Things everyone is complaining about whenever we run into acquaintances and friends: workplace stress and not getting enough sleep. We’re not just broken records, we’re DVDs stuck in the practically defunct player. Modern life is making us miserable. Work doesn’t end with banging the door behind us before a rush hour traffic dash. Our smartphones continue to buzz. Colleagues with deadlines have nothing but endless queries they need answering. Twitter blows up and god forbid you don’t know all the headlines all the time. Blue screens are giving us headaches. Mindfulness app reminders are scraping our nerves. Lunches need to be prepped. Box sets need to be binged upon. Meeting for coffee must be done. We’re all on the clear cusp of a tear-filled burnout, gasping for our mothers while we mentally crumble beneath a duvet.
One group of scientists think the balm for our working souls is a later start every morning. Yahoo News spoke to Dr Paul Kennedy of the Sleep and Circadian Institute at Oxford University about the issue. Dr Kennedy says that our circadian rhythm is not meant to be subjected to 9-to-5 days. Early morning routines are messing up our bodies natural responses, hence why we tend to focus better later in the day. It takes years for the human body to change its interior clockwork. Regular working hours put a strain on our heat and liver. In fact, we only get used to 9am starts when we hit 55-years-old. Grim. Also, why are we still getting up so early? Everyone with a grain of sense knows a sleep deprived workforce is a less effective and unhappy one. Sadly, there doesn’t seem a huge consensus for industry-wide change. Dr Kennedy does stress that a 10am start would be far more beneficial, but we sense employers won’t be terribly enthusiastic about that.
Dr Kennedy thinks that sleep deprivation is starting to become a truly “international issue.” He says: “Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to. Sleep deprivation is a torture. Thirty days without sleep and you die. It has about the same effect as not eating.”
Well, a comparison to torture sounds rather serious. Should we all book an appointment with HR, like, right now?