Finally, the Scientific Proof I Need For Wine O'Clock
Every day, around 5 or 6 pm, I have a pressing urge for a glass of wine. I usually call that time Wine O' Clock and pour myself a glass of Shiraz while I cook dinner, check homework and try to do some house tidying. A few years ago, my wine time was usually when the kids went to bed and the house became quiet. But lately, I just can't wait that long. Now I know why.
A new study shows working moms are experiencing a particularly stressful, hyperactive period between the hours of 5 and 8pm, which the study called the "arsenic hours."
Researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and Michigan State University looked at 368 working mothers and 241 fathers who worked outside the home. Turns out working moms went into complete overdrive after 5 pm as they start worrying about dinner, dealing with their kids at home and getting all the housework done.
In fact, the researchers found that working mothers spent 10.5 more hours every week on multitasking compared with working fathers -- typical chores like preparing dinner, doing laundry, doing work brought home from the office, while also talking with their child and helping with homework. Fathers did a different kind of juggling, like answering a work call while spending time with the kids. As a result, the researchers said women reported greater feelings of stress and being overwhelmed than the men reported. The men reported feeling pleased with their multitasking. Typical.
I know my transitional hours are tough in my house. Technically I work from home but attending events and business meetings makes for very busy days, and I would say my arsenic hours start at 3pm with school pick-up.
Turns out all this crazy multitasking in a concentrated period of time can be pretty dangerous. One psychologist said that multitasking over a number of hours like the mothers in the study, overloads the "working memory." Which is more dangerous than multitasking in the short term like, driving while answering the phone, he said.
And since our brains can only hold so much information in the working memory, when that gets overloaded, the chemical systems related to the stress response kick in.
It's no wonder I'm drinking wine. At least know I know why. Finally, science is good for something.
What time is your Wine O' Clock?