How Your Career Choice is Affecting Your Sleep
Work and sleep go hand-in-hand. A solid eight-hour snooze will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next day. However, spending long hours at the office can dig into your sleep schedule, forcing you to head back to work the next day feeling groggy and worn-out.
Americans are Especially Stressed by Work
According to a recent study conducted by Mattress Firm, Dozed and Confused: Why Americans Have Trouble Sleeping, Americans work 25% more than Europeans, creating a massive sleep deficit among working U.S. employees. Although that Venti triple-shot latte may help wake you up in the morning, unfortunately the caffeine boost won't last all day.
For those with stressful jobs, it's not uncommon to work 12-hours each day, with an early wake-up call the next morning. Stuck in a sleepless cycle of long hours fueled by caffeine, it's crucial for America's workforce to be more mindful of the quality of rest they receive each night.
Most Sleep-Deprived Occupations
In the most recent Sleep in America Poll, the National Sleep Foundation found that airline pilots and train operators are some of the professions that are the most sleep-deprived. With more than 20% reporting that a lack of sleep has impacted their job performance, transportation workers are not the only ones who could use a little more sleep.
Getting an average of fewer than seven hours of sleep per night, home health aides have also been found to have one of the most sleep-deprived careers. Although their job requires almost 24-hour assistance, their lack of sleep can also be attributed to the stress they take on when caring for someone else. Health aides also make one of the lowest incomes in the U.S., only adding more stress to their sleepless nights.
Because new cases, facts and information can appear over night, it's no surprise that lawyers also fall within America's most sleep-deprived. Whether it is a habit they acquired in law school or just a result of their hectic schedules, lawyers get an average of just seven hours of sleep each night.
Police officers are also known for having one of the most tiring careers. A majority of public service professionals have unplanned schedules and odd shifts, making it extremely difficult to get a quality night of sleep. A 2011 study suggests that up to 40 percent of police officers have a sleep disorder, causing them to be less-alert and even fall asleep on the job.
Sleep is Essential
Although just one extra hour of sleep doesn't sound like it could make a difference, hitting that recommended eight hours of sleep can improve your overall quality of sleep and significantly reduce your stress levels. The truth is that a large percentage of Americans, regardless of their career, are not getting the sleep they need.
In high-pressure jobs, sleep deprivation often feels like a prerequisite, but remember that there are many strategies you can use to combat trouble sleeping under pressure, even when you are up against long days and tight deadlines.