We Should Start Work at 10am to Protect Our Poor Brains

By Gary Cutlack on at

Our working days should be adjusted so that we start work at the eminently more achievable hour of 10am, according to a sleep expert who says we're "torturing" ourselves by repeatedly getting out of bed too early.

This comes from Dr Paul Kelley, who works out of Oxford University's Sleep and Circadian Institute. Kelley claims our body clocks don't start to fit into the 9-5 working day structure until we reach the age of 55, with younger workers having their health and concentration ruined by being forced by an uncaring society to get up too early.

Kelley says the natural biological rhythms of people in their teens and twenties require a later start than young children and the older folk, with getting up earlier than our bodies like ruining the mental health of the nation, explaining: "Sleep deprivation is a torture. Thirty days without sleep and you die. It has about the same effect as not eating. Staff should start at 10am. You don't get back to the starting point until 55. Staff are usually sleep-deprived. We've got a sleep-deprived society."

To prove his point, Kelley's team is conducting a trial inside 100 schools, where the working day of 15-year-olds is shifted back to a 10:00am start, to see if they end up being more clever and engaged as a result.

"I can't predict how much it will improve their GCSE results but I would put money on it being a statistically significant positive change," he reckons. [Independent]

Image credit: Sleepy from Shutterstock