Workdays Should Start Later: Study

You’re not dreaming – even science says so.

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If you ever needed a reason to get out of bed later, here it is.

A study published in the official journal of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep, established a damning link between workday start times and chronic sleep loss. Shortchanging yourself of sleep can lead to fatigue, irritableness, lapses in concentration, and a host of other inconveniences that many of us are familiar with by now (and those are just short term effects). Putting on a few extra pounds? That’s probably because of those 5 consecutive alarms that you set to drag you out of bed.

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Which is why the recent findings from the AASM are especially welcome. “Potential intervention strategies to decrease the prevalence of chronic sleep loss in the population include greater flexibility in morning work and class start times,” said lead author Dr. Mathias Basner, assistant professor of sleep and chronobiology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. There you have it. For the sake of your well-being, start work later – or at least petition for flexible work times.

Driving its point home, the study continued by saying that with “every hour that work or educational training started later in the morning, sleep time increased by approximately 20 minutes”. For the chronically sleep-deprived amongst us, those extra minutes are a godsend.

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If an extra 20 minutes doesn’t seem like much, think again. A separate study quoted by the Wall Street Journal noted that missing out on as little as twenty minutes of sleep can impair your “performance and memory” when its time to get out of bed – and persist throughout the entire day. Sleepy workers make inefficient workers: who knew?

So put aside your 7am wake up calls, stop angsting about having to haul yourself out of bed before sunrise – and change your company’s workday start times today.

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