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Dec 12, 2018

The UK’s Most Sleep-Deprived Professions

The stresses and worries of work are notorious for keeping people awake at night, but now new research has revealed which professions are struggling the most to get a decent night’s sleep...

The survey, conducted by bed and sleep specialist Time 4 Sleep, found that operations professionals are the most sleep deprived, with more than a third rating their sleep quality as either poor or awful. Workers in the pressurised industry of sales came in second place, with 31% struggling to get a good night’s sleep. They were closely followed by tradesmen, with 30% of plumbers, electricians and builders not satisfied with their sleep quality.

The top ten most sleep-deprived professions are:

  1. Operations – 37%
  2. Sales – 31%
  3. Plumber/electrician/builder – 30%
  4. Other – 27%
  5. Administration/office worker – 25%
  6. Teacher – 24%
  7. Retail/shop floor – 22%
  8. Director/owner – 21%
  9. Civil servant – 18%
  10. Self-employed – 17%

Employers across all industries would surely agree that a well-rested worker is an effective worker but with the stresses and strains of modern life, how can this be achieved? One answer is to harness an exercise created by the military which was apparently designed to eliminate mistakes made by pilots due to tiredness. It goes as follows:

  • Relax the muscles in your face, including your tongue, jaw and the muscles around your eyes
  • Drop your shoulders as low as they’ll go before relaxing your upper and lower arm on one side, and then the other
  • Breathe out, relax your chest and then, finally, relax your legs, starting with your thighs and moving to your lower legs
  • Once you’ve relaxed your body for ten seconds, you must attempt to clear your mind of all thoughts, which is easier said than done. However, the following have been shown to work:
  1. Picture yourself lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but blue sky above you
  2. Picture yourself snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room
  3. Repeat the words ‘don’t think, don’t think, don’t think’ in your mind for ten seconds

As the great John Steinbeck once remarked: "It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it."

Sweet dreams!


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