Dr. Paul Kelley, a leading researcher at Oxford University, has recently discovered that the most common form of modern day torture is actually having to wake up and start work before 10 o’clock in the morning, something that affects an enormous amount of us.
Our bodies run on biological timers, known as our Circadian Rhythm. This is our body clock if you like, and it is a genetically pre-programmed cycle which regulates our brain activity, energy levels, hormone production and perception of time. By starting work before 10 am every day, we are scientifically torturing ourselves through unnaturally interfering with our Circadian Rhythm, thus throwing many aspects of our health out of balance.
“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.”
How Did This Happen?
Introduced in the early 20th century, the 8 hour working day was designed around the maximisation of 24/7 factory productivity, not taking into account the natural human body clock. However, our ancient bodies evolved around the daily cycle of sunlight, not these modern day strategies of business and commerce! Dr Paul Kelley, speaking at the British Science Festival says:
“We’ve got a sleep deprived society” and “This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to.”
His idea was to move the start time of a school in Britain from 8.30 am to 10.00 am. Upon testing this theory at a chosen school, after a certain amount of time and a further wave of exams, he wasn’t surprised to see that the attendance levels had improved along with the general productivity of the school – and most importantly the students’ grades were up drastically.
If we were to transfer this idea into other sectors of society just think of the improvements. Instead of overtired, overworked, coffee intoxicated zombies working in the hours of the day when they should be sleeping, we would have a naturally productive, fully fledged, focused society of useful, happy people. The companies who are forcing their workers to start before 10 am are contributing to serious emotional and physical stresses felt by their employees and encouraging longer term adverse health risks as a result of these strict, unhealthy working patterns. These patterns could be a huge reason as to why the average American consumers over 3 cups of coffee every single day to try and keep themselves as alert as they possibly can. To put that into perspective, that’s 40 billion dollars a year – on coffee!