Monday, November 11, 2013

Why People Are More Honest in the Morning

Recently, I read about a study that found people are more honest in the morning.  In one experiment, volunteers were assigned a simple visual perception task and were given a financial incentive to cheat. The afternoon participants cheated 20% more than did the morning participants. To see whether morning people or moods biased the participants, the researchers tried another experiment.  This time participants were given an incentive to lie about something. The volunteers were assigned randomly to a morning or afternoon slot, and the afternoon participants lied more.  The study heads felt the stress and fatigue experienced by people as the day wears on made them more susceptible to dishonesty.

I think Ayurveda offers a better answer.  The cycles of nature direct our internal biological clock, which is known as the circadian clock.  The circadian rhythm governs our body’s daily fluctuations of temperature, blood pressure, muscular strength, levels of circulating hormones, neurotransmitters and numerous other metabolic compounds and physiological processes like sleep and wakefulness. These processes are influenced by the natural patterns of day and night.  Ayurveda divides the day into four hourly segments based on the doshic (body types) system to identify and describe each time segment.  Ayurveda recommends certain lifestyle behaviors for each segment for the purpose of benefitting from this circadian cycle.   Additionally, there has been research documenting the benefit and value of the Ayurvedic circadian rhythm system for medical treatments.

The time from sunrise to the mid-morning (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) is known as kapha time, and it was the time found to be most honest.  While many experience this time of day with a slow, heavy feel to the body and are trying to get moving, there is also the experience of calmness and serenity with the rising sun and a quietness before the day gets underway.  Kapha types when balanced positively are patient, compassionate and have an inherent desire to help others.  This may explain why people choose to behave more honestly in the morning than the afternoon.  The second cycle of kapha is sunset to late evening (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.).

Knowing about the kapha time of day and the scientifically proven theory of people being more honest in the morning, you can ride that natural flow.

Stay healthy & well,

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