Mornings – dreadful, dreadful enemies for most of us. Especially on a rainy Monday when your alarm did not go off and not even your pets are ready to wake up.
According to sleep specialist, Paul Kelley of Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, society right now is in the midst of a sleep-deprivation crisis, as the working hours we force ourselves to adapt to are often abnormal and unsuited for our internal body clocks.
The scientist advocates that for school children, age-based start times: 8:30 a.m. for eight to 10-year-olds, 10 a.m. lessons for 16-year-olds, and 11 a.m. starts for 18-year-olds. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers don’t start releasing melatonin ( a hormone that helps regulate our body clock ) until nearly eleven o’clock at night. These secretions don’t stop pushing through their blood system until much later in the morning, making it difficult for them to wake up early. The sleep scientist is involved with Teensleep, which intends to recruit 100 schools across the UK to take part in an experimental trial of later starting times for the school day.
“Staff should start at 10am… Staff are usually sleep-deprived,” Kelly told the British Science Festival. “Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to. We cannot change out 24-hour rhythms.” “At the age of 10 you get up and go to school and it fits in with our 9-to–5 lifestyle. When you are about 55 you also settle into the same pattern. But in between it changes a huge amount and, depending on your age, you really need to be starting around 3 hours later, which is entirely natural.” Kelley added.
Sleep or the lack of it has the potential to affect marks on exams, moods during the day, and social relationships. It is an important part of our existence, with one-third of our life spent sleeping. In light of these new evidence, we must also bear in mind that lack of sleep can cause a wide range of affections such as cardiovascular diseases or Alzheimer’s.
So, what can we do about this? Some European countries are at the verge of implementing a new system based on some of the ideas. But right now we are at the point of experimenting, who knows maybe in a few years from now waking up in the midst of the morning will be just a matter of choice.