3 Surprising Habits of Successful People
Recent research suggests that smart people are night owls, take more drugs and have more sex. We did some digging to find out if this was true.

May 26, 2014

Recent research suggests that smart people are night owls, are more likely to take drugs and are prone to have more sex. We did some digging to find out if this was true and if it applied to successful people as well.


Are Night Owls More Successful?

People with a higher IQ are more likely to be night owls (late sleeper, late risers), according to a US study. Although IQ does not automatically mean success, the research seems to run contrary to conventional wisdom, which states that successful people are early risers.

Besides famous historical early birds such as Margret Thatcher and Steve Jobs, modern day CEOS’s such as former General Motors’ man Dan Akerson and Starbuck’s Howard Schultz, both wake up notoriously early.

What’s more likely is that the super successful manage to be both. They sleep late and somehow still manage to wake early.

Tomas Edison believed sleep was ‘a criminal waste of time’, Yahoo’s CEO Marrisa Meyer, sometimes puts in 130 hour work weeks (18 hours a day), Apple CEO Tim Cook prides himself on being the first to arrive at the office and the last to leave.

This trend of cutting out sleep to get ahead, exists despite the fact that long term sleep deprivation can reportedly reduce your alertness by 32%, increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes and lower your libido.

An exception to the sleepless craze is Albert Einstein, who reportedly slept for 10 hours every night, as well as taking daytime naps.

It’s no surprise that Thomas Edison and Winston Churchill indulged in napping, as it’s a habit our circadian rhythm naturally demands. Nowadays Google and other companies promote napping at work by installing nap pods.


Are Smart People More Likely To Take Drugs?

A British study found that children with an above average IQ at age 16 were more likely to have experimented with drugs before they reached 40, when compared to children with lower IQs.

A reason for the behaviour given in an article in Psychology Today, is that clever people are more likely to engage in “evolutionarily novel behaviour”. In other words, they’re more likely to ‘experiment’.

This doesn’t make the drugs an intelligent activity. In MH article, Why Weed Blunts Your Brain, “Even moderate use can have major physical and psychological consequences,” says Dr William Shanahan, medical director at London’s Capio Nightingale Mental Health Hospital.

That said, a number of successful people have been known to light one up. Former New York mayor,and the 16th richest person in the world, Micheal Bloomberg, responded to a question asking if he’d ever smoked weed by saying, “’You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.”

Billionaire fund manager George Soros has tried some. So have Barack Obama and Bill Gates. Sir Richard Branson reportedly gets high with his 21 year old son. Media mogul and founder of CNN, Ted Turner, reportedly does blunts in his office.

That said, smoking ganga does harm your health, and although some successful people may have experimented or indulged, so have countless rock bands that never made it out of their mom’s garage.


Do Smart People Have More Sex?

A study, paid for by UK online sex toy retailer Lovehoney.co.uk, found that students from the UK’s two elite universities, Oxford and Cambridge, spent the most on sex toys when compared to students from other UK universities.

A separate study found that Greeks who had sex at least 4 times a week made 5% more in wages, than those who had less weekly sex.

The study author told CBS that: “People need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and depression that could affect their working life.”

Another study among successful celebrities in Hollywood, hinted at the unsurprising fact that the creative rich and successful get it on, a lot.

As part of the research for a book  Fame & Fortune: Maximizing Celebrity Wealth, the authors found that the median number of sexual partners for Hollywood stars who’ve made at least $10 million is 26 for the men and 36 for the women.

So when not making money, perhaps successful people do have more sex. Our advice: have sex, have lots of sex. If it doesn’t make you successful or richer, at least you still had sex.