Good news, fellow late risers: no need to feel guilty about NOT getting out of bed until 8.30AM. According to an English sleep scientist, it’s ideal to start the day at 10AM for most working adults and even students.
In a 2015 speech for the British science festival, Dr. Paul Kelley noted that working later instead of the usual 8 or 9AM should help boost cognitive performance, battle against sleep deprivation, and enhance productivity. That’s because late mornings are typically in line with our natural circadian rhythms, or the body’s own internal clock.
10AM is in fact, the most magical time of the day to do your toughest cognitive work. Not only is your body temperature warmer, you’re also more fully awake. Think of all the costly mistakes people do because they’re still groggy from sleep (e.g. road accidents, errors on reports, lower exam scores, etc.).
Want to shift into a 10AM schedule? Here are more reasons why it’s the best time to be productive – at anything.
Why 10AM Is the Best Time to Start Work for Adults
Sleep is a complex matter. More than simply plopping yourself on a pillow, this is the time when your body restores itself and analyzes the memories of the day. Thus, getting the required hours is essential for overall health and optimum performance.
It’s long been known that our bodies follow what is known as a circadian rhythm. Think of it as internal biological alarm clock that tells us when to sleep and wake up. For children for example, their wake-up time is usually before 7AM, while adults at around 10AM. But as we age, our sleep patterns reverse. This explains why folks older than 55 feel sleepy before 8PM, but can wake up before 6AM.
Going against your circadian rhythm will affect your mood once you wake up. It’s not really HOW LONG you slept, but more of HOW WELL you did. That’s why most adults struggle to the office even at 9AM. It’s because their bodies are not supposed to be awake yet.
Another issue for setting wake schedules is our current society. We no longer just go home after 5PM. We’re out with friends, investing on hobbies, or networking way into the night. Some have second (or more) jobs they still need to attend to. Then there are family and personal matters to take care of.
With so much going on, a lot of adults today don’t sleep until midnight. It’s no wonder many are feeling irritable at the office by 8 or 9AM. Not only is it hard to be productive around this time, many people also spend the early hours on mundane tasks, such as opening emails.
Caffeine alone is NOT going to be a fix. The best solution to combat fatigue and be productive is to follow your circadian rhythm. For adults, this means starting the day preferably at 10AM.
Do you wake up at 9AM? Then you have at least an hour to have breakfast, exercise, and plan your to-do list. Don’t need to be at work until noon? Use that time to catch up on world news or meditate. Once you reach the office, you’ll feel more alert and ready to tackle any task.
Successful People Who Start the Day at 10AM
You may think that all successful people are early risers – but that’s NOT true. Here’s proof that you CAN be productive even at 10AM.
Believe it or not, the likes of statesman Winston Churchill, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, and Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti, start their day at 10AM (or much later).
Winston Churchill was known to wake up at around 7.30AM, but didn’t get out of bed until about 11. After having breakfast and reading national news, he’ll be dictating to his secretaries until it was time for a bath (which was usually noon). This odd routine certainly didn’t stop him from becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
German fashion designer, artist, and photographer Karl Lagerfeld on the other hand, doesn’t get up until he’s had seven solid hours of sleep. So if he sleeps at midnight, he gets up at 7AM. If he sleeps later than that, you can expect that he’d be up once the seven hours are over.
Jonah Peretti likes to sleep in until 8.30AM. Now most people won’t consider this ‘late’, but in terms of business, it is. The Buzzfeed CEO and cofounder of The Huffington Post also has the habit of bringing news with him when he takes the subway to work.
Other popular figures who are late risers include: New Yorker writer and TED speaker Kathryn Schulz, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, Box CEO Aaron Levie, writer and poet Gertrude Stein, and author J.R.R. Tolkien.
Find YOUR Own Magical Time To Be Productive
Are you at your best at 9AM? Or do you prefer to brainstorm with coworkers at 10AM? Not in the mood until 11?
Find your best times to be productive. It’s different for everybody. While 10AM is ideal for most adults, it’s not a fixed rule. Feel free to discover your own rhythm based on your body clock and habits. What matters is that you use the hours in things you truly care about.
Cristina Antonio is the EIC of scoopfed.com and a writer of all things related to world news, movies, real estate, health, or social media. She’s currently focused on helping healthcare workers find better career opportunities through Locum Tenens. Cris also enjoys painting, collecting toys, reading German novels, and lurking the Web.