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Expert Says We’ll Be Much More Productive If We Start Work Until After 10am

Expert Says We’ll Be Much More Productive If We Start Work Until After 10am

For many of us, waking up early is difficult. Yet we try to do it. Why? Because everyone seems to be doing it. Everyone tells us that it’s good for us. Our work demands it of us. Society demands it of us. We are told in order to be successful we need to rise early. And so we feel pressured. We feel guilty. We suck it up. We obey this norm. But this is wrong.

Some of us are night owls. We are at our most productive at night; when it’s peaceful and there are no distractions. We enjoy rising later to account for our unique habits. And this is fine. Everyone is different. No one person is the same. It’s time then to stop feeling guilty because of what society regards as normal. What is normal anyway? Normal is relative.

The next time someone mentions the importance of rising early – mention that there is a growing body of research highlighting that we are in a sleep deprivation crisis and that rising later is better to allow for our unique body clock.

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We are in a sleep deprivation crisis

Society is in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis as we force ourselves to adapt to working hours that are not in sync with our Circadian rhythms (natural body clock that regulates the timing of sleeplessness and wakefulness):

“At the age of 10 you get up and go to school and it fits in with our nine-to-five lifestyle. When you are about 55 you also settle into the same pattern. But in between it changes a huge amount and, depending on your age, you really need to be starting around three hours later, which is entirely natural.” – Dr Paul Kelley (Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford), The Guardian.

Health Implications

The biggest age group affected is 14-24-year-olds. This has far reaching implications for our health. Kelley says the following, speaking to the Telegraph:

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‘It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body…”

Kelley goes on to say that sleep deprivation can lead to exhaustion, frustration, anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, poor long term memory and can even improve chances of stimulant (alcohol) use and risk-taking.

Proposed 10:00am work starts, backed by science

As a result, Kelley advocates 08:30 am starts (or later) for 10-year-olds, 10am starts for 16-year-olds and 11:00 am starts for 18-year-olds. Not only does he recommend a change among the younger generation, he also recommends that staff should start work at 10:00 am as they are often sleep deprived – which directly affects their health, performance and output. All this does have scientific backing.

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We all have melatonin – a hormone that assists in regulating our body clock. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers don’t start releasing this hormone until nearly 11 o’clock at night. The hormones pumps through our blood during the night and into the late morning.This makes it difficult for teenagers to rise early.

Neuroscientists also say that teenagers are geared towards going to bed at midnight and only feel fully functional by 09:00-10:00am the next morning. In a pilot study conducted by Kelley himself who was formerly a head teacher at Monkseaton Middle School,  starting hours were moved from 08:30-10:00 am. There was a marked increased in the improvement of grades by 19%. Kelley is currently part of a wider study, involving 100 schools across Britan where they are experimenting with different start times. The study which started in 2014 will end in 2018.

What this all means

The effects of sleep deprivation are real. Society needs to consider revising work and school start times to allow for us to follow our natural body clock. For 10-year old’s the current start times fit into a 9-5 lifestyle, with people returning to this pattern in their mid 50’s. For everyone else in between, later start times needs to be considered.

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This is especially evident among teenagers who have a distinctly different body clock from adults. And for adults, the demands of work and the “rat-race” imply that companies need to re-consider their times – as this not only affects the health, performance and output of employees but ultimately the bottom line of companies.

And for the night owls. Each of us is different. Waking up later is natural. it’s part of our biological clock. Stop feeling guilty about it. Start feeling good about the fact that you have known and have been doing all along, what experts are increasingly advocating.

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Nick Darlington

Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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