There may be a scientific reason why you can’t stop hitting that ‘snooze’ button in the mornings. It’s actually because waking from sleep before 10 a.m. is biologically unnatural.
You’ve been there, dreading that morning alarm. Whether is the coffee that helps to inspire you to rise from your bed before 7 am or it’s your kids waking you up at insane hours of the morning, either way you are up and functioning before you should be.
While it’s pretty safe to say that most of us adults are typically deprived of sleep, one other reason may be less than optimistic about leaving the house and venturing to work at 8 am is that it’s biologically unnatural.
According to Dr. Paul Kelley, an Oxford University researcher, forcing your staff to work before 10 a.m. is equivalent to the ravages of torture. Getting up earlier than 10 also seems to create illness, stress and exhaustion in employees.
In an interview with the National Post, Dr. Kelley stated that,
“Before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults are completely out of sync with normal nine-to-five working hours, posing a “serious threat” to performance, mood and mental health.”
For this same reason, Dr. Kelly strongly believes that there needs to be a global change in not only our work schedules but also our school starting time as well, this will help us sync up with our natural biological clocks.
Studies that are based on examining the circadian rhythms have been able to show that on average a 10-year-old will struggle to focus on their academic work until about 8:30 a.m. According to one of the researchers, a 16-year-old teenager should start at about 10 a.m. for best results and students that attend Universities and colleges should start around 11 a.m.
Dr. Kelley believes that if we implement a simple delay in our school times, we could see improvement in our grades by around 10%. Dr. Kelly at one point used to be a headteacher in Tyneside, while working there he put his theory to the test by simply changing the school’s start time from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and amazingly he was able to see the number of top grades rise by a whopping 19%!
Not only could students see benefits from the later start times but also the Educators as well. Through Dr. Kelley’s research, he found that the staff shouldn’t start work till 10 am. In fact, workers should not be returned to a 9 am schedule until they reached the age of 55.
Dr. Kelley continued by saying,
“Staff are usually sleep deprived. We’ve got a sleep-deprived society. It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical emotional and performance systems in the body. Your liver and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to.”
“If we look at the connections between the human body, Earth, and the light from the sun’s natural rhythms, it isn’t really possible to change its 24 hour cycle. Later start times should affect every aspect of society, including prisons and hospitals. In these settings, people are usually woken up and given food they do not want. You’re more biddable because you’re totally out of it. Sleep deprivation is a torture,” shares Kelley.
Many companies could see a positive benefit if they moved all of their schedules to after 10 a.m. Companies with early work times tend to see a large decrease in their employees work output while leaving their employee’s more at risk of being susceptible to become sick.