Till Roenneberg, a professor of chronobiology at the Institute of Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, has told the BBC the best way to feel refreshed before work is to ditch the bubble and get to work on a bike. Driving to work in a “covered vehicle” is bad for sleep patterns, and not just congestion, air quality and creating a liveable city. Roenneberg is an expert on the impact of light on human circadian rhythms.
Lack of sleep leads to what Professor Roenneberg calls “social jet lag,” caused by having to wake up for work by use of alarm clocks.
“On average people accumulate one to two hours of social jet lag, though some can get up to five hours, particularly in the young, who still have to get to work at the same time as older people,” said Prof Roenneberg.
He added it’s harder to get over social jet lag than time zone jet lag but there are things we can do to overcome social jetlag.
“We should be changing work times and making them more individual to fit in with our chronotypes. If that’s not possible we should be more strategic about light exposure,” he told the BBC. His big tip for those who want to arrive at work fresh and sparkly-eyed?
“You should try to go to work not in a covered vehicle but on a bike.”