Are you getting enough sleep? If you’re not getting at least seven hours of sleep or more every day, the answer is likely “no,” according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.
A shortage of sleep, classified as less than seven hours a day, can result in conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety. Although, the amount of sleep a person gets every night is impacted by a diversity of factors, such as race, education, marital status, obesity, cigarette smoking and career. In fact, work is a major factor that can negatively impact sleep, from stress to shift hours to the actual work itself.
In a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency analyzed data from employed adults in 29 states who participated in the 2013 and 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an annual telephone survey that gathers data on health-related issues. The CDC uncovered information about sleep and its relationship to work, taking into account responses of 179,621 employed individuals across 22 major industries, also examining age group, sex, ethnicity, marital status and education level.
If you think you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not alone -- overall, an average of 36.5 percent of currently employed adults admitted to not getting enough sleep every night. Yet the younger you are, the more likely you are to fall into this sleepless category. Nearly 38 percent of people between the ages of 18 to 34 say they experience a shortage of sleep, while approximately 29 percent of people 65 and older say they don’t get a full night’s rest.
Slightly above the overall average, male respondents (37.5 percent) reported they get less sleep than females. Nearly half of non-Hispanic black respondents (48.5 percent) say they got a shortage of sleep too. And people with some college education (40 percent) were also seen to have higher numbers of sleep shortages, as well as people who are divorced, widowed, separated or never married (39.5 percent).
In terms of jobs, of 22 industries, Production, Healthcare Support, Healthcare Practitioners and Technical, Food Preparation and Serving-Related and Protection Service -- which have the most workers with schedules outside the typical 9 to 5 -- have the highest number of employees who experience a shortage of sleep.
Further breaking down the 22 industries into 93 detailed occupation groups, at 58.2 percent communications equipment officers were found to get the least amount of sleep. Other transportation workers (54 percent) and rail transportation workers (52.7 percent) were also among the top careers who experience a lack of sleep. To the contrary, air transportation employees reported getting the most amount of sleep out of all 93 subcategories, with only 21.4 percent saying they experience a sleep shortage. That’s because “in 2011, the Federal Aviation Administration overhauled commercial airline pilot scheduling to ensure that pilots are rested before flying,” reports the CDC.
Although policies are being put in place to ensure workers get a full night’s rest, many employees still find they’re not getting enough shut-eye. According to the survey, the lack of sleep across the U.S. population is costing the economy nearly $411 billion annually -- if people who typically sleep less than six hours a night began to get six to seven hours instead, $226 billion could be added to the economy.
And businesses beware: the equivalent of 1.2 million working days are lost each year due to sleep deprivation.