Can sleep make you smarter?

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Question: What is the link between sleep and IQ score? Can sleep make you smarter?

The Sleep Expert answers...YES. Sleep can make you smarter. This we know for sure. Is their a link between and sleep and IQ? Yes. We know that for every hour of sleep that you lose, your IQ score drops. Miss enough sleep and your IQ score drops 15 points...enough to change your classification from say "normal" intelligence to "learning disabled".

Also, we know for sure that kids need sleep to develop their full brainy potential. The key to increasing your little ones IQ is apparently 1) a regular bedtime and 2) collecting enough continuous hours each night. Giving your body regular, good quality sleep ensures that you can problem-solve, learn and hold onto what you have learned in the days that follow.

Interestingly, there is some debate about intelligence and sleep patterns. Some scientists say that children with higher IQ scores are more likely to grow up to be adults that favour a late bedtime. This trait they call "eveningness" and it is attributed to an evolutionary 'advantage'... 100 years ago we were going to bed earlier and sleeping more each night, but in modern society, it is presumed  'truly evolved' individuals have developed a different sleeping pattern. This may be true, but unfortunately research also shows that adhering to this pattern of sleep long-term will result in poor performance at home and at work.

Impaired sleep reduces performance on many mental tasks. In fact, when really clever folk have worked far too hard and slept far too little the result has been catastrophic. And I am not even being melodramatic here. "Mitler's studies of catastrophes, such as the Three Mile Island nuclear power accident, and the Challenger space shuttle explosion, concluded that poor sleep quality had impaired decision making and contributed to each catastrophe". History shows that it doesn't matter how smart you are, you need your rest if you want to be clever.

To achieve optimum performance, people need good quality sleep.

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