Anxiety: increases in productive people in the evening

Some international scholars attest that those who are more productive in the evening hours have greater activation of the autonomic nervous system with an alteration in fear learning.


In our study we investigated whether some mechanisms underlying these disorders are altered in people with evening chronotype, and whether they are linked to fear learning. The term chronotype refers to the differences in performance that each person has in relation to the periods of sleep and wakefulness over the 24 hours of the day. We can have a morning chronotype if we prefer to wake up early and perform well in activities that start in the morning, an evening chronotype if we are more productive at night and prefer to stay up late, or intermediate if we adapt easily to morning schedules and evening.

Carmelo Mario Vicario, director of the cognitive and social neuroscience laboratory at the University of Messina

It could therefore act on the chronotype to reduce anxiety and stress , the researchers resorted to the classic paradigm of fear conditioning. Study participants wore helmets and were immersed in virtual reality, where they observed initially neutral visual stimuli.

In summary, something that induces fear in the person, such as the appearance of a monster. Following this, the neutral stimuli associated with the monster acquired an emotional property that induced more sweating. Basically, the activation of the autonomic nervous system associated with fear. In conclusion, people with evening chronotype show an increase in the physiological response reflecting fear. 


  • Anxiety disorders, the risk is greater for people who are more active in the evening (


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