According to a new study published in this month’s issue of the journal SLEEP, workers in the United States sacrifice sleep for work. In fact, they give up sleep for work reportedly more than any other activity. A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania believe that the use of innovative strategies along the lines of “delayed work start times” might aid in dealing with this particular problem.
The investigative team at UP studied approximately 125,000 answers from US citizens 15 years and older who responded to the American Time Use Survey between the years 2003 and 2011. They discovered that employees who slept six hours or less worked 1.55 more hours on weekdays and 1.86 more hours on holidays or weekends as opposed to employees who got a “normal” amount of sleep.
They also started working earlier and stopped working later. Participants who had more than one job were shown to be 61 percent more likely to sleep six hours or less. Workers who clocked in by 6 a.m. averaged six hours of sleep. Those who began working between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. averaged nearly one and a half hours more sleep.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine released a statement recommending that adults sleep for between seven and nine hours every night in order to achieve optimal health benefits and foster “daytime alertness.” The University of Pennsylvania researchers agreed and suggest that the media raise awareness of the benefits of sleep. They also suggest that people change any personal habits that reduce sleep such as morning preparation and television viewing.
The study’s lead author, sleep researcher Dr. Mathias Basner, concluded: “The evidence that time spent working was the most prominent sleep thief was overwhelming. Potential intervention strategies to decrease the prevalence of chronic sleep loss in the population include greater flexibility in morning work and class start times, reducing the prevalence of multiple jobs, and shortening morning and evening commute times.”
Workers Sacrifice Sleep For Work