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The benefits of a later commute

Data taken from the American Community Survey (ACS) from 2009 to 2015 reveals that starting the workday later can improve work performance. Over 33.9% of Ithaca’s residents are late risers, not leaving for work until after 9 a.m.

A study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) shows that early risers, or those with an early shift, generally get 6 hours of sleep— the average adult needs between 7 to 9 hours each night. Due to less sleep, early risers lacked focus and were less productive than those with a later shift (between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.). With an additional hour and a half of sleep, late risers were more alert, productive, and felt more satisfaction in their job responsibilities. 

Poor sleep affects more than just work performance. Roughly 30.77% of Ithaca residents have trouble sleeping each night. Less sleep results in daytime drowsiness, hindering a person’s choices and abilities, like making healthy decisions regarding meal choices and alertness when driving. 

While you may not be able to control the hours you work, you can take steps towards better sleep, including:

  • Sleep and wake at consistent times 
  • Turn off electronic devices an hour before bed
  • Avoid heavy meals 2 hours before bed
  • Avoid intense exercise 2 hours before bed
  • Consume less fluids at night to avoid sleep disruptions
  • Try not to consume caffeine after 3 p.m.
  • Establish a set bedtime routine to help your body wind down for the night

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