We have all either just had a nice, relaxing holiday to break away from the monotony of work life, or are still enjoying the summer sunshine and forgetting our responsibilities.
If only the holiday could last forever...
If only we didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn and drag ourselves to work, to function on coffee alone...
Unfortunately, for the time being we all have to work nine to five to stay alive, so work is inevitable.
But are the early hours inevitable?
For some of us, yes, but there's just been some alarming new research released that might have all work places and workers questioning how they do things, because it turns out that starting work (or even school) before 10am is damaging to our health.
Oxford University Professor Dr. Paul Kelley has revealed that the 10am start time messes with the circadian rhythms of adults who are working 9am-5pm (or before), throwing their body out of sync and severely affecting:
- Work performance,
- Mood, and
- Mental Health.
And contrary to popular belief, you can't 'teach' your body to wake up at a certain time and get used to it.
"We cannot change our 24-hour rhythms. You cannot learn to get up at a certain time. Your body will be attuned to sunlight and you're not conscious of it because it reports to hypothalamus, not sight."
This concept is seen more clearly in hospitals or prisons, where patients and prisoners are often woken up and given food they don't want as there is little to no sunlight and your body feels sleep deprived.
Thus, when your body isn't in sync with rhythms and is forced to work too early, you're still sleep deprived, and "sleep deprivation is a torture."
Sleep deprivation impacts massively on one's health, with just one week with less than six hour's shut-eye a night leading to over 711 changes in how your genes function!
Your performance, long-term memory and attention span all decrease, and it can lead to things like anxiety, weight-gain, high blood pressure, low immunity, exhaustion, etc.
According to neuroscientists, a teenager is biologically predisposed to go to sleep at approximately midnight, and will not be filly awake and focused until 10am.
Dr. Kelley believed there needs to be a global shift in the starting times of work places and schools to suit our body's natural clock, as it will improve our quality of life.
Studies have revealed that school students focus more effectively and attain better results after 10am, and university students should begin lessons at 11am.
The same goes for us adults.
Looks like we'll be having a talk to our boss.