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Sleep Scientists Confirm Getting To Work Before 9 AM Is Torture

Sleep Scientists Confirm Getting To Work Before 9 AM Is Torture

Sleep deprivation is wreaking havoc on our society. We are just not getting enough of this valuable commodity. According to sleep experts at The Wright State University, this lack of sleep is contributing to fatigue, which accounts for about 10% of fatal car accidents. It also means that waking up early and getting to work before 9 am is a form of institutionalized torture. It increases the risk of us getting major illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Here are a few major findings from the sleep scientists which suggest that starting work at 10 am might be much more civilized and healthier for us.

Starting school and work later is natural

Paul Kelley is a neuroscientist and his research has convinced him, and many others, that a later start time in the day could be enormously beneficial for both students and adult workers. He knows that millennials (the current 18-34 age group) are not getting enough sleep and they make up one third of the workforce at the moment, according to PEW research. Both teens and adults need their beauty sleep. Test scores and work productivity would improve, Kelley claims.

“This is a huge society issue – staff should start at 10 a.m. You don’t get back to [a natural 9 a.m schedule] 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.” — Paul Kelley, neuroscientist

Sleepy workers do not perform well

There is loads of research which suggests that some of our mental functions, such as concentration, logical reasoning, mathematical ability, and memory, are all dependent on a good night’s sleep. The part of the brain which helps us do all these things is called the prefrontal cortex (PFC). When we do not get enough sleep, the PFC goes into crash mode and hardly functions at all. If you ever wondered why colleagues in your office are pretty slow in the mornings, you now know why!

Sleep deprivation not only makes for a very slow start in the mornings, but can also have other serious consequences, such as poor performance, depression, diabetes, and weight gain.

“Young children need ten hours of sleep per night, preadolescents about nine hours, and adolescents, research shows, also need about nine hours of sleep per night. And for adults, the recommendation is somewhere between seven and nine, depending upon the individual.” — James E. Gangwisch, Columbia University sleep expert.

How to solve the problem

Nobody knows how to solve this difficult problem. Civil servants in a western Turkey province are allowed to start work at 9:30 am instead of 8:30 am — provided they spend the time exercising. This is an effort to beat obesity, but can anyone tell me who is going to monitor these people? I bet most will have a good old lie-in and turn up in sneakers, saying they have just run 5 miles and they are exhausted!

A much more practical solution would be to persuade your boss that you function better with a later start and you are prepared to work an hour more. But beware!

Flextime sounds fine and dandy, but there is still some stigma attached to a later start. Yes, some managers still associate how well you work with your work start time. If you start work later, you might be thought of as less conscientious. This will carry through to your performance assessment — so don’t say I haven’t warned you. This is the alarming conclusion of the research carried out by the University of Washington and published in the Harvard Business Review.

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Unless you work at Google, Microsoft, or some other forward-thinking companies, it seems sensible to heed Benjamin Franklin’s motto,

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

A much easier solution is to try reducing all that blue light coming from electronic devices and computers late at night and simply go to bed an hour earlier — it’s not rocket science!

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Featured photo credit: Hard work can hurt/normalityrelief via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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