Quality Rest and Professions
Some people dream that they achieve great things, others are awake and make them happen. This motivational sentence reflects the widespread idea that hard work, even when you have to sacrifice good sleep, is a virtue we all have to strive for. In reality, sleep is vital to our well-being. Numerous studies have shown that the well-rested are also the happiest and most productive people among us.
We decided to investigate which groups of working people get the most and least sleep. Then we analized more in-depth, comparing our findings with what workers share about their mood, exploring the sleeping habits of active men and women, and looking at which professions most often take sleep medications. Here's what we’ve found.
Which professions are most deprived of sleep?
According to the data, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. In particular, people aged between 18 and 64 need to sleep seven to nine hours. Elderly people (65+) can manage with one hour less - 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
How much sleep do most people get? The answer is less, especially for those working in areas where they have to divide their time between meeting industry requirements and doing many other things that make life at home productive and, hopefully, pleasing.
Who sleeps the least? Our analysis shows that several different professions, including firefighters, nurses and miners, receive less than the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep for a 24-hour period. There is only an 18-minute difference in sleep between those professions that sleep the most and the least. As can be expected, there are professions that sometimes require workers to be available at all times of the day and night.
It is ironic that many of these labor-intensive positions, such as firefighting and medicine, also fulfill important obligations to save lives. However, disturbed sleep is sometimes inevitable, which can be just as bad for your health as not sleeping at all.
Work hard, sleep tight!
It is widely known that engaging in physical activity promotes good sleep. That is why many people who have sleeping problems are advised to include exercises in their daily health care regimen, or increase the amount of physical activity they are already practicing. It is logical that among the professions we have looked at, those involving physical activity, tend to get the most hours of sleep.
Among the longest sleepers are those who carry out agricultural, construction and over-ground activities, which usually require physical labor.
Other people who are willing to sleep well include scientists, such as physicists and librarians, as well as people in industries working from 9 to 5, such as sales representatives, mechanics, workers in media and communications equipment. We found only a small difference in the average sleeping time of these occupations ranging from a maximum of 7 hours and 27 minutes to a minimum of 7 hours and 16 minutes.
Do not neglect this career advice
Young people who are considering a profession to work as may want to look not only at the job description but also the quality of sleep potential. Education, sales, and food preparation and serving are associated with workers who sleep the longest time, while transport, security services and health care seem to provide the least sleeping time.
However, many factors in the workplace have to be taken into account when it comes to overall sleep quality. For example, just having workplace autonomy (ie, making decisions about how work is done) is proven to affect sleep in a positive way. This suggests that when our minds are actively engaged during the day, we can have a deeper and more restorative sleep at night.
Gender and the amount of sleep
Who's sleeping better? Men or women? The answer to this question is not as clear as we want it to be. Researchers know that men and women sleep differently. It is claimed that women need an average of 20 minutes more sleep per night than men because they use their brains more during the day due to multitasking.
Data shows that for women, working in the area of law leads to on average about 6 hours and 26 minutes sleep per night. Given that sleep specialists recommend that adult people should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, these statistics are certainly a cause for concern.
Being a female gardener, however, is great for sleeping. This group of workers receives an average of about 7 hours and 41 minutes of sleep per night. In addition to the physical exercises they receive during their workday, they are also outdoors in natural sunlight, which has a positive effect on the quality of sleep. And male healthcare professionals (indoors and under artificial light) are the least sleeping. Men who work as farm workers sleep the most, reiterating the benefits of doing something that is both physical and there is natural sunlight.
Those working in some of the professions we looked at were particularly reluctant to take sleep medications several times a week. Nurses and mental health professionals are among those who are at the top of this list, perhaps because the care of others regularly keeps them awake at night.
An alternative to taking sleep aids is to make lifestyle changes that include increasing exercise and, for example, using all five senses to create a sleep-friendly environment.
Impact on mental health
Those working in areas that tend to get the least sleep often express feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety. Firefighters say they feel "hopeless" and nurses and mental health professionals say they are "so sad" that nothing encourages them.
Can the lack of sleep affect the moods of these people? Probably. Bad sleep is related to everything from irritability to depression. At the same time, it is important to note that correlation does not necessarily mean a causal relationship. In other words, it is possible for these people to sleep poorly because of their bad emotional states or for some other reason.
Regardless of the industry you are in, one thing is clear: falling asleep, sleeping and having enough sleep are critical to your overall physical and emotional health.