Thursday, March 30, 2006

Late for work again?

Just blame it on 'social' jet-lag, say researchers:
"HALF the population are in a permanent state of jet-lag because their body clocks are so out of synch with the demands of modern life, sleep researchers claim.

A study of 500 people found huge variations in people's natural sleeping patterns, with some early risers getting up at the same time night owls were going to bed.

Professor Till Roenneberg, of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, said this meant that at least one person in two was "in effect, socially jet-lagged all the time" because their body clock did not conform with their working hours."
Knew it! I'm definitely one of these sufferers. When I'm vertical at ungodly hours like seven or eight in the morning, my internal body-clock is screaming, "What are you doing, you lunatic? It's the middle of the night!" The solution?
"He suggested that the start times of schools and workplaces should be more flexible, to ensure pupils and staff were operating at their best."
I so like this idea. I'm really not at my best before midday and strictly speaking, I tend to function most effectively after the pupils - and most of the staff, for that matter - have gone home. Could I start at about four o'clock in the afternoon? Ok, so that's not quite what he meant - but Prof Roenneberg suggested that...
"altering school and work start times to fit better with this pattern would make a "huge difference" to exam results and productivity. He suggested more companies should start work at 10am rather than 9am because the biggest problem is with people who have not fully woken up in the morning."
Yup - that's me. And you don't have to take my word for it; anyone who has had the misfortune to either a living space or a workplace with me too early in the morning will testify to this. Words like "bear" and "sore head" and "you're like" are the most frequently heard in this context. Like whoever it was that claimed drinking lots of red wine is good for your heart, Prof Roenneberg is my kind of scientist.

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