Sleep Scientists Say Work Should Start Later

I think we can all agree that sleep is a wonderful thing. The longer we can hit snooze, the better. Sometimes, though, we can't get enough of it because we're expected in the office so early. Well, a new paper published earlier this week in the journal SLEEP says that we should definitely be starting our work days later.

By analyzing results from 124,517 American adults on their sleep and work habits, as recorded in the American Time Use Surveys from 2003 to 2011, the researchers found a (rather obvious) association between earlier start times for work or school and less sleep time.

The press release details the findings:

Results show that with every hour that work or educational training started later in the morning, sleep time increased by approximately 20 minutes. Respondents slept an average of only 6 hours when starting work before or at 6 a.m. and 7.29 hours when starting work between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that we should really be getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night for optimal health, productivity, and daytime alertness. In reality, however, 30% of workers get more like six (or even less), according to a recent study done by the CDC.

To be your best mental, emotional, and physical self, you need more sleep. So this paper suggests that sleep scientists advocate for later or more flexible starting times for work and class. We sure hope employers listen up. If more pillow time means less crankiness, we're all for it.

(h/t New York Magazine)

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