According to the Daily Mail, researchers have discovered a link between women’s sleep and intelligence, and also found similar patterns for men who take afternoon naps.
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute in Munich analysed the sleep patterns of 160 adults with a broad range of IQs, of which 72 were women and 88 were men.
Participants also underwent intelligence tests which measured reasoning and problem solving.
They monitored how sleep spindles – bursts of activity in the brain – appeared during the dreamless, non-rapid eye movement state of sleep.
Sleep spindles vary in length and intensity and can ‘light up’ different parts of the brain. They have previously been associated with intelligence.
The study, presented at the FENS Forum of Neuroscience in Copenhagen, found a link between slow sleep spindles and intelligence in women, but not men.
Professor Martin Dresler said the presence of sleep spindles could indicate the quality of white matter in the brain, which connects to grey matter – the information-processing parts of the brain.