Morning vs Night Self-Control

"The self-control of morning people is impaired at night; 
the reverse is true of night people". 

--- Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2011, page 41

To my Early Bird readers and to the Night Owls out there, does this statement ring true?

It does for me. I'm such a morning person (early bird) and I definitely notice that my self-discipline/self-control totally goes out the window after 8 PM. I'm so determined, focused, and controlled in the morning hours and into the early evening, but then "night time" comes and I'm a goner. I abandon my to-do lists, indulge more, and laze around neglecting chores/tasks... things I would never do in the morning hours when I am so focused! 

I'd love to hear a night owl's impression of Kahneman's idea; do they feel less disciplined in the morning?


  1. I vaguely remember my health psych professor in 2nd year talking about some research on limits in self-control. I believe the research he was talking about was showing that everyone has a certain 'amount' of daily self-control, later in the day, people 'ran out' of their self-control and were then more likely to binge eat, or do whatever they were trying to stop before.
    I believe that had participants do an activity that required a lot of self-control and on completion were offered something they were trying to avoid, they were compared with the placebo group doing a random activity that didn't require self-control and then offered the thing they were avoiding. The ones who had 'used up their self-control' were much more likely to accept the thing they were avoiding. I'll have to look into that or ask some of my friends if they remember, it was really interesting!

    1. Awesome. Yeah, I bet that was what Kahneman was getting at with his statement. Thanks for sharing!


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