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Feeling Tired Linked to Healthier Decisions

Update Date: Feb 11, 2014 04:35 PM EST

Feeling tired may help people make healthier decisions, according to a new study.

While healthy habits like having daily exercise routines, eating healthy foods and avoiding impulsive purchases are difficult to maintain, feeling tired helps us make better healthcare decisions.

"We proposed that people are more motivated to engage in healthful behavior when they are depleted and perceive their safety to be at stake," researchers wrote in the study.

Researchers conducted several experiments to see how people use "self-protective motivation" to avoid danger.

In one study, participants were asked to read a health message that described the dangers of kidney disease and promoted the benefit of early detection. The study found that people who were feeling tired and who had a family history of kidney disease showed a higher likelihood of being tested than those who were feeling healthy.

The second experiment had participants fill out a survey on health and fitness habits either before or after working out at the gym. Participants were then able to choose either sun block or moisturizer as a thank you gift. Researchers found that participants were significantly more likely to choose the sun block after working out.

"Consumers value products that emphasize safety features more when they are feeling depleted. Retailers may benefit from placing safety-related products near the checkout or running ads for security-related products at the end of the day," researchers concluded.

The findings are published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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