Staff Should Start Work As Late As Midday To Avoid Sleep Deprivation, Expert Says

Is there anything more depressing than the sound of your alarm in the wee hours of a winter morning?

Well, 'yes' is obviously the answer to that question, but that doesn't mean that isn't still really unpleasant. The world is dark and cold all around - even sparrows know the only sensible thing to do is to stay tucked up in your nest until the world becomes less bleak.

Yet we, the supposedly super intelligent human race, drag ourselves from our slumber so we can go fill out some spreadsheets.

Should we really be waking up when it's cold and dark outside? Credit: PA
Should we really be waking up when it's cold and dark outside? Credit: PA

It seems wrong, and now, an expert has confirmed that it is. Sleep researcher, Dr Paul Kelley, says adults in the western world are not getting enough sleep because work starts too early.

Dr Kelley, author of Body Clocks, believes that a start time of 10am would improve health and productivity. He formerly worked as headteacher at Monkseaton Community School in Tyneside, where he allowed students to start at 10am.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, he said the 'best' time to begin the working day could be as late as midday, but 10am could be the fairest compromise in practice.

He said: "Across the western world, adults are averaging six and a half hours sleep a night during their working lives, when science shows we need at least eight.

"Start times of 10am are the fairest (and best) if everyone had to choose a single start time. That would reduce sleep loss for the population as a whole.

"This would have an immediate positive impact on current levels of adult sleep deprivation caused by early workday start times.

"It would reduce sleep deprivation by 70 percent, to 36 minutes on average a day."

Dr Kelley acknowledged 10am wouldn't be the preferred start time for everybody, dividing people into four categories: definitely morning people, morning people, evening people and definitely evening people. However, Dr Kelley believes a 10am start would have the greatest impact on reducing sleep deprivation on the whole.

Dr Kelley thinks a 10am start time would reduce sleep deprivation. Credit: PA
Dr Kelley thinks a 10am start time would reduce sleep deprivation. Credit: PA

Plus, imagine how boring the world would be if the 'definitely morning' people had their way.

"Oooh, it's amazing what you can fit into a day when you get up early. I wake up three hours before work to do some yoga and make poached eggs. My house is so tidy and I only get angry when people don't use coasters when I've already told them about it before. I'm in bed by 9pm every day, who cares about going to the pub or watching the Champions League? I'm quite happy with my Big Bang Theory box set," they say, probably.

According to the NHS, the most important thing is to establish a sleep routine that allows you to get enough sleep before your alarm goes off, whenever that may be. The NHS also advises keeping a sleep diary to help make sure you're catching enough zzzzzs.

No doubt this will sound like a really cool and exciting idea to the morning people.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University before going to live in Australia and New Zealand for a few years, where he wrote a travel blog. He has previously written for the Eastern Daily Press, Giggle Beats, CALM and Front Magazine. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

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