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It’s Best to Make Health Decisions When You’re Tired

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- If you're too tired to think, you’d be surprised at how that might work to your advantage.

Monika Lisjak of Erasmus University and Angela Y. Lee of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University wanted to know when it’s the best time to make a decision that impacts your health and discovered that better choices are made when people are exhausted and worn out rather than wide awake and full of pep.

The bottom line, according to the study authors, is that people use better judgment about their well-being when they feel their safety may be at stake, typically during times of exhaustion.

In one study, participants were asked to read a message about kidney disease and the benefits of early detection. Of those people who had a family history of this particular condition, it was the participants who felt run down who were more apt to get tested than those who were refreshed.

Lisjak and Lee also conducted another experiment, this time asking people to fill out a survey on health and fitness either before or after a workout at the gym. For their efforts, the participants also got their choice of sun block or moisturizer.

As it happened, the majority of people who worked out before the survey picked the sunblock, another indication that fatigue seems to bring out people’s concerns about their personal welfare.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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