I have written before about the possibility that a lack of sleep might be interfering with your ability to make rational decisions whilst trading. However, it now appears that action at the other end may also be playing a role in your inability to be a calm considered and profitable trend follower.
According to a study in Psychological Science , controlling your bladder makes you better at controlling your decisions about the future. So before you rush off to the smallest room in the house you might want to consider this –
In one experiment, participants either drank five cups of water (about 750 milliliters), or took small sips of water from five separate cups. Then, after about 40 minutes — the amount of time it takes for water to reach the bladder — the researchers assessed participants’ self-control. Participants were asked to make eight choices; each was between receiving a small, but immediate, reward and a larger, but delayed, reward. For example, they could choose to receive either $16 tomorrow or $30 in 35 days.
The researchers found that the people with full bladders were better at holding out for the larger reward later. Other experiments reinforced this link; for example, in one, just thinking about words related to urination triggered the same effect.
“You seem to make better decisions when you have a full bladder,” Tuk says. So maybe you should drink a bottle of water before making a decision about your stock portfolio, for example. Or perhaps stores that count on impulse buys should keep a bathroom available to customers, since they might be more willing to go for the television with a bigger screen when they have an empty bladder.
So when faced with a decision as to whether to preemptively leave a position you might want to rip through a few litres of water, cross your legs and reconsidered.