It is dark when I go home

It is dark when I go home

When I started my career, my typical work day started by 8 am and ended by 5. Lots of sunlight both during the morning and evening commute (My dad and his friends had such a lifestyle for 30 years). During my school and college days there were not even good TV programs beyond 10.30 pm. Globalization and outsourcing has forced many of us to work from different time zones for the same set of goals, which has made it mandatory that working hours between the two zones overlap even if it is 12 hours apart.

Biological evolution is too slow compared to the technological revolutions. Any thing happening in the technical world is not adapted by us, instead it gets retrofitted into our system. Scientists often point out the importance of circadian rhythm and critics try to prove other wise by staying awake for days together. People have stopped measuring sleep records because brain is so capable of putting sensory organs to sleep without the individual being aware of anything which means there was no way of proving wakefulness. Micro sleeps are a result of large sleep debt and it is the one which causes many road accidents and critical errors (Chernobyl accident happened when the staff worked on double shifts). Sleep also restores the body, processes memory (removes noise and indexes) and there tons of other things which are beneficial and still under research.

Circadian rhythm helps us to get a healthy sleep wake cycle which will reduce the dependency on stimulants and relaxants. The current lifestyle has become largely transactional and time spent on basic necessities like consuming food, sleep are considered to be a low yield activity. This makes us prioritize activities which outright give the illusion of bang for the buck. Since our body is still wired very much to the sunlight availability as it used to be just few hundred years ago, the body clock gets affected very badly because of erratic sleep wake cycle. Some long term health issues are considered (yet not proven) to be because of bad sleep hygiene.

One solution to fix easily would be to start work early and reach home before sunset. That therapy could be available free of cost as well and it helped me when I was following it. The traffic was light hence faster commute, within 2-3 hours of sunset I was sleeping which in my opinion was the soundest sleep I ever had. Early morning coffee and newspaper in the breezy balcony (Even in Chennai summer) was heavenly.  I have succumbed to the team’s requirements and now altered to my lifestyle of starting work almost near noon and ending late. Now it is dark when I go home.

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