Among the occupations that get the shortest amount of shuteye each night, several make life-and-death decisions regularly. And members of one profession on the list carry guns on the job. Anybody need coffee?
The mattress store Sleepy’s used information gathered in the CDC’s National Health Survey to figure out which workers get the most sleep each day, and which make do with the least. On average, workers in these occupations sleep the least, ranked in order starting with those sleeping the least of the least:
1. Home Health Aides
3. Police Officers
4. Physicians, Paramedics
6. Social Workers
7. Computer Programmers
8. Financial Analysts
9. Plant Operators
Not sure why physicians and paramedics are lumped in together. They seem like very different jobs, though perhaps with similar hours. No matter what the reason, all of us being treated by these professionals sure wish they were sufficiently rested enough to avoid making careless, life-threatening mistakes.
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There’s one line of work that’s not on this list, but that features plenty of high-profile poor sleepers. The occupation of which we speak is the tortured artist. Vincent Van Gogh, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and F. Scott Fitzgerald are among the many tortured artists who suffered from insomnia, though that’s admittedly a small sample size.
As for workers who get the most sleep, here’s the list, starting with the most well-rested of the bunch:
1. Forest, Logging Workers
3. Sales Representatives
5. Construction Workers
9. Aircraft Pilots
In all honesty, the study doesn’t show a whole lot of difference between workers in the “most sleep-deprived” and the “most well-rested” categories. The sleep-deprived top ten average between 6 hours, 57 minutes and 7 hours, 8 minutes of sleep per night. Their “well-rested” counterparts, on the other hand, only catch a wee bit more shuteye, averaging between 7 hours, 12 minutes and 7 hours, 20 minutes. Just a few minutes’ sleep separates the categories. Physicians say that adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep nightly, though, so all of these workers are on the low side of the scale.
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If you’ve got any job, chances are you’re sleeping less than folks who aren’t working. A Bureau of Labor Statistics report published last summer stated that the average for all adults—factoring in workers, as well as retirees, college students, and other individuals who don’t have to get up for work everyday—is 8 hours, 23 minutes of sleep on weekdays and a whopping 9 hours, 20 minutes on weekends and holidays.
As for which segment of the population truly gets the most sleep of all, that’s easy: kids. A preschooler is supposed to get 11 to 13 hours of sleep per night, while an elementary student should be snoozing for 10 to 11 hours. Experts say that most children today get about a half-hour less sleep than what’s recommended.
But they’re still faring much better than their sleep-deprived working parents.