Research Says We’re Not ‘Genetically Suited’ To Start Work At 9am

We've seen many studies that indicate that students really shouldn't be starting school as early as they are and that later start times can significantly impact how successful they are. Expecting kids to be able to focus, think and effectively do school work so early in the morning is just unreasonable to many people, but what about adults? A new study is showing that many adults are simply not awake genetically suited to start work at 9 am.

In research conducted by the company 23 and Me, they found that most people in the UK aren't genetically predisposed to waking up early enough to be productive when they begin work at 9 am, Tyla reports. The study found that the average wake-up time for most of those in the UK is 7:55 am, not leaving them enough time to be functional at work just an hour later, especially if you have a lengthy commute to deal with.

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The genetics research company worked with Dr. Neil Stanley, author of the book How to Sleep Well, and found that working a 9-5 shift could negatively impact your circadian rhythm and affect how you're transitioning from sleeping to waking.

The study found that the older you are, the earlier you wake, so these early work start times are more effective for those over 60 who tend to wake up around 6:45 am. The younger you get, the later you're genetically predisposed to waking, with most people in their 30's genetically predisposed to waking at around 8:19 am! Twenty-year-olds have an even later genetic wake-up time of 8:47 am.


Because of this, the study also found that many of those surveyed admitted to working on "autopilot" for the majority of the workweek, spending an average of one hour and 22 minutes daily struggling with tiredness. This sort of information tends to support the idea that more businesses should support flexible workdays when possible.   Not every business can support having all their employees begin work after 10 am every day, but for businesses that can allow even a bit of flexibility with scheduling as well as allowing employees to work from home, it may be the key to having a more productive employee.

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