It turns out that your body is right - working before 10 a.m. is actually bad for you and can be compared to torture! According to an Oxford University researcher, those who go to work early are more likely to be ill, stressed, and face exhaustion. This is due, in part, to the fact that before we reach about 55, our circadian rhythms are completely out of sync with the traditional working hours. Forcing yourself to work those hours poses a serious threat to your mental health, performance, and your mood.
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According to the National Post, Dr. Paul Kelley, of Oxford University, said there was a need for a huge societal change to move work and school starting times to fit with the natural body clock of humans.
This is in line with other studies that have found that the school day shouldn't start until later in the day - and elementary school students should start before college students! Dr. Kelley said that he believes moving school times could improve grades about ten percent. Similarly, adults will function better at work if they get adequate sleep.
Sleeping five hours a night, which is the average in the US, can have the same effect on the brain as being drunk. One study found that having less than six hours a night led to 711 changes in how genes function.
“This is a huge society issue,” Dr. Kelley told the British Science Festival in Bradford. “Staff should start at 10 a.m. You don’t get back to (the 9 a.m.) starting point until 55.
“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," he further explained.
He also said that the body moves with sunlight and that it was not possible to change the way our bodies react.
“This applies in the bigger picture to prisons and hospitals,” he added. “They wake up people and give people food they don’t want. You’re more biddable because you’re totally out of it. Sleep deprivation is a torture.”
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Lack of sleep also leads to problems with your performance, attention, and your long term memory. Those who regularly don't sleep enough are also more likely to have anxiety, obesity, high blood pressure, mental health problems, and drug and alcohol problems.