Starting work before 9am is akin to “torture”

Making people aged under 55 start work before 9am is akin to “torture,” according to one of the UK’s leading sleep experts.

Forcing staff to work nine-to-five leaves their bodies exhausted and stressed as a result of sleep deprivation, says Dr Paul Kelley.

The Oxford University academic said it posed a threat to performance until the age of 55 when humans start needing less sleep.

Dr Kelley, said: “We cannot change our 24-hour rhythms. You cannot learn to get up at a certain time. Your body will be attuned to sunlight and you’re not conscious of it because it reports to hypothalamus, not sight.