home-health-aides

Health aides, lawyers are most sleep-deprived

Feb. 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM ET

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Home health aides have long had the distinction of being among the lowest-paid workers in the United States, but now it's revealed they also get the least amount of sleep.

Concern over finances and an overall stressful job may be keeping home health aides up at night; but lawyers also made the list of sleep-deprived occupations. 

A new study of professions that get the least and most amount of sleep was commissioned by a mattress company and based on a survey done for the National Center for Health Statistics. The research found health aides, lawyers and police officers got the least  sleep, while loggers, hairstylists and sales representatives were the among the most-rested workers.

“We encourage people to take stock of their sleep habits and make improvements where they can,” said Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, Mo., and a consultant for Sleepy's, the mattress company behind the study.

Here’s a rundown of the sleepiest workers based on average amount of sleep per night:

1. Home Health Aides

2. Lawyers

3. Police Officers

4. Physicians, Paramedics

5. Economists

6. Social Workers

7. Computer Programmers

8. Financial Analysts

9. Plant Operators

10. Secretaries

And here are the workers that get the most shut-eye:

1. Forest, Logging Workers

2. Hairstylists

3. Sales Representatives

4. Bartenders

5. Construction Workers

6. Athletes

7. Landscapers

8. Engineers

9. Aircraft Pilots

10. Teachers

Overall, nobody seems to getting a lot of sleep no matter what they do. Even loggers, who topped the list, only clocked an average of seven hours and 20 minutes sleeping, compared with  six hours and 57 minutes for the sleepiest workers, home health aides.

Related: Home health care industry fights overtime proposal 

What’s so important about getting enough sleep anyway?

Turns out, a lot. Two Harvard Medical School studies found that insomnia does a number on your productivity, and a lack of sleep can affect your health. 

You could make up the difference by napping at work. A 2011 study from the National Sleep Foundation and Philips Electronics found that one in four employees admitted taking a nap at work.

That study also found:

  • 85 percent of office workers say they could be more productive if they slept more.
  • More than half of office workers don't consistently get a good night's sleep.
  • Two-thirds of office workers surveyed said lack of sleep means their day begins on a low note.
  • Two-thirds of employees do not wake up before their alarm goes off and more than one-third are not ready to get up when their alarm goes off.
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