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The time of day research advises is best for top gambling performance


10 Oct 2017

If a person wants to become a successful gambler, there are numerous factors that will have a bearing on this.

Certain qualities within a person will play a role in shaping gambling success and some of these have previously been noted. Among the take outs were that they must remain disciplined, maintain emotional self-control, have the ability to give attention to detail and be able to concentrate without distraction.

The time of the day is another factor which may need to be taken into account.

Everybody has their own internal circadian biological clock. A person’s rhythm will dip and rise at different stages of a day, which can have an impact on attributes such as tiredness, alertness and responsiveness.

Three scientists in the US recently won the 2017 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for their research looking into the molecular workings of the body clock and how it affects numerous physiological functions, including wakefulness, hormone release, mood and blood pressure.

So what does a person’s circadian rhythm and the time of day mean for gambling performance? Here are some findings from other previous pieces of research which suggest that hitting the tables in the morning may prove most profitable for positive results.

Age groups

John Anderson from the University of Toronto’s Rotman Research Institute has led a study running a series of memory tests on younger and older adults in two time slots – between 8.30am and 10.30am and then between 1pm and 5pm.

The results, based on brain scans and the activation of certain areas of the brain, found that older adults were far better at maintaining focus and avoiding distraction in the morning. In the afternoon, they were considered to be idling, with the regions of the brain activated that are associated with a rest state when thinking about nothing significant.

Meanwhile, a University of Michigan study has found that the mental sharpness of college students was best in the morning. When testing retired adults, results were also superior in the morning, with a clear decline in sharpness in the afternoon.

Researchers working on the study advised that tasks requiring analysis and concentration were best carried out in the morning.

Another study from researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia focused solely on young men, setting them a gambling task at 10am, 2pm and 7pm.

It was discovered that the part of the brain responsible for reward processing was far less active in the afternoon slot, which may help explain why young men struggle with an afternoon slump that leaves them feeling tired and sluggish.

This is also backed up by research led by Robert Matchock, an associate professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University, which found, not only, that sleepiness commonly peaked around 2pm, but that a person’s likelihood of being distracted was increased between midday and 4pm.

What time in the morning?

Logic would suggest that most people will experience their most mentally-strong period of the day soon after waking up when their brain has had rest.

And Rebecca Spencer, associate professor of neuroscience in the department of psychological and brain sciences at University of Massachusetts Amherst, advises that people do their most attention-demanding tasks immediately upon arrival at work, as this is when they will be freshest.

Research from Lumosity looked at over 60,000 people and set them different types of games to play. Those games reliant on memory and speed achieved best results in the morning, with results of a working memory game peaking more precisely between 7am and 9am.

However, Mark Di Vincenzo, author of ‘Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There’, believes strategic thinking peaks at nearer 11am. This is down to body temperature rising at this time, which in turn allows the brain to process information better.

Steve Kay, a professor of molecular and computational biology at the University of Southern California, agrees, telling the Wall Street Journal that a person’s working memory, concentration levels and alertness peak around mid-morning, as a result of their body temperature continually increasing from the moment they wake up.

The possible exceptions

It is worth remembering that no two people are completely the same, although almost most people do tend to fall into one of two groups – morning larks or night owls.

Owls may have a circadian rhythm that allows them to end their day later and maintain alertness longer into the evening.

This is typically more common in younger adults, although it can also stem from genetics. Such owls may struggle in the mornings, in comparison to larks.

In terms of visiting a casino, there could be some perks in visiting in the late morning, including lower table betting minimums for blackjack. Want to know the best time to visit a casino? This previous article could assist you.