanks

  15. CLAUDIA says:

    This is really a garbage study, they don’t even relationate that in different countries, the time of the sunrise and sunset is differente, in some countries it sets at 7 pm while in anothers it sets at midnight, so there is obviously a problem, and I think living in a city and living in the suburbs changes the habits and the quality of the sleep.

  16. Gerry Teigrob says:

    I’m an adult who sleeps in late because of shift work as I tend to work until 11 PM. so it takes a while to relax. And as my wife works shift work our sleeping patterns have changed. She works overnights quite a bit and if I don’t work until mid to late afternoon…no rush to get up. I end up being more of a night owl that way…but I wouldn’t work night shifts just because of it. So yes teenagers need the sleep…as I get older I realize I need more sleep than I got away with in my twenties and 30s.

  17. Amused says:

    who else can tell the bedtime of the commentator by the tone of the comment? :P anecdotal evidence is orders of magnitude less reliable than even less-rigorous scientific inquiry… mere confirmation bias sees to that

  18. Amused says:

    With a world of people who daily make us feel abnormal and defective for not conforming to socially-dictated sleeping patterns, can’t you at least give us this? You guys already get banks, post offices, legitimate restaurants and adequate melatonin/serotonin release.

  19. ferreteria industrial says:

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you ought to write more on
    this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but generally folks don’t talk about these topics. To the next! All the best!!

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