Canadian working women campaign for 25-hour day

Tue May 18, 2010 1:42pm EDT
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By Ashleigh Patterson

Toronto (Reuters Life!) - Ever feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? A group of time-challenged Canadian women are lobbying for a 25-hour clock.

Jessie Behan, president and founder of the 25th Hour Coalition which is group of Canadian women who have changed to a longer day, said the struggle for women to maintain work-life balance motivated her to research the body's natural circadian rhythms.

"A bunch of my girlfriends are having kids, getting married, and I was seeing the insanity of juggling all that when you're a working woman," she told Reuters.

"Women like myself are sick of living their lives by a 24-hour clock when studies have shown that they're naturally set to a 25-hour clock."

A 2007 study by Charles Czeisler, a Harvard professor of sleep medicine, found that a switch to longer days could be beneficial, especially for frequent travelers, shift workers, astronauts and those who experience trouble sleeping or waking.

In a similar study published in 1999, Czeisler showed that the body's natural clock, or circadian rhythms, averages 24 hours and 11 minutes in both young and older people.

The transition from university student in Montreal to working woman in Toronto led Behan to want more time, but it was the thought of planning her pending nuptials that changed the want into a must-have.

Behan, who has been practicing the time shift for more than three weeks, adds an extra 30 minutes to each 12-hour cycle, allowing her to gain an extra hour of productivity.   Continued...

<p>Scott Gow adjusts a tower clock on test at the Electric Time Company in Medfield, Massachusetts March 6, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>