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Starting Work Before 10 AM Is A Form Of Torture, Oxford University Academic Claims

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Dr. Paul Kelley, an Honorary Clinical Research Associate in the University of Oxford’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, claims that having to start work before 10 a.m. is a form of torture and is making staff stressed, tired, and ill.

Dr. Kelley explains that the circadian rhythm (or the internal body clock which regulates the sleep-wake patterns over 24-hour periods) of adults is out of sync with regular  9-to-5 working hours, which negatively affects our mood, productivity, and mental health.

Many experiments and studies on circadian rhythm have demonstrated that an average 10-year-old student won’t begin focusing properly for their tasks at school before 8.30 in the morning. Likewise, a 16-year-old student should start at 10 o’clock in the morning in order to achieve best results and students over 16 should start at 11 o’clock in the morning.

Current patterns, i.e. 9-to-5 working hours negatively affect our emotional and physical health and performance. Not only do they cause some people to suffer from sleep deprivation, but they also increase the risk of serious health conditions, such as schizophrenia and diabetes.

If we add to this the fact that we can’t change our 24-hour rhythms and that we can’t learn to get up at a certain time, it’ll be easier for us to understand why Dr. Kelley believes that working hours need to be changed.

He explains that by changing working hours, both children and grown-ups will be prevented from feeling exhausted and being sleep deprived.  For instance, students could improve their grades and employees could be more productive at work and have less stress.

Undoubtedly, changing the time people start and end work in all areas of modern society will benefit millions of people on Earth as we’ll become healthier, happier,  and more energetic and productive.