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Surviving and thriving on shifts: Are you an Owl or Lark?



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The following transcript was generated automatically from the content and has not been checked or corrected manually.

And so I'm hoping to find out what your natural body clock type is and, and we can arbitrarily divide ourselves into larks. So someone who gets up in the morning and that's me. I spring out of bed six o'clock most days, but come 9:30 p.m. I'm heading for bed. I'm jolly tired. Um There are some people in between that you would call Robbins and on the other extreme, they're owls. So they're kind of really only kind of getting excited when I'm heading to bed. So I wonder just getting to know you and you getting to know me, what would your natural chroma type be? And we've got a little pole, so have a go with the pole and fill it in. Are you a lark? Are you a robin or an owl? So I already said I'm a lark uh cat. If, if you're there while everyone's doing this, what would you describe yourself to be? Uh Yeah, I'm an owl. You're an owl, natural physiology, either side. So I'm hoping some of you have done that there and we can have a look at the results. I'm just gonna read them out. So we know larks are about 33% Robbins, about 67%. And interestingly, there weren't any owls on the, except for you. So that's a surprise actually. So, um, yeah, that's really interesting. So I can tailor it to that. Um, and if I go to the next screen, hopefully that will let me do it. Um, you can actually go into more detail and find out exactly what your type is by looking at your morning and evening list questionnaire and just Google it and you can get to find out that. But it's really helpful to know where you're starting because there is a normal distribution in our population. Um depending on what your type might be and we know just like your pole was, most of us are larks. So most of us are gonna be in, sorry, most of us are gonna be Robbins in that middle section. But um quite a few of you were larks like me. But interestingly, there's a, there's a skew in society particularly recently towards people becoming more l like. So staying up later and that's, there's a genetic tendency in that direction. We know it's gonna be mostly in the, um, it's only probably gonna be about 20% of people who would been genetically s but then there's epigenetic factors how we've been developed in our early years. But then environmental factors like mobile phones, like caffeine, like lights in bed that can shift us to stay up later and I, I'm gonna ask you a little bit then. So knowing what your type is, you know, how you'd be. Um, do you sometimes feel a bit cuckoo? So, by that, you know, you find maybe if I was in holiday or in my ideal environment and I wasn't having to work what my biology might be. Do you think some of you might be in the wrong nest? We know most legislators are larks and most people who work in, you know, go to university will have to go through education, shave themselves to be larks in order to get through the, the kind of the, the shifts that are necessary to, to go through education or work in a hospital shift system. So you may find you're slightly out of sync. Now, the good news is that we can change and we can shift our body clocks. You probably know you do it when you travel across time zones. You know, you travel maybe to Australia, it takes a while to shift your body clock and you can do it by a day either way. And because I'm a shift worker too, I've got a young son who wakes up in the early hours, I need to be able to shift his body clock. So I get him up with me and shift his body clock so he's become more lark like. Um and so, er, this is a useful skill you can use in and outside of your career. And these are natural skills that we've been practicing for years about setting our body clocks in the morning skills about getting your head down. So I wonder how good you are. If say you had to have a little dose or a nap, how good you are at getting your head down and then how good are you if you need to wake up in the morning at being ready for action, you know, you've had a rest but you, your brain needs to be on it. How good you are at rising and shining. We're gonna bring these natural skills forwards from our ornithology into our um a, a more modern metaphor to do with flying things, planes. And these are skills that you can adapt to survive on and thrive on shifts, using the metaphor of traveling to a new time zone. So if you would imagine when you're operating in your normal 9 to 5, you need to be able to set your body clock, right? So you are tiptop body brain working well before you then prepare yourself to take off and then fly in a new time zone. But while you're on shift saying, you know, operating, if you are working night shift, like you'd be living in Australia, you know, 12 hours out of sync, you need to be able to get your head down easily and work and perform well at night. And then once you've done your night shifts, you need to move and fly back to your normal time zone and then rise and shine again. So we're gonna adapt those natural skills using a bit of geeky science and a little bit of common sense so that you can manage and survive and thrive on shifts.