There may be a scientific reason why you can’t stop hitting that ‘snooze’ button in the mornings. It’s actually because waking from sleep before 10 a.m. is biologically unnatural.
You’ve been there, dreading that morning alarm. Whether is the coffee that helps to inspire you to rise from your bed before 7 am or it’s your kids waking you up at insane hours of the morning, either way you are up and functioning before you should be.
While it’s pretty safe to say that most of us adults are typically deprived of sleep, one other reason may be less than optimistic about leaving the house and venturing to work at 8am is that it’s biologically unnatural.
According to Dr. Paul Kelley, an Oxford University researcher, forcing your staff to work before 10 a.m. is equivalent to the ravages of torture. Getting up earlier than 10 also seems to create illness, stress and exhaustion in employees.
In an interview with the National Post, Dr. Kelley stated that,
“Before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults are completely out of sync with normal nine-to-five working hours, posing a “serious threat” to performance, mood and mental health.”
For this same reason, Dr. Kelly strongly believes that there needs to be a global change in not only our work schedules but also our school starting time as well, this will help us sync up with our natural biological clocks.
Studies that are based on examining the circadian rhythms have been able to show that on average a 10-year-old will struggle to focus on their academic work until about 8:30 a.m. According to one of the researchers, a 16-year-old teenager should start at about 10 a.m. for best results and students that attend Universities and colleges should start around 11 a.m.
Dr. Kelley believes that if we implement a simple delay in our school times, we could see improvement in our grades by around 10%. Dr. Kelly at one point used to be a headteacher in Tyneside, while working there he put his theory to the test by simply changing the school’s start time from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and amazingly he was able to see the number of top grades rise by a whopping 19%!
Not only could students see benefits from the later start times but also the Educators as well. Through Dr. Kelley’s research, he found that the staff shouldn’t start work till 10 am. In fact, workers should not be returned to a 9 am schedule until they reached the age of 55.
Dr. Kelley continued by saying,
“Staff are usually sleep deprived. We’ve got a sleep-deprived society. It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical emotional and performance systems in the body. Your liver and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to.”
“If we look at the connections between the human body, Earth, and the light from the sun’s natural rhythms, it isn’t really possible to change its 24 hour cycle. Later start times should affect every aspect of society, including prisons and hospitals. In these settings, people are usually woken up and given food they do not want. You’re more biddable because you’re totally out of it. Sleep deprivation is a torture,” shares Kelley.
Many companies could see a positive benefit if they moved all of their schedules to after 10 a.m. Companies with early work times tend to see a large decrease in their employees work output while leaving their employee’s more at risk of being susceptible to become sick.
Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.
Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.
Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.
Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.
Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.
“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”
However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.
In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”
“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”
Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say
With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.
According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.
The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.
The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.
While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.
Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.
“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.
“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.
Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced
However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.
Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact
Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.
And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.
Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.
Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.
Death Toll, by Percent of Population
In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.
Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.
The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.
Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.
History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning
While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.
In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.
What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?
Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics
Republished from ZH with permission.
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