How many times have you heard that the early bird catches the worm? That morning people are more successful? That getting up at the crack of dawn makes you a happier person?
If you’re not someone who enjoys mornings, you probably wonder why night owls get such a bad rep. Why can’t those who can’t wake up until later morning or mid-afternoon get things done? Does this automatically make you less productive?
According to one researcher, not necessarily. In fact, according to Dr. Paul Kelley, an Oxford University researcher, we shouldn’t have to do things until after 10 a.m.
In his words, he’s even gone so far as to say that getting up before 10 a.m., and more so, just the notion of having people work before this time, can be considered “torture.” Yikes.
“Before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults are completely out of sync with normal nine-to-five working hours, posing a ‘serious threat’ to performance, mood and mental health,” Dr. Kelly told the British Science Festival in Bradford.
There are several things, he says, that can play a part in why there are so many negative affects to starting your day before 10 a.m. For one thing, there’s the issue of sleep. He says that those who have to be up and working before 10 a.m. usually suffering on a a pretty poor sleep.
““Staff are usually sleep deprived,” Dr. Kelley said. “We’ve got a sleep-deprived society. It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical emotional and performance systems in the body.”
It’s true that poor sleep quality can make you more susceptible to getting sick. And Dr. Kelly believes that companies and schools should alter their start time to be a later time, especially if they want frequently less sick employees and students.
Additionally, starting your day before 10 a.m. may also negatively affect your liver and heart. “Your liver and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue,” he says.
Okay, so what’s his solution? Dr. Kelley says there’s only one thing we need to do: change the start times of work, school, and even prisons across the board.
“If we look at the connections between the human body, Earth, and the light from the sun’s natural rhythms, it isn’t really possible to change its 24 hour cycle,” he says. “Later start times should affect every aspect of society, including prisons and hospitals. In these settings, people are usually woken up and given food they do not want. You’re more biddable because you’re totally out of it.”
“Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to,” Dr. Kelley adds.
Alright, buddy, speak for yourself! I’m a morning person and 10 a.m. feels pretty late to me. Do you think the entire human race just isn’t meant to be up when the sun is barely even up? Or do you think there’s morning people and afternoon people and night people?
To hear more on his argument, check out the video below.