Sleep and acumen: Sleeping little or as much as you want?

Sleep and acumen: Sleeping little or as much as you want?

Albert Einstein used to sleep two hours a night and his mind was always fresh and bright. A research  dated 2009 maintains that those who sleep little are cleverer, whilst another study proves exactly the opposite: sleeping little makes you less clever.

How to sort this out? You risk loosing your sleep while trying to find the right answer …

Something is in any case understood: the brain needs to rest. Sleeping helps the body rebalance the autonomic, psychological and cognitive parameters. Starting from this consideration, the military research institute Walter Reed has run an experiment on some subjects. A first group of people slept  for a few days spending in bed the usual 8 hours, whilst the second one happily snoozed 10 hours. After this” preparation”, the two groups were obliged to sleep only three hours a night. It eventually appeared that those who had slept more before were more efficient in performing cognitive tests (just think that some scholars report that you lose one IQ point every 4 hours of sleep you lose).

It therefore seems that, unless the brain sleeps as it should – it starts moving over the hill.

There are people who need less sleep; the so-called short sleepers. You are a short sleeper if you are always perfectly fit even if you usually sleep less than 5 hours a night. It seems that many famous personalities were short sleepers. The fact that you sleep less does not mean – though – that you are less intelligent than the average. There were actual geniuses who spent hours and hours sleeping : Kant, Mozart and  Flaubert, to mention but a few.

So, then, what’s this story that those who sleep less are more intelligent? First of all, we should turn the reasoning upside down: some very intelligent people sleep less than the others. This does not mean that the know-it-alls need less sleep, it simply means that many dynamic minds are engrossed in their producing reasoning that – once in bed – they keep on clear-mindedly reasoning, reasoning and reasoning again, until late.

Therefore, no worries: if you are sleepy, this does not mean you are not sharp-minded:  you are simply balanced and healthy!

1 Comment On This Topic

  1. […] we have already said  “some individuals, amongst the very intelligent ones, sleep less than the others“. […]


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