One thing to keep in mind when you’re scheduling a doctor’s appointment: All signs point to morning as the best time to be a patient. It has less to do with the doctors and everything to do with the patients’ hormone levels.
Past research has shown that levels of the stress hormone cortisol are naturally highest earlier in the day, gradually decreasing over the course of the afternoon and evening. And there’s some evidence that cortisol, which kicks in as part of the fight-or-flight response, aids in “extinction learning,” in which people gradually unlearn a conditioned response over time. Putting those two concepts together, the study authors theorized that peak cortisol hours could be the ideal time for exposure therapy, which relies on extinction learning to help patients develop new reactions to their fear triggers.
– Cari Romm