Background: Individuals tend to exhibit a higher risk propensity in the afternoon compared to the morning and evening. In recent years previous studies have shown that individuals with later bedtime tend to engage in risky behavior and that people are more risk prone in the afternoon. However we do not know the difference in risk taking behavior between morning and night. The goal of this study was to find out is risk taking behavior is higher in the morning vs the evening, and are participants with shorter sleep duration and later chronotype more prone to risk taking.
Methods:we enrolled patients aged 18-65 and a BMI between 25-39.9. In the procedure we administered a battery of cognitive tests, including the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), a measure of risk taking behavior. We had two testing sessions separated by approximately 14 days, once morning around eleven a.m, or evening around seven p.m, administered in a counterbalanced order. Between the sessions we measured objective sleep duration using an actigraph.
Results: The study participants included 73 participants (32 women 41 men) with a mean age of (35). Overall we did not find any difference in morning and evening BART performance. Sleep duration and timing were also not related to BART performance. However we did find a difference in time of day based on the order the test was administered. Participants had more risk taking behavior on the evening BART if they completed the second test in the evening. Participants had similar performance on the morning BART regardless of order.
Discussion: Overall, these results indicate that there is increased risky behavior in the evening, but only with more experience in the BART task. These results in part support that people are more prone to risk taking behavior in the evening.|