Starting Work Before 10 am Is Like Torture, Research Says
Dr. Paul Kelley, an expert researcher at Oxford University, has made some very notable claims about going to work earlier than 10 am. The decorated claims that having a person go to work prior to 10 o’clock in the morning is one of the most common forms of contemporary torture.
His claims are founded on the principles of the Circadian Rhythm, or in other words, the internal body clock. The Circadian Rhythm is representative of a biological timer that dictates how a body functions relative to the time of the day. And these functions are genetically pre-programmed to regulate how we perceive time and how our brain works throughout the day. It is also responsible for fluctuating energy releases and hormone production.
That is why waking up so early and working before 10 o’clock can actually be considered as a form of torture according to Dr. Kelly. It can negatively affect the natural balance of the body seeing as it is not an optimal time frame for someone to be productive.
This is Kelley’s explanation, more in-depth:
“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.”
It was only in the early 20th century when the 8-hour work day was introduced as the standard in various industries. However, during that time, no one ever took into consideration the functionality of the human body clock when drafting these policies.
As a result, this is what Dr. Paul Kelley thinks are the effects of such misguided policy making:
“It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body.”
He goes on to say, “Staff should start at 10 am. You don’t get back to (the 9 am) starting point till 55. Staff is usually sleep-deprived. We’ve got a sleep-deprived society. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to.”
The expert claims that even just going through one week of having less than six hours of sleep can have dramatic changes when it comes to a body’s processes. Apparently, 711 changes take place in the functionality of genes when the human body doesn’t get enough sleep.
He also believes that the overall effects that work can have on a human body can be dramatically improved so as long as there are minor tweaks in the scheduling of when work starts and when it ends.
And it’s not just Dr. Kelley who is expressing these sentiments at this point. There is a substantial load of neuroscientists all around the world who share his thoughts on the matter. They have also stressed the importance of being able to understand the true functionality of the body at different ages in life and how they are affected by varying sleep cycles.
It’s often been taught that sleep deprivation actually begins in adolescence because plenty of teens are just biologically predisposed to go to sleep at around midnight. And as a result, they aren’t really fully awake until around 10 o’clock in the morning. However, standardized school hours don’t necessarily take this biological fact into consideration. Most schools have their students come in very early in the morning. And as a result, most teens are losing an average of around 10 hours of sleep in a week.
If you combine this with the fact that tends tend to stay awake longer during the weekends, they will have a substantially much more difficult time trying to readjust their body clocks to go to bed early on a school night. Biologically speaking, an early rising and early sleeping schedule is one that is more attributed to someone who is in their mid-50s.
One British school decided to put Dr. Kelley’s theory to the test. Dr. Kelley claims that schools should typically start classes from around 8:30 am to 10:00 am instead of what is considered to be standard class hours. Following Dr. Kelley’s advice, the school found that its students had increased performance over time. Their grades were slightly improved and the overall productivity of the students was much better as well. Attendance levels were also seen to show dramatic improvement.
That’s why it’s probably worth giving this theory a try in other aspects of society as well. There really is no point in carrying out a lot of scientific research if we refuse to adapt our policies to what the science is actually trying to tell us.
At the end of the day, we have so much to gain and so little to lose if we actually structure our work policies around what the science is revealing to us.