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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

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Robert Locke

Freelance writer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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