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Sex, Drugs and Smarts

Drinkers live longer, night owls are smarter, according to studies

The World's End guys drinking at bar
According to a University of Texas study, drinkers tend to have lower mortality rates than teetotalers.  Photo by Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

If you found yourself downing glass after glass of wine during a holiday party to the judgmental stares of a teetotaler who somehow snuck in, take solace in the fact that you will likely outlive him or her. And you’re probably smarter, too.

At least that’s what the scientists say.

According to a 2010 study by researchers at the University of Texas, moderate drinkers (and even heavy drinkers) tend to live longer than do those who abstain from cutting loose. The 20-year study examined the mortality rate of 1,824 adults between the ages of 55 and 65 and found that baseline abstainers had a 69 percent mortality rate, the highest among the categories.

Heavy drinkers — that is, those who imbibe more than three drinks per day — were close behind at 60 percent, but then the rate dropped to 46 percent for baseline light drinkers. Moderate drinkers, who had one to three drinks per day, had a mortality rate of 41 percent.

The study accounted for things such as sociobehavioral habits, past drinking history, smoking and more to ensure that it really was just the moderate alcohol consumption keeping people going.

According to a trio of studies that Esquire p ut together, smarter people spend more time having sex, doing drugs and staying up late.

Of course, it’s one thing to live longer; what you do with that long life is an entirely different matter. According to a trio of studies that Esquire put together, smarter people spend more time having sex, doing drugs and staying up late.

It boils down to the fact that the smarter you are, the more likely you are to explore the less conventional options that life presents you as a means of expanding your horizons.

For example, students at Oxford and Cambridge spend more on sex toys than do their less-prestigious peers, according to a study by toy shop Lovehoney in England. Another 2010 study found that individuals with an IQ over 125 are more likely to “consume psychoactive drugs than ‘very dull’ individuals (with IQs below 75).”

Since drugs and sex are primarily nighttime endeavors, perhaps it’s not surprising that the more intelligent tend to be more nocturnal.

In a 2009 study titled “Why night owls are more intelligent,” researchers found that smarter individuals thrived at night as a sort of evolutionary progression. Consider that humans have, for millennia, been conditioned to operate during daylight and slumber when the sun goes down. Those who eschew the trend are showing off an evolutionary novelty that less intelligent people simply aren't compelled toward.

So if anyone tells you that they think you have a problem, just tell him that your problem is that you’re too damn smart to live as long as you’re going to. And then offer him or her some drugs.

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