Have you been feeling tired and stressed throughout the day for no apparent reason? If you have, the reason could be your working hours – or more precisely, the time you start work.
New research suggests that starting work early in the morning leads to problems even more serious than just that.
Even if you can manage to wake up easily, the physical act of having to get out of bed is where it gets tricky. And the reason why it is hard is that our bodies are not synchronized to the way modern society is functioning. Meaning, our natural sleeping patterns differ from society’s set working hours.
Some researchers have even compared starting work before 10 am to torture. This is because our bodies work on biological timers, called the Circadian Rhythm. The Circadian Rhythm, or our body clock if you will, is a genetically programmed cycle that controls the main activity of our brain, our energy, the production of hormones, and our perception of time.
The Circadian Rhythm, or our body clock if you will, is a genetically programmed cycle that controls the main activity of our brain, our energy, the production of hormones, and our perception of time.
Dr. Paul Kelley is a neuroscientist at Oxford University who has recently delved into this topic and has come up with several discoveries that can greatly affect us. He looked into various kinds of modern day torture and found that waking up and going to work before 10 am is one form of torture as well.
According to his findings, forcing the body to wake up earlier than our brain and organs are ready is damaging to our health because it interferes with our body clock. This body clock cannot be changed because it is pre-programmed in the brain.
If we, however, fight against our natural sleeping patterns, it can cause several health issues like sleep deprivation, physical and emotional stress, and this can further lead to more severe health risks.
He says: “We cannot change our 24-hour rhythms. You cannot learn to get up at a certain time…your liver and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours.”
As a part of an experiment held by Oxford University, Dr. Kelley worked in a school in the UK where he shifted the school’s start time from 8:30 am to 10 am. His findings were that after the adaptation period, students’ attendance levels were raised and their productivity was drastically improved. Their grades also raised by 19%.
His findings were that after the adaptation period, students’ attendance levels were raised and their productivity was drastically improved. Their grades also raised by 19%.
So, the question arises: Why do we keep on torturing ourselves?
The principle of working 8 hours a day was created back at the beginning of the 20th century in order for the manufacturers to get the maximum they can from the workers’ productivity. They did not take into account the Circadian Rhythm, the functioning of which is coordinated with sunlight.
Unfortunately, things have not changed since then. We are still mired in that system which is not in tune with our bodies’ natural functions.
Finally, if we get enough sleep – we would be more focused and productive at work. Because, if we were to listen to our body and if we wake up naturally, it would raise our overall happiness levels. Besides, we all know that happy people make the best workers!
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