Making people aged under 55 start work before 9am is akin to ‘torture’, according to one of the UK’s leading sleep experts.
Dr Kelley, an honorary clinical research fellow at Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, said there was a need for society to change work and school starting times to fit with the natural human body clock.
Forcing staff to work nine-to-five leaves their bodies exhausted and stressed as a result of sleep deprivation, says Dr Paul Kelley.
Lack of sleep has been found to affect attention and long-term memory and to encourage drug and alcohol abuse. It can also cause anger, anxiety, frustration, impulsive behaviour, weight gain, high blood pressure, stress and mental health problems.
Dr Kelley called for staggered start times at schools and workplaces as a result of research into the human body’s 24 hour rhythms.
Younger children wake up early naturally meaning children from the age of ten should start school from 8.30am onwards. But for children aged 16 the school starting time should be 10am with an 11am start time from the age of 18.
As well as allowing young people to get more sleep, the later start times may decrease accidents from students going to school in the dark and make travel to school quicker as pupils would be able to avoid the rush hour.