Is your job stopping you from getting enough shut eye?

By Alexandra Thompson

Your job may be causing you to lose up to two weeks sleep every year, new research reveals. Photo / 123RF
Your job may be causing you to lose up to two weeks sleep every year, new research reveals. Photo / 123RF

Insomnia is a common condition that causes irritability and lack of focus in the short term, and even raises your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease later down the line.

New research reveals that it may be your job that is causing you to lose up to two week's sleep every year.

Although without a salary, mothers rank the highest when it comes to sleep deprivation, with 25 per cent getting less than five hours a night - considerably less than the recommended seven to nine, reports Daily Mail.

One in five of those who work in transport, communication and construction also average on less than five hours.

In third place are those in public sector roles, including education and health, with 82 per cent getting just six hours a night.

Mattress brand Sealy polled more than 15,000 people from across the world on their sleeping habits.

Results revealed that those working in finance and banking tend to get between six to seven hours a night.

Overall, 77 per cent of us fail to get the sleep we need to be healthy and happy.

Neil Robinson, sleep expert at Sealy, said: "When we think of bankers and financiers, we imagine huge stress levels, sleepless nights and 80-hour working weeks, but this research flips that concept on its head, and shows that despite these being hard professions, the most exhausting jobs are surely other sectors.

"With a huge proportion of mums and those working in transport, communication, construction and utilities getting less than five hours sleep per night, it really highlights the extent of the problem.

"Quality and unbroken sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, so despite many of us being high-functioning even when sleep deprived, it is important for people to get quality rest so that when they do get time to sleep it really counts.

"Establishing a routine can be one way to do that, as well as investing in a good quality, supportive mattress."

"We all lead such busy lives these days that getting a good night's sleep can slip down the agenda but this is as essential for good health as exercise and nutrition."

This comes after a UK survey found 'insomnia' is the most searched for symptom in so-called "Dr Google".

The condition racks up an average of 74,000 searches into the site each month.

Tips to sleep better

• Avoid late afternoon naps - Snoozing after 4pm will dilute your urge to sleep later. If you find it difficult to stay awake on a comfy sofa, perch on the edge of a hard chair instead.
• Wear an eye mask - Eye masks block out light, which suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin.
• Use foam ear plugs - This will erase any background noise that might be waking you up in the night or causing you to sleep lightly.
• Don't sleep with pets - Animals tend to be nocturnal and a common source of allergies that may disturb your sleep.
• Turn your alarm clock against the wall - Clock-watching can trigger stress over how little sleep you've had, how long until morning and how tired you are going to be the next day.

Source: Professor Jason Ellis, director, Northumbria Sleep Research Laboratory

- Daily Mail

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