Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. Volume 33, June 2020, pp. 109-117. Free full-text
DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2020.01.009

Péter P Ujma1,2, Róbert Bódizs1,2, Martin Dressler3
1Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
2National Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Budapest, Hungary
3Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands

General cognitive ability — or intelligence — is a key psychological phenotype. Individual differences in intelligence may either cause or be a consequence of individual differences in the macrostructure of sleep, such as timing or duration. Furthermore, biological measures of sleep, especially highly trait-like sleep EEG oscillations may provide insights about the biological underpinnings of intelligence. Here we review the current state of research on the association between sleep measures and intelligence. We concluded that the macrostructure of sleep has a small but consistent correlation with intelligence, which is possibly moderated by age. Sleep spindle amplitude and possibly other sleep EEG measures are biomarkers of intelligence. We close by discussing methodological pitfalls of the field, and give recommendations for future directions.