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Working A 9-To-5 Job Could Actually Be Putting Your Health In Jeopardy


A University of Oxford sleep expert said having people under 55 start their workdays before 9 am can be classified as actual "torture," leaving the bodies of those who work 9-to-5 jobs with increased symptoms of exhaustion and stress.

The theory was posited by Dr. Paul Kelley, an honorary research fellow at University of Oxford's Sleep & Circadian Neuroscience Institute.

At the British Science Festival in Bradford, England, Dr. Kelley reportedly said,

We cannot change our 24-hour rhythms. You cannot learn to get up at a certain time. Your body will be attuned to sunlight and you're not conscious of it because it reports to hypothalamus, not sight. This applies in the bigger picture to prisons and hospitals. They wake up people and give people food they don't want. You're more biddable because you're totally out of it. Sleep deprivation is a torture.

He continued,

Staff are usually sleep deprived. 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. Your liver and your heart have different patterns and you're asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don't have to.

Therefore, Dr. Kelley suggested society should change its standard work start time from 9 am to 10 am in order to match our bodies' natural sleep rhythms.

He said this time should remain at 10 am until one is 55 years old; at this age, a person can start working at 9 am again because he or she will need less sleep.

Dr. Kelley also suggested society change its standard school start time to 11 am, claiming exam scores could be boosted by "around 10 percent" by giving children the right amount of sleep.

There are some actual test numbers to prove Dr. Kelley's theory on school start times. By changing its start time from 8:50 am to 10 am, Monkseaton High School in North Tyneside found GCSE scores rose by 16 percent, Daily Mail reports.


Citations: Making people start work before 9am is torture says sleep expert who wants the business and school day to begin at 10am (Daily Mail)