The Best Time to Start Your (and Your Kids’) Day Might Surprise You

posted: 09/15/15
by: Courtney Reimer
tired family on sofa

Good news for late sleepers: a leading sleep scientist (yes, such a career exists) says that we should all be starting our days a lot later than is typical, and that those of us who aren't sleeping later probably should be.

The key message, as reported by The Guardian, is that workplaces should be starting their days at 10 a.m., rather than the customary 9 a.m. start time. And the news is even more stark from kids, who seem to be going to school earlier and earlier with each passing year. For younger, elementary school age kids he recommends a start no earlier than 8:30; for teens he says the day should actually start at 11 a.m. (which probably comes as no surprise to anyone with a teenager).

"This is a huge issue for society," Paul Kelley of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford said at the British Science Festival. "We are generally a sleep-deprived society but the 14 to 24 age group is more sleep-deprived than any other sector of society. This causes serious threats to health, mood performance and mental health."

And not only should we be waking later, we should be sleeping longer. And it's a bigger health issue than anyone may have realized. Kelley's research shows that everything from schizophrenia and genetic behavior can be impacted by sleep deprivation.

So if your boss gives you the side-eye when you show up a little late for work tomorrow, feel free to print this article and show it to him/her. And don't be shy about lobbying the school district administrators for a later start time for kids' days!